Tom G: [00:00:20] Good morning, Camille, how are you doing today?
Camille M: [00:00:23] Tom. I am very excited for today’s guests with this super influencer that we have. I think he’s going to know a thing or two about how to be interesting!
Tom G: [00:00:31] I know this morning I had to actually comb the little bit of hair that I do have to be ready for this video podcast, which I’m pretty excited about.
Camille M: [00:00:40] I see, neither one of us has it in us to dress up. I don’t know if tech’s got the best of us, right?
Tom G: [00:00:45] Yeah. Why dress up? It’s just video. The day is a bit of a different angle. Not just because it’s video, but also we’re taking it a bit of a different lens on security today.
Camille M: [00:00:57] I’m really interested in this kind of an outside in perspective, but somebody who has a background in technology himself. We’ll get a little bit of both sides of the equation, I think.
Tom G: [00:01:09] I’ve seen in my research for this episode, our guest is a very entertaining individual as well. He’s got quite a following on social.
Camille M: [00:01:17] Quite the following. Yes. I think 1.4 million followers on tick-tock.
Tom G: [00:01:22] That’s incredible. So should we get started? Well, I got to
Camille M: [00:01:25] just say one more thing, Tom. It’s really nice to know finally what you look like.
Tom G: [00:01:32] (laughs) Oh, you know, the world of podcasts, especially audio podcasts, just all about voice, but yeah, it’s good to see each other. (add music) I have the pleasure of introducing our guest today. His name is Kevin “Keats” Jackman, and he is a man of countless talents. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from Florida Institute of Technology. And shortly after graduation, Keith moved to Atlanta, Georgia accepting a position at a private IT-managed service provider where he oversaw 35 law firms living a somewhat Clark Kent lifestyle, Kevin would perform shows at night and create social media content on the weekends consistently gaining buzz.
In late 2019 Keats created a video series that would catapult his entertainment career and give him the eyes he needed. He’s now a writer and actor with 1.4 million followers on Tik TOK. So Kevin, welcome to our podcast.
Kevin: [00:02:35] Thank you for having me Intel team. Thank you.
Tom G: [00:02:42] We thought it would be good before we really get into the discussion on security, we thought it’d be good to provide more context on. What you do, you had one particular moment that sort of catapulted you into this following. I wonder if you could take just a moment and describe what that was.
Kevin: [00:03:03] And when I started to graduated college, because I went to a very difficult institution, so I knew I wanted to be in entertainment, but I didn’t have the time to do it. So right when I graduated college, I had a plan. I’m going to market myself, going to write my music. I mainly started in making hip-hop music. It was right in a stage where visuals were becoming so important. Music really didn’t go without a visual. So I had to be the person to know how to edit my own videos, shoot my own videos, set up the tripods, get the lighting right. So just by way of making the content that I needed to push my music, I started to develop the videos, to be able to create skits, which I wasn’t even thinking that is something that would be in my plan for the future.
But I started to, you know, I’m a fan of them. I’m a young guy and I look at all this funny stuff and I have the ideas of my own and I’m like, “you know what? I’ll just create them.” So I started to create these skits and I got on TikTok. And hearing about it a lot. This was back in around November of 2019. You know, my management here in Atlanta was talking about, “Hey, you have so many talents. We got to figure out how to show all the sides that make you great. I get on TikTok Kevin.” So I got on there. And within two weeks, I made a video called “If the Planets had a meeting.” Because I was, I was going through a really rough time. You know, I had gotten like a speeding ticket. I had gotten a nail in my tire, driving down somewhere on my apartment flooded and I’m like, “Oh my goodness, the wires Mercury in retrograde and just messing with me right now.”
I was actually in the shower when I thought about that. And I started to laugh to myself, kind of making light of the rough time I was going through at the moment. So I was like, “what if the planets were actually people? What if they had personalities like us and they talked to each other, I wonder what they each have to say about each other?”–kind of like lunch room, table banter.
I got out my notes. And I started writing the first episode and I was like, “wow, this is pretty hilarious.” So I personified each of the individual characters, like Jupiter. He’s the biggest. So he’d have the biggest ego. He wouldn’t be shy. Mars Planet of War, be the instigator for a lot of things. Pluto, just happy to be here. I started to make this, the skit and overnight it just got a million views. And then within two days, 7 million and they started to want more. So I came up to all the way, part 15, and it’s been very fruitful for me. I was able to leave the IT job I was doing that was sustaining me full-time and start my own merch line and everything.
