Monday, March 19, 2012


"...My mind--- the way it works--- I'm analyzing in the back of my mind
 of how it can become a video"

If you have access to YouTube, you know about the rising star, Marlon Palmer. He's kind of a big deal.

So far, he has shown you what a man looks like in a wig purchased at Keele and Sheppard, how to lick your hoodie after the awful taste of Wray & Nephew and how NOT to put on mascara-- all guaranteed to make you laugh. 
More importantly, Marlon has shown you how to identify your resources, utilize your talents and share it with the world--- all while having a few laughs. Toronto couldn't be more proud.
Palmer is not just a 23 year old from Toronto trying to make it. To the youths of Toronto and nation wide, including his close friends, he is an inspiration.

Who is this guy?

I found Palmer in his apartment addictively consumed by the drama filled “Breaking Bad”. With his Nintendo 64 by the TV and his Macbook and Black Berry close by, Palmer was planning for the upcoming Windsor Sports Weekend. Palmer and close (and absolutely hilarious) friend, Slynky hosted the event alongside Legacy Sound. You can see his promo video here.

Growing up mostly in the GTA area, Palmer is “dead middle” of about ten siblings and from Jamaican decent. He was inspired by Will Smith, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx, just to name a few. He admires Will Smith for his versatility. What is evident here is that Palmer is versatile as well. He has developed a couple of characters such as “Marleesha” (my favourite) and “Donovan McGarland”. Palmer stated that he knew they were REAL characters when people referred to them as Marleesha and Donovan, not as “Marlon playing Marleesha” or “Marlon as Donovan”. When a character is referred to as an actually individual instead of an extension of the actor, it is a real character--- did you know that? I didn't, but it make so much sense.

His YouTube productions are inclusive of his close friends who actually all contribute in different ways whether through editing, recording, construction of ideas etc., showing not only support for his aspirations, but a drive for their goals as a group. His friends don't all necessarily have to have experience in being a part of sixteen plays as Palmer has, nor do they have to be graduates of Juliard. Palmer insists that it is based on their natural talents, “They won't necessarily have to be acting, like Slynky---that's natural--- it's natural for him, he's just like that all the time”. Palmer shared that the skits are actually NOT scripted (insert surprised face here), as I initially assumed. The videos are actually improvised, which really shows the extension of his talents and the talents of his castmates.

Marlon Palmer, Andrew Lewis, Laith Hakeem
"Friends With Benefits"

Furthermore, Palmer shares how he develops an idea, and how to combine the natural talents of the cast with a little motivation and a big step away from the biased point of view,“Lately, something will happen or someone will say something, and my mind--- the way it works--- I'm analyzing in the back of my mind of how it can become a video. Then I write it down quickly. Later on I think of ideas for it".

His Resume

In addition to his experiences as a performer in the past, Palmer has developed a talent for making people laugh with his creativity and vigilance of the workings of Toronto and its people.

In 2009, Palmer tried out for the Much Music VJ Search, a reality television contest held by Much Music with a number of selected candidates to compete for the title of the next Much Music VJ. Intially, Palmer's friend, Laith Hakeem, auditioned and encouraged him to as well, “Laith auditioned first, he convinced me to do it. I auditioned and they gave us a call”. Hakeem and Palmer made it to the final four, however, Liz Trinnear won the competition.

It was during my research of Palmer's audition for the VJ Search that I learned he did an educational video on women and violence. Considering the interests of the blog being social justice and equality, I asked the story behind this. He had done the video,"Zero Tolerance" as a part of a challege during the VJ search, “During the VJ search, in 2009, did the video. There was a challenge where we had to speak out on a topic of our choice. Pick an organization representing the topic of our choice. I picked a Women's Awareness group [Canadian Women's Foundation] and picked Violence Against Women as my topic, raising money and awareness for the cause”.

Marlon Palmer's Video on Violence Against
Women-- Canadian Women's Foundation (2009)

In 2012, Marlon Palmer auditioned for Karmaloop TV and came in second place.

What's next for Marlon Palmer?:

You can find Palmer brainstorming for his next moves. On a daily, Palmer thinks of ideas for his next skit, and distributing an the remainder of his anticipated series, “What Goes Around”.
And my favourite news, Palmer has decided to extend the character of Marleesha to have her own skits. I'm looking forward to this...

Aside from acting, Palmer plans to continue in marketing and promotions, “I want to do creative advertising and marketing. I think I'm pretty creative. I enjoy seeing what I can come up with, I always like a challenge”.

Palmer has future plans on spreading the word on the power of social media, along his productions of comedic YouTube videos, “I'm going to be talking to a class next month about social media and how it influences society... Especially with KONY 2012, this is a prime example of how powerful social media is. People think that it is because of the videos that I am popular, but there is a formula”. He has a string of new videos to upload, most recently “Marlon's Intro” featuring Toronto artist Ron Dias, as a promotion for Dias' upcoming self-titled EP releasing on April 24th of this year. Dias developed the idea for the video and showed Marlon the “rap mode” as an appreciation and as a response to Palmer's inspiring words for Dias to craft his music.

See? Told you he's an inspiration.

Coming up this week, Marlon shares with me the background stories of some of my favourite videos. 
Check back on the blog! :)

Meanwhile, see my favourite Marleesha here:

Marlon: @thatdudemcfly
Slynky: @slynkydaslyguy
Femi: @itsmrlawson


  1. MARLON!!! Just want to let you know CHICAGO LOVES YOU!!!
    hurry up nuh & get #baddabadda pon di itunesssss

  2. Marlon I just want you to know that you have inspired me to shoot for the stars and to work towards my goals. You should visit the US we love you here!

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