Jan 20, 2018
30 Under 30, Class of ’18: Dylan Marron, Digital Creator
Neighborhood: Crown Heights
Most Likely To: deliver an impassioned (and unprompted) monologue about why you should love the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches
Favorite Quote: “Frankly there isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story.” -Mary Lou Kownacki
Dylan Marron is a hilariously smart and thoughtful content producer making his own space for social issues on the internet. Dylan is a writer and correspondent at seriously.tv. Among others, Dylan has been featured by the New York Times, Vulture, Slate, MTV, Buzzfeed, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe for his writing, performing, and video-making. Dylan currently produces a podcast called Conversations With People Who Hate Me, a series centering around dialogue with people who have posted negative comments about him online. But more than a conversation, Dylan’s show is about how much changes when someone is forced to confront what’s on the other end of the screen: another person. In a world where more of us are using screens to distance ourselves from one another, Dylan is using his show to remind people how connected we really are.
What is your earliest memory associated with what you do now?
Currently I host and produce the podcast Conversations with People Who Hate Me where I call up some of the folks who have sent me negative messages on the internet. I guess the first memory associated with having difficult conversations about charged social issues is with my mom. I love my mom more than anything (and, no, she’s never sent me a hate message on the internet), but I’m biracial. She’s white, and having those early and awkward conversations about identity turned out to be important training ground for what I’m doing now.
When did your occupation become real to you? Like, you knew this was what you were going to do?
When I realized that I’d be doing creative work full time whether it paid my rent or not. I’m thankful that it currently does.
How does Brooklyn/your neighborhood particularly inform your work?
I spend ninety percent of my week in Crown Heights because my office is here, so I can’t separate this neighborhood from my work. Every time I walk down Franklin Avenue I’ll bump into a friend, a colleague, or an artist whose work I’ve admired from afar.
What do you feel is most challenging about being where you are now?
I’m still in the building phase of my career so that can sometimes mean a lot of self-imposed deadlines, funding my own projects, and non-stop hustling.
What’s most rewarding?
Still being in the building phase of my career. Hopefully I’ll always be building.
What’s your most significant accomplishment to date?
Making my parents proud. They both worked their asses off to send me to creative summer camps and after-school programs. Having the opportunity to show them that it all went somewhere means more to me than I can say.
Who/what inspires you?
In no particular order: Oprah; my husband; the non-professional runners in marathons; people who cheer for non-professional runners in marathons; synchronized flash mob dances; Mister Rogers; Humans of New York; and Britney Spears’ performance at the 2000 VMAs.
Thinking about the future, where do you see yourself in the next 30 years?
This moment I’m in is beautiful, hopeful, and uncertain, but in 30 years I want to be in the position to employ people who are starting out in their own beautiful, hopeful, uncertain phases.
What’s next for you?
More episodes of my podcast Conversations with People Who Hate Me.
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