Tell Me Something: Kathleen Burns has a theory about fear

A native of Waterford, Kathleen Burns is an independent artist and producer living in Los Angeles. She currently works as a staffing and event manager for the award winning experiential marketing agency, NCompass International, and moonlights as a line producer for the Emmy-nominated drama series "The Bay." Burns studied 3-Dimensional Graphic Design at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and began her career working for "Saturday Night Live" and Bravo TV. Burns also has shot music videos for the New London band Street People, coordinated video for the annual Whalie Awards and helped redesign the restroom at the Oasis Pub in New London.

Say you have a modern-day high school locker. Whose picture would be hanging in it?

It's a toss up between Michael C. Hall in his "Dexter" kill shirt, comedian Chris D'Elia, or my dear friend Carlos. In fact, I'm leaning towards the latter. I may or may not have a crush on him forever.

What's your favorite sandwich?

A chicken cutlet grinder from Captain's Pizza.

You're locked in a museum for a night, which one would it be?

The Museum of Modern Art in New York. I could wander in there for days.

What's your favorite poem?

I don't think it's an actual poem, but the Cherokee story "The Two Wolves" will forever resonate with me.

What's your favorite word in a language other than English?

"Kısmet" - it's a word used in English too, but I first learned of it when I lived in Turkey 10 years ago. It means fate, destiny, and there couldn't be a more accurate way to describe the events that have occurred in my life. Everything is kısmet.

What's a movie you like, but can't convince others to like?

Baz Lurhmann's "Moulin Rouge." It's my fav, and half the time people scoff at me when I share this. The colors in that movie! The cinematography! What's not to like? It's so underrated.

Sorry to have to tell you this, but an asteroid is going to wipe all humanity next week. So, what's your last meal and who is coming to dinner?

A big ol' lobster, some clam cakes and chowder, without a doubt. It would definitely be spent at my Aunt's beach house in Rhode Island, with all my loved ones, from near and far. It'll cost lots of money to get everyone there, but hell, the world's ending anyway, right? It'd be worth every penny.

What's your all time favorite music video?

It might actually be Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box" or Street People's 'Street 103' (2013 Whalie Winner, Critics Choice Best Video, thank you very much!). Oh - and Alt-J's 'Breezeblocks', that video is nuts!

Name an item you can't live without:

I am actually trying to think of something other than my cell phone. I'm embarrassed that it's the first thing to come to mind. Second would be my computer, ugh, I'm a technology addict.

Item you should live without and keep meaning to get rid of:

I want to say Facebook, ha ha. But I enjoy being able to stay in touch with people at home ... did I mention my cell phone though?

What's the last television show you binge watched?

I'm ashamed to admit this, but I actually binge watched the reality train wreck known as "Life According to Paris", because I discovered that my co-worker was on its first and only season. This is clearly not one of my finer moments, but I got sucked in and couldn't take my eyes away. At the same time though, I think I redeemed myself, because I also just finished binge re-watching "The Office" from the very beginning, and that one's a classic now, right?

What Beatles song would you like to direct a video for?

I'd have to say "A Day in the Life" or "Michelle"' - both fantastic songs, two totally different concepts. A million ideas just came rushing through my head.

If present day you could give advice to younger you, what would you say?

Don't allow yourself to be crippled by fear, because fear does not actually exist. It is all just a story created to stunt your growth, and keep you from having true happiness in life. Now quit stalling and go follow your dream. And while you're at it, quit complaining. Mom and Dad really do love you. Accept and love yourself for who you are, because you have a lot to contribute in this world, and life is short, so get on it!

Last book you couldn't put down:

"Room" by Emma Donoghue. There was just something remarkable about seeing this world through the eyes of a child... I couldn't stop.

What's your go-to font?

Any member of the DIN family, it's my fav!

You're a DJ at a club. What's the night's last song?

'Barbra Streisand' by Duck Sauce. Sean Murray can attest to that.

What's a word you can never spell correctly on the first try:

Necessary. I always expect auto correct to work it's magic on that one.

Which is better: Coffee or tea?

Coffee - Dunkin Donuts to be exact. First thing I drink when I get off that plane, Coffee Bean just doesn't cut it.

Los Angeles or New York?

Well, given the circumstances, L.A. is on top in my book... But New York will forever hold a very special place in my heart. I will always be an east coast girl.

Anagrams or palindromes?

Palindromes - Anagrams make my brain hurt.

Winter in Southern California or fall in New England?

Nothing can compare to fall in New England.

What is your pet peeve?

Passive aggressive behavior and/or commentary; what a waste of energy. And texting while trying to hold a conversation, give it a rest people! (But honestly, I'm guilty of that as well, even though it drives me bananas.)

What historical event would you like to have been witness to?

The March on Washington, definitely. Could you even imagine how far off we'd be if Dr. King hadn't had that dream? That event was miraculous, and changed the course of history, forever.

What is your favorite place in Connecticut to recharge and/or find serenity?

Harkness Memorial State Park, for sure ... you thought I was going to say The Oasis Pub though, right?

Whom alive today do you most admire?

I have so much admiration for many people in this world, so it's hard to pinpoint just one. Overall, I think that I most admire people who are unreasonable in their quest to make this world a better place. The people that go above and beyond, that dedicate their lives to changing the course of humanity as we know it. The doctors, researchers, activists, and charity organizations, to name a few, who will stop at nothing to help other people in every way they can. They are the ones who dream big, the ones who realize that it