Kalen Allen first caught Ellen DeGeneres’ eye with his hilarious “Kalen Reacts” videos where he gives colorful and witty commentary on culinary concoctions online. After Allen was invited to her show in 2018, DeGeneres recognized something special in her talented find and offered him an opportunity to collaborate and produce content for her digital platforms.
Allen hosts a regular guest spot on “Ellen” and his own weekly digital news series, “OMKalen,” where he gives his one-of-a-kind commentary on hot topics and trending stories.
But that’s not all, Allen has also made appearances at New York Fashion Week, the Met Gala, and the royal wedding. Now continuing his journey into acting, Allen recently sat down with Romeo International for a one-on-one conversation.
What has this new experience been like for you?
It has definitely been a whirlwind but very exciting. There have been a lot of fun moments and I’m just happy that I get to make people happy on a global scale. I never imagined that I would be able to have that much bandwidth to reach that many people. So I find that to be a blessing.
Was television always your career choice?
I studied theater and film but my concentration was in acting. I knew I always wanted to be an actor or entertainer. … When the time came, I knew the right moves to make in order to maximize my window of opportunity.
Who are your role models?
I would have to say — in the industry — definitely Beyoncé. I think her work ethic is just commendable. [I admire] the way she has sustained her career all these years [and her] ability to reinvent herself and still remain relevant on the scene.
My outside the industry inspiration would be my mother. My mother was never in the entertainment business or anything like that, but I think it was her strength and her diligence and just how resilient she was throughout life. I think that inspired me to also have that inner strength inside of me.
How do you stay on the leading edge of your craft?
I separate myself from the [frame] of it all. I’m not the type of person that cares about followers or how many likes something has or who’s engaging. I care about making content that I trust and believe in. I have already set a goal in what I want to put out into the world. And, once I give it out to the world, it’s no longer mine.
Do you have any affirmations you repeat daily to yourself?
I do actually, it’s on my wall. The quote is “There is freedom waiting for you on the breezes of the sky and you ask, ‘what if I fall over?’ But, darling, what if you fly?” … Just like I always say, “if I were to fail, I would rather fail knowing that I gave it 150 percent rather fail and wondering what I could have or should have done.”