Tom G: [00:05:36] Yeah. So I think what we’re going to do now is for everybody on this podcast, we’re going to give you a chance to watch, I think it’s the latest episode of your series. So we’re jumping into episode 15 now, and obviously you can, if you’re watching this at home, you can go back and start with number one and go all the way through, but this will give everybody a good idea “If the Planets had a Meeting,” what that TikTok is all about.
Kevin: [00:06:02] And to just say a little about what that is. I came out with an eye shadow palette called “If the Planets had a Pallete” and one of the characters, Venus, where I pull my hair back, I have the girly earrings in and, you know, she has all the attitude and everything. So I thought it would be really cool to get into the cosmetic industry and make Venus have an eyeshadow palette. So I have downstairs, I have the area where the girls and the models were getting ready to promote the pallete and were going to the studio. I checked my phone and I get a DM from NASA and I’m like, wait, this isn’t real. Like the NASA DMed me on Twitter. I’m like, what? So I look at it and they yeah. Invite me to an exclusive event for the perseverance Mars Rover, where I got to speak with all of the engineers and the teams associated with getting the Rover to land in Mars was just happened. Got pictures, landed successfully. And I was able to get content for my video.
So this video is what came out of me having the information on what it was like getting a Rover on Mars. So this is kind of Mars is episode and dedicated to him. So that’s what you’ll be hearing.
Tom G: Great.
Camille M: Right no.
Video excerpt: Uranus: “Oh, my goodness. Orbit Eats is such a lifesaver.”
Mercury: Impale those fees? No, thank you.
Uranus: “Sweetie, if you’re broke, just say that.”
Mercury: I am not broke. You are way out in the boonies and whenever Orbit Eats has to come inside the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, it’s like a $200 fee. Mars, weren’t we just–
Mars: Yeah, that be taxing. This one time I tried to get a milkshake— What?“
Mercury: Mars. What is on your face?”
Mars: Oh, that’s my new Rover. Her name is Perseverence. She got here on Thursday.
Jupiter: “So what? Is she just chillin?”
Mars: Well, Earth keeps sending them here to collect dirt.” “We can see you!”
Saturn: Six Rings.”
Mars: Oh, well that’s the thing. She doesn’t leave. She stays here forever.
Saturn: Six Rings!
Mars: It’s kind of cool. I get free photo shoots. See?
Mercury: Ugh! Mars, you need to exfoliate. Look at your crust!
Tom G: [00:08:03] (all laugh) You are certainly entertaining. And I got to tell you, I have mad respect for you. The fact that you get a DM from NASA. How cool is that? That is so interesting. Not that it would ever happen, but my guess is that even if I did get a DM from NASA, I wouldn’t notice for like two months.
Kevin: [00:08:20] (laughs) It’s so great because when you’re doing what I’m doing or in the entertainment field, doing it without a machine behind you, these little sparks and these little moments happen that bring you up in leagues, they bring you up in leaps. So it’s really nice to have those moments and not take them for granted and understand that the next one is coming and it’s, you have to be very patient when you’re doing this.
A little background, I started going to the Florida Institute of Technology, majoring as an aerospace engineer, but then I started to look at the homework and it was extremely extensive. It was, there’s a lot of math, you know, they start doing math where they don’t use numbers anymore (laughing) and you’ll, you’ll have three problems for homework and those three problems will take up 15 pages. So like, do you know what, “maybe, maybe this isn’t what my passion was.”
I would sit down thinking of funny stuff, beat boxing, wanting to right music. I had the love for sciences, but maybe that doesn’t have to be my main laser-focus. Maybe I met to get to that by around the way, and just being able to trust myself and to, because my sister’s a doctor in chemical engineering. So I kind of wanted to follow into that. You know, when you tell people you’re going to school to be a rocket scientist, you get a lot of love. So I had to really be confident enough in myself to step away from that and say, “Hey, this isn’t me. I know it sounds great on paper, but I I’m still going to be great. It’ll take me a little while to get there and maybe a little unorthodox, but hey, I’m an entertainer they’re going to see me. So it’s really nice to be able to still get that recognition from NASA, even though I’m not at the desk, making the rocket.
