“The Upshaws” Star Page Kennedy On The Power Of Social Media (+ How To Use It)

Page KennedyPhoto Credit: Dustin Poteet

With his recent single, “Safe,” actor and musician Page Kennedy had a powerful message that paid off, and it was this: VOTE.“When you’re a minority parent you have to do everything possible to get your kid home safely. I know there is another perspective of this coming from young people. Especially young minority men…When they see white kids having their rights respected, but when they question an officer it’s a problem. They want to stand up for their rights. Hence the crux of this piece. “Do you wanna be RIGHT? Or do you wanna be alive”? End of the day we must all VOTE.”

And now that his message has been heard, it’s time for him to focus on the good things to come, namely, his upcoming Netflix series, The Upshaws, which focuses on a working class African American family in Indiana struggling to make it work, alongside Wanda Sykes, Kim Fields and Mike Epps and the recently announced sequel to his 2018 sci-fi film, The Meg. 

Here, we chat with Kennedy about his TikTok career, overcoming adversity and why he’s hopeful that 2020 still might turn itself around.

Page KennedyPhoto Credit: Dustin Poteet

You’re set to star in Netflix’s The Upshaws with Wanda Sykes and Mike Epps. Anything you can tell us about that and when fans will be able to tune in?

As far as the premiere date, I know it will be sometime in 2021. It’s a really fun set. Mike keeps the set light; it’s funny environment. Wanda is hilarious on the show as she always is. And Kim Fields is just a gem. I’m having a great time, and it doesn’t feel like work. I love it.

With production shut down due to the pandemic, many actors found themselves taking on new hobbies. How did you spend your time?

I specifically spent my time becoming a TikToker. I wasn’t on the app until March, and since then I have garnered 2.3M followers on it. My son Tim and I were very diligent and consistent in pumping out daily content, sometimes multiple times a day. It’s fun. It reminds us of the old Vine days. Social media is so important. On The Upshaws, I play Duck, and have to work with other people’s creativity. On social media I’m Page Kennedy and what you see there are my visions.

We heard you lost 100 pounds! How did you accomplish that? Any go-to tips or tricks to share?

Well first I had help. I had a gastric sleeve procedure. It made my stomach smaller preventing me from the ability to be a glutton. Then I became obsessed with working out and incessantly doing cardio and eating clean. Last year I spent a good bit of my time working on myself–which is the most important project I’ve done.

Page KennedyPhoto Credit: Dustin Poteet

Music is a big part of your life, how did you get started rapping and what sets your music apart from other artists out there?

I started rapping when I was 7. My brother Anthony introduced me to Hip-Hop and I’ve done it ever since. I think what differentiates me from other rappers is my story telling with the ability to write witty metaphors to help with designing imagery.

What do you hope people will take away from your music?

My life, my perspective, who I am. My passion for the music is very strong, and parenthetically I want to be considered one of the best actor/rappers of all time.

You’ve overcome so much adversity in your life, and grew up in a broken home. What was the turning point for you to take your life into your own hands?

When my dad died at 16 and I was on my own. I put myself through school, and then moved to LA with zero support but from God. So, I’ve had God in my life guiding me the entire time.

Page KennedyPhoto Credit: Dustin Poteet

Shakespeare served as the foundation for what drew you to acting. When did you decide acting was what you wanted to do with your life? Any struggles along the way?

I knew I wanted to be an actor since my hero (Michael Jackson) played Scarecrow in The Wiz. From that moment on I said this is what I want to do. And fortuitously I haven’t had many struggles. You have the occasional juncture where you go without work, but as long as you can keep your head above water you can always book something to save you. That happened at least three times in my life where my funds were completely dissipated, and God saved me each time.

Any funny audition memories you can share from when you were starting out?

Yeah, one. When I was auditioning for the show Lucifer, I think I thought the casting assistant was pregnant so I said, ‘Hey lil man,’ referring to her belly and she said ‘What?’ And I was like ‘ugh.’ I said ‘Hey girl.’ Needless to say, I never booked that show.

Your music video, “Fear,” is quite timely. What motivated you to create it, and what message do you hope people will take away with them?

I wanted to spark an unbiased conversation about the deleterious effects of “Fear” on both sides and how we need to change this mindset and emotion. I also wanted to galvanize people to vote with the emblematic symbols throughout the video.

You released the video “Safe”on October 27th with Kim Fields. How did she become involved in the project and what was it like working together?

I work with Kim on The Upshaws. Our trailers are next to each other, and we are very close. When I was thinking about the mom for the video, I needed someone that had the sensitivity and the power to pull off the amazing vocals that Ali Caldwell gave me, and I swung for the fences, and got lucky with a home run.

Page KennedyPhoto Credit: Dustin Poteet

You’ve spoken about the importance of using social media as a platform to promote your projects. How did you amass such a large following, and what tips do you have for people looking to curate their own content?

I have been very ubiquitous on social media for at least 8 years now. So it’s just something I do on all different platforms. I would suggest you find your voice through trial and error and then be consistent. That is the main key. You can have trash content and at least if you’re consistent somebody is going to like it. There is someone out there for everyone. It’s called subjectivity.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life and why?

The ability to do whatever I want when I want, because I’ve designed my life to do so. So, if I want to work I can. If I want take a couple years off I can do that too. But only a couple, after that I would be homeless.

So many people are looking forward to 2021. What are you most hopeful for in the new year?

My third self-titled album coming out, Page, and The Upshaws releasing. Also, [I’m] filming The Meg 2. 2021 is going to be fun. I hope.

5 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT PAGE KENNEDY

Follow Page on Instagram HERE 

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