We had the good fortune of connecting with Madison Kirby and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Madison, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I’ve always been the girl writing goofy scripts and filming funny videos. I remember being so excited to hang with my cousins when I was younger because I couldn’t wait to cast them in some ridiculous news show or a short film about the muffin man turning into a killer pastry. What’s odd is that I was the quiet one in school who got in trouble for not talking enough in class. My shyness ended up coming in handy for comedy. While the outgoing kids were busy yapping, I observed my surroundings and used the insights I gained for skit inspiration. Because of my history and upbringing, I can’t see myself pursuing something that isn’t creative. I don’t think I could ever turn off the brainstorming button inside my brain. It feels natural. 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m most proud of my early adoption of platforms. I jumped on TikTok early back in 2017 when it used to be called Musical.ly. I heard some kids on the public transit talking about it, so I downloaded it that day. I was working for a toy company at the time and pitched the idea of creating an account for their stop motion toy, Stikbot. I grew the Stikbot account to over 250k followers in under a year, and I believe we were also one of the first brands on the platform. It made me feel confident in trusting my gut. The journey in my profession has been a long one. I didn’t graduate with the plan to pursue a social media job. I’d also taken a long break from YouTube because I had no time in college. My coordinator position threw me back into that world and reminded me that I should probably start creating videos again. So I downloaded Vine, and after 6 months, went viral for a 6-second Harambe video. The next week I felt unstoppable because I was offered an influencer contract with a management company. It all came to an ugly end when it was announced that Vine would be shut down. After tears were shed, my Vine friend invited me to the Flipagram app. That was the first time I became a paid creator, and it felt amazing. After hopping around to different apps as a paid creator, I’ve now built up my own following of 330k on TikTok. The hardest part of the journey still is facing self-doubt and burnout. 2020 has especially been challenging with having a full-time social media job and a social media side-hustle. This is an important time to take unplug hours, and I wasn’t being fair to myself. I was able to overcome those moments with help from understanding friends and loved ones. My friend, Emily, encouraged me to unplug for a week and journal about my experience. Her suggestion gave me time to remember that I want to create because it’s fun, not because anybody is forcing me to. I’ve also been able to overcome self-doubt because of fans. I’ve received messages from young women saying I inspired them to create their own videos or YouTube channels. Those moments make me so emotional and put everything into perspective.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I’m going to show someone the best time ever in Portland, then it’s a requirement to go to karaoke at Capitol or Baby Ketten Klub. We’d also leave the city and drive along down the coast starting at Astoria. I’d take them to breakfast and coffee at Fried Egg I’m in Love, Upper Left Roasters, Either/Or, Never, and Zell’s Cafe. Lunch or dinner would include Lardo, Yataimura Maru, Montage Ala Cart, PDX Sliders, Upside Down, Hat Yai, and Double Dragon, and Pip’s. We’d grab drinks at Palomar, Creepy’s, The Richmond Bar, Horse Brass Pub, The Slammer Tavern, and Hey Love. I’d take us to get dessert at Fifty Licks, Cloud City, Eb & Bean, and The Pied Cow.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to some people who may or may not know the impact they’ve made in my life. My dad deserves a huge thanks for forcing me to watch every great movie ever to exist. I also must have some of his moxie if I’m able to put my work out there for thousands to judge daily. I want to say thank you to my high school health teacher, who was always checking in on me to see what new videos I made. I don’t think I would’ve had any confidence in myself without people like her cheering me on. My mother deserves a big hug for saying she likes all the videos I make even when she has no clue what it’s about. My cousins, Danielle and Katherine, probably have no idea the impact they’ve made on my career. They introduced me to the funniest YouTube videos and creators ever and were always down to make funny videos. My boyfriend of 7 years, Taro, gets a massive shoutout for picking me back up whenever I feel discouraged. Lastly, I need to shoutout my Grandma Melvina for being the reason I should keep believing in what I do.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maddiekirby/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/madison-kirby-a18abba0/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMjrWCyV9ltTverWfFvqBNw
Other: https://www.tiktok.com/@maddie.kirby?source=h5_m

Image Credits
Taro Unterburger

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