Tom G: [00:10:00] Our podcast centers more around security and cyber security. And obviously today, we’re still talking about security. And I wonder from your perspective with the kind of things that you work on, how do you think about cyber security, which is typically a sort of a dry topic, maybe, you know, you think about IT professionals or something, and they worry about it all the time. But how do you think about it?
Kevin: [00:10:25] This is all new, like being an influencer, TikTok, digital person, especially with COVID and everything cyber security is more important than ever because everything has gone virtual. So when I first started to come into this, you know, when you get a million views overnight, you have to change the way you move. You can’t just post everything on your story and go out and just be there because people, they can roll up on you. People can say, “Oh, I need to go there and see him and people, they get crazy.”
We’re at a time where cyber security to translate into real life security. So there’s that. And there’s also trolls. Like I’ve had people on my Instagram Live. If I’m going live, they’ll, they’ll show up the only request say, “Hey, I want to talk to you” and you’ll, you’ll get on live. And they’ll just be doing some really explicit content. So that, and protecting your passwords is a huge thing.
I live by Last Pass, getting into all my different accounts, just, just being very secure because it only takes one time, one slip up for someone to try to brute force your accounts or try to get in. You see it all the time where they don’t have a backup account, or if something gets hacked, they delete all your pictures. You should ruin your image is so important to have that locked down. So coming from an IT background where security is the main focus for law firms, especially I kind of had a leg up with understanding how important it was, but someone who’s not from that background or doesn’t expect it, you blow up on social media.
You could be ruined real quick, for lack of cybersecurity.
Camille M: [00:12:04] How do you get people to care or pay attention. I mean, you might’ve had that issue even when you were doing IT for law firms, since that’s not their primary interest, I’m assuming.
Kevin: [00:12:15] A lot of times we learn by experience my by, you know, crypto that’s how they would learn–something happens where they click a file or that you get a voicemail that someone, someone got a voicemail this one time and it locked all of their accounts. And they had crypto throughout all their servers, their desktops, all their drives got messed up. And that’s unfortunately that’s the turning point and that’s the catalyst for them to be doing something different.
But yeah with social media, I think seeing that someone got hacked, someone huge, like you can see all these big celebrities, like, “Oh, they got hacked.” Like if someone like your drape got hacked, it’s like, “Oh man, that’s wild. So let me get my stuff buttoned up.” It’s always just good sense to change password 60, 90 days, complex passwords, phrases, all of that.
With my generation, as a millennial, I think we understand that security is important just because we’ve seen seeing the stuff growing up and we’ve seen that that happen. But I think the younger generation, I think with technology, it’s becoming ingrained in what life is. So I do think they have, they have a pretty good understanding, but who knows? It’s like, everyone knows that seatbelts are great, they help, but does everyone wear a seatbelt even though we know seatbelts save lives? You know, car accidents happen all the time. So I think experience, you know, when you get that ticket, you start to follow the speed limit or you start to tighten things up. So I think it becomes real when it happens to you, when something happens. Just like backing up your data, things like that. When you lose something, when that external hard drive goes, it’s like, you know that “I need to back it up because I don’t want this to happen again.”
Tom G: [00:13:57] We talked to CEO’s, they totally are with us in terms of how security is important and the kinds of actions that they should do. And they shouldn’t have outdated equipment. And yet when we ask, “well, are you going to change how you purchase it?” and they say “no.” And we asked them why. And they say, “well, it’s just not really a priority for the company right now.” And we say, “but you said, you agree with everything we say,” and they come back to them, they said, “okay, listen, it’s simple. We believe you, but our management”–even though they’re CIOs they still report to the CEO–and they said, “what really needs to change is we need to get hacked. As soon as we get hacked, it will become a priority.” And so it’s like buying buyer insurance for a house after a burns down security.
How do you get people to really care about it before it’s too late?
Kevin: [00:14:44] Okay. So Noble4 is a program or system that you can sign up for pay a monthly fee and it sends out false malicious emails to your staff. They’ll send out something saying, “Hey, the, uh, the CEO of Amazon just stepped down and he’s given away 500 gift card.” And they click it. And if you click it, you’re in the register of the monthly report saying, “Hey, you got tricked, take this training. This is why you should recognize these things. This was spelled incorrectly. It’s probably the Russians or something, or this was XYZ and kind of runs through the thing that you should be aware of before you click the 500 Amazon gift card.”
