Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Interview with Jamie Kilstein, Slam Poet, Comedian

by Derek Jones

Path of Reason: What motivates you to go around the country speaking? 

C.S Muncy Gallery Jamie Kilstein: The non-artsy answer is I couldn't work a fucking job. People have settled for complacency. Ok with working a job they hate and I don't think that's fair. I think there are other options and people need to seek them. Don't be afraid to stray. That is where genius lies (I don't mean me, in general). You may be in the hole for a while but I would rather be poor and happy then rich and suicidal = )

The main reason is there are things that need to be said about right wingers and liberals. I'm trying to promote the art of conversation...and I don't want a job. 

POR: When and how did it all start?

JK: Dropped out of high school started stand up in NYC after a dare. 

POR: Do you think people are responding well to your message? 

JK: Yeah man, the only people who have been dicks are other poets. Who would have thought? = ) 

POR: When did you start writing and why?

JK: Like most, I had a dysfunctional childhood. 

POR: You have covered topics ranging from global warming to abortion to religion. Which issue concerns you most in America and what do you think needs to happen to bring about change? 

JK: Well, all of those issues have to do with religion. Even global warming I have heard preachers preaching against it. Religion is so rough because you look at our world and the problems Abortion, Global Warming, Stem Cell research, Gay marriage, sectarian violence in Iraq, George Bush calling the war a crusade and so on. But people don't call folks on this shit because it is impolite to talk about people's faith. Well, if your faith is fucking killing people it needs to be talked about. So once again, conversation. Get rid of the extremes. People of different faiths, once they get talking, will find out they have a lot more in common then they think. That phrase "you can't talk about religion at the dinner table" is us working backwards. De-evolution. I think the phrase should be "you can't talk about American Idol at the dinner table." 

POR: In watching your videos on YouTube and listening to your recordings on MySpace, I feel very inspired to go out and try to make a difference. Who inspires and motivates you? Do you have favorite authors, musicians etc? Do you recommend any books, movies or other educational tools? 

JK: Anybody who has a strong point of view. Honest people. But if you're looking for examples, Bill Hicks, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Richard Dawkins, Marc Maron, Doug Stanhope, the cute Asian from heroes and our lord and savior Jesus Christ (Just kidding)Oh and do it dude! 

POR: What is your religious background? Do you have one? I know you are part of the Rational Response Squad but were you always an Atheist or did you become one over time? If so, what changed your mind? 

JK: This is a real long answer. If you go to their site, there should be a backlogged audio interview they did with me where I go into it. 

POR: Do you think Americans do enough to educate themselves or do you think the majority blindly believe what they are told? 

JK: I think they believe what they are told because it is easier. If you don't know, then you're not a bad guy for not acting. Once I read Fast Food Nation I stopped eating meat. Once I heard what the Alcohol corporations were doing and how they were profiting off of our death, I stopped drinking. And these were tough things to do. People love there routines but you end up better for it. Check out listen everyday. = ) 

POR: What is your outlook for 2007? Do you have any hopes for the country/Government? 

JK: Keep an eye on the Liberals. Make sure they don't fuck us too. = )

I do have hope. People are starting to get it. As long as there are voices of dissent we will be ok. Make more of them. 


*Check out tracks, video, tour dates, etc. at

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