Rory Kramer, September 2015
We recently met Rory Kramer through Alex and Drew of The Chainsmokers while they were in Toronto for Veld Music Festival. It was a Saturday morning and we picked the guys up from their hotel at 10:00am, before taking them out on our sailboat for breakfast and a quick swim in Lake Ontario. Rory's energy and positive vibes throughout the day was contagious, and we were shocked to hear that he had literally just stepped off a red-eye flight from Los Angeles that morning.
The best way to describe Rory would be the phrase "professional life liver," as he strives to live each day to the fullest, because he thinks doing it any other way would be a waste. He wants others to look at his life and see how much fun he is having and think – if he can do all these awesome things, why can't I? We'd like to thank Rory for taking time out of his busy schedule, having recently started traveling with Justin Bieber, to sit down with us for a short interview. Enjoy!
Los Angeles, CA
DNP: What does a typical day look like for you?
Rory: Not on tour – Wake up between 7-8am, run or beach work out, coffee, ALWAYS FORGET TO EAT, edit videos... if there is no video to edit, then I usually try to hike. On tour - Wake up running on a few hours of sleep, get to the airport, coffee/water/some sort of unhealthy food that I know I shouldn't be eating, get on the plane, edit and sleep, arrive in the next city, try to see something cool there and snag an Instagram, and then show time.
DNP: What projects have you recently been working on?
Rory: Right now I just finished "Lake Life 3," which was a passion project. I took 12 days off to go home and shoot a video on the lake with my friends and family. I am working a lot with the Chainsmokers, doing a lot of tour videos with them. We just released a video to their song Roses which documents our adventures in Asia and SoCal. And some stuff with Justin Bieber.
DNP: What do you find most challenging and exciting about your career?
Rory: Not having an off switch. I am always working. I neglect a lot of people. I am really selfish and always put my work first and sometimes I struggle to be present since my brain is always thinking about work.
DNP: Where does your passion derive from?
Rory: When I was a kid, I had two older brothers who were studs, they had all the friends and I wanted to be just like them. It was so hard to get them to watch me do anything... so at some point I really got into capturing everything I was doing because then I could just show them on the spot. Then I fell in love with capturing a real moment in time and making people feel something. I struggled a lot in my 20s to find happiness and I went through some dark times that I haven't really shared (I shared one of the them in my TEDx talk that is coming out ); so I try to pull from those moments as inspiration and put something real in my videos that inspire people to think or make a change in their lives. You might just have to watch a video to understand better – LOL.
DNP: How do you manage a healthy work/life balance?
Rory: I am really good at making time to be myself; to go adventure, to take vacations, and to simply make my work play. If we are talking about eating healthy... I strive to be better, I do juice cleanses from time to time. I was a lot healthier before quitting my 9-5 and chasing this dream.
DNP: What does success look like to you?
Rory: A smile. Actually, I'm just gonna link you with a video because I made a one on what success is and I would probably retype the voice-over word for word, but I suck at words and am visually better.
DNP: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Rory: Man, I have been told that I don't give myself enough credit... it's true though. I would have to say the "Avicii - The Nights" music video that I made for him that is made up of the past two years of adventuring and has 95 million views. The reason I consider that my greatest achievement isn't because of the views or followers I have, but because I went to Asia and people knew who I was, and they said my video changed their life... I couldn't believe my vision impacted a life I didn't know existed on the other side of the world.
Also, I would say the time in Cleveland when I brought my parents to a 3LAU show and my Dad put his arm around me and said he was extremely proud of me... my whole life I had been trying to fill my Dad's shoes and live up to his giant success and that moment made me feel great. It put tears in my eyes and made me realize that following my heart and doing what I wanted even when others thought I was crazy was the right thing to do.
DNP: What’s one word that best describes your personality?
DNP: What is your greatest fear?
Rory: Being murder, I am so afraid of the dark and being alone.
DNP: What is your most treasured possession?
Rory: The family ring I have that I got when I turned 21 or my Dad's last pack of cigarettes he smoked from the 90s... talk about vintage.
DNP: If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Rory: Lead singer of a band... but i suck at singer so that's why I am doing what I am doing – LOL.
DNP: Do you have any upcoming projects in the pipeline?
Rory: Working on a project with Justin Bieber, which I am extremely excited about. The kid is really cool and down to Earth. A lot of people judge him so I hope to change their views and opinions.
DNP: Where is your favorite place to travel and why?
Rory: Home. I'm not going to say where I am from because I literally just got a tweet from someone with my parents house circled on Google maps and it kind of freaked me out. But home is this place that is where I found myself, my best friends live there, my parents are there, I was re-baptized there, and when I go home, my phone doesn't really exist.
DNP: Where would you most like to live?
Rory: I'd love to own a house on the lake back home.
DNP: How do you spend your down time?
Rory: I don't have much down time anymore. But I like to go to the movies, have good conversation, hike, cliff jump, swim, or say I'm going to catch up on sleep and then don't. I also like to make out with this girl named Kate...
DNP: If you could spend a day with any person (living or dead), who would it be and why?
Rory: Two people both dead. Shane McConkey, his documentary was so inspiring and I felt like we had a lot in common and I would love to adventure with him. Kurt Cobain, because I freaking love NIRVANA and really would have liked to see them live.
DNP: If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Rory: A fish, i love to swim.
DNP: Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Rory: I see a lot of people complaining and thinking they are entitled to things. It took me 15 years of making videos before I got to where I am. It was really hard work and that's what it takes; working hard and doing YOUR TIME. I don't think I am the best videographer or editor, there are a lot of talented people but I honestly think I get a majority of my work because of my personality and the fact people enjoy me as a friend. Be nice to people. DREAM, CREATE, INSPIRE... run it!!!