Phishing and everything, they start to make an office culture out of it. One of my clients had fish that they’d put, whoever got caught and you have the fish on your door and things like that. So it kind of makes it a real life thing, but it practice when it really does happen, you’re prepared for it and it trains you . So I thought that was a really cool thing. We saw it working in the marketplace.
But it’s a lot is layering because with cyber security, you can have all these things in place, but it really comes down to the people and your staff that have the ability to identify something and choose to act or choose not to act. So really training the people is the biggest thing. And you always want to have those things put in place–like the two factor, maybe you shut down your OWA, which is the online web access through your Outlook or, or whatever. Cisco umbrella, you know, trapping things if things do help, but I would say definitely having your IT propose these things in the first place, because the CIO is, if they don’t know about it, there’s no way they can purchase it, so keeping them aware on the new things that are out there, because it’s always a cat and mouse thing, but the bad guys are always getting better. So you have to always be refreshing.
Camille M: [00:16:35] You’re talking about the Pink Panther model, right? Where you get jumped at any given time and you sort of train people that they need to always be aware, always be thinking about it
Tom G: [00:16:44] Our IT does what you described. They’ll send you these, these phishing emails. And if you are a not smart and you click on one of them, then it tells you you were hooked and you get the pleasure of taking a mandatory training class, which is so fun to do by the way, when you report it–cause you can report it as a phishing email, then it comes back with a big “Congratulations, you actually spotted one of these simulated emails. And so you get a little pat on the back as well.” So it’s kind of. Positive and negative affirmation.
Kevin: [00:17:17] As a TikTok influencer, I get emails all the time because unfortunately I’m not verified yet, but I get these, “Oh, we will verify you. Check your verification badge. All we need is your username, your password, your place of birth or whatever.”
Camille M: Your bank account.
Kevin: Exactly. All of that. Now that I think about it. I think the younger generation does have a better eye for spotting that stuff because you know, they see it all the time. They, they know what looks legit. They can tell that the logo got pasted from another source and that’s not legitimate.
I know what you URLs are because I’ve been seeing it since they had the iPad and there were three. So I think they’re in a, in a much better spot.
Tom G: [00:18:00] So Keats, we do a fun thing on each podcast, we talk about something that may or may not have anything to do with cyber security–it could be a factoid, it could be a movie you just watched, a book you just read–something that you think would be interesting for the viewers to follow up with.
Kevin: [00:18:20] I’ve been working on a movie, a short film. Uh, I have another series called “If Internet Pirates Were Real” you know, so like the websites where you can get free movies and whatnot. So if those were actually real personified characters, I’m playing 13 characters. I wrote it directed it. It’s in seven different location. Some characters have braids, some characters have the Afro or the curls. They all have different wardrobe. And it’s a 20 minute film that I directed and wrote. And it’s actually being released pretty soon. So getting into that space, kind of coming out of the TikTok space, I’m writing screenplays. I’m starting to write longer pieces because TikToks are only a minute and after you do the, the background noises, the foley, redo the dialogue, mix everything, and do the color grading for it, it turns you into a different creator. So I’ve been looking at different shows. I just finished “Breaking Bad.” I thought that the production and Bryan Cranston is just amazing. I started watching “Power” all the way through, which is really cool. And it’s an affirming in myself that. That’s what I have my own production. It’s at a certain level, which is synonymous with everything that’s out there. But man “Hamilton.” “Hamilton” is great. If you haven’t seen Hamilton watch “Hamilton.”
Camille M: [00:19:41] That’s cool. So we’re going to be seeing longer.
Kevin: [00:19:45] Yeah. Yeah. So I have a production company, KeyKeats Productions. Uh, so this is my first first thing, and I don’t think it’s ever been done in anything. The furthest thing, closest thing is Eddie Murphy, how he does, uh, you know, the different characters at the table with The Nutty Professor, that’s the closest thing. But the great thing about the production that I’m making is I’m not using any technology to be in the same frame as myself. So it’s all cuts and I’m literally talking to no one when I’m acting the role. So I’m talking to myself and it’s very convincing. I have to say it was done very well. And I named that type of style because people on the internet, people give me the status of that single-actor-multi-character landscape. So I’m kind of the, the father of that type of style of comedy or style of film, taping yourself now and creating all these different characters. So I’ve named that the single actor multi-character landscape. I did that on TikTok, but now it’s like, “okay, you guys can copy the format that I’ve been doing on TikTok; however, Let me show you a full movie where it’s being done. And I did everything myself and, you know, I’m on a motorcycle. I have the GoPro on the motorcycle looking at me, drone shots, all done, uh, by myself and my friend who’s helped me shit. Shoot it. But yeah, it’s going to be,
Camille M: [00:21:09] My daughter has a question, so let me ask it. She’s wondering, do you do a bunch of episodes in advance and you play, you dress up as one character and then do kind of cuts from episode, you know, one through six, then you dress up as a different character and then do episode one through six, or do you actually go through all those costume changes for every single one of the episodes in planet?
Kevin: [00:21:34] That’s a great question and no one has ever asked me that. So thank you. I do it one at a time, one episode at a time, and I go through all of the wardrobe. So what, it’s, what it’s like. I write the episode on my phone. Then I write the episode in person and that’s when I can make small adjustments. It’s kind of like draft one in my phone, draft two on paper. Every character–or planet–can’t be in one episode, so if it’s seven characters, I take out all of the hoodies for each or all the costumes, lay them on my bed. And I go through each character, do all the lines that I have for that character. And then I switch costumes, do all the lines and then I edit them in post.
But yeah, I have to choose very specifically which characters that I do first because when I pull my hair back for Venus, you know, my hair look all weird. So sometimes I do that last. (all laugh)
Camille M: [00:22:26] How long does that take to change from one character to the next or depends on the character maybe?
Kevin: [00:22:33] Yeah. Well, with Venus, I have to put all the earrings in and it was Saturday. I put the belt on my head and have the rings, but to run through an episode, it’ll generally take me about an hour, hour and a half, just to go through and act them and change and stuff. It’s a very, very meticulous process, but I’m so dedicated to the work that it doesn’t even phase me.
Tom G: [00:22:54] So Camille, what fun fact or something you want to share today? What, what do you have for us?
Camille: Six rings. (Tom laughs)
Tom G: Oh, you know, I was going to mention that, uh, but I’ll do it now. I wasn’t exposed to any of your, uh, content until the prep for this. And now I will be driving down the road and I just like have this uncontrollable urge to say “six rings.”
Kevin: [00:23:24] I get that all the time! (laughs)
Tom G: [00:23:25] (laughs) It has nothing to do with anything. And I have to say “six rings.”
Kevin: [00:23:32] Oh man. And I thought about that. That’s one of the things, you know, when I’m, when I’m thinking in the shower, like, “Oh, okay. So mercury, she messes everything up. Jupiter has the big ego now, Saturn he’s so cool. And what would Saturn say? ‘ six rings’” That’s it? And I was just like, Oh, that is perfect. But I’m kind of peeved that I can’t experience what it feels like to not have created it, like, cause I want to know what that feels like. Cause a lot of people just say, Hey, it’s just a catch phrase that they go around saying? And I’m like, “Aw man, I wish I could be on the other side of the fence.” (laughs)
Tom G: [00:24:06] And so for me, I would say that the one thing I started watching it and unfortunately there’s only two seasons because I’ve really gotten hooked on this show on Netflix is ”Lost in Space.” What a great show and my daughter she’s 20. She started watching it too, and fully just 100% hooked on the show.
Kevin: [00:24:29] I’ll check it out. What’s your favorite space film?
Tom G: [00:24:32] I probably the old school and say “Star Wars.” Love that whole genre. And to go even more tech trope is the Star Trek show. And I think it was about the third movie or so of the Star Trek series, where they were saving the whales. This is the old school captain Kirk and Spock and whatever else needed to go back in time to get a humpback whale and bring it to the future and save the world. God I watched that show so many times I probably wore, and this is back in the day when it was literally a VHS tape, I probably wore the damn thing out. I watched it so many times. I love that show.
Camille M: [00:25:11] My grandfather took me to the theater to see that I think when it came out and he used to be an editor in Hollywood back when editing was literally cutting the film and splicing it. And I just remember, I was trying to watch the spectacular special effects and all I could hear was my grandfather. “Okay. Let me tell you how they probably did this one. This is how they did this special effect” the entire movie.
Tom G: [00:25:38] Well, Keats it’s been a real pleasure. Thank you for joining us on our very, very first video podcast. It was great to hear your perspective and you’re really, really interesting guy. I am a, I’m certainly a fan myself.
Kevin: [00:25:53] Thank you. Thank you very much. I’m glad to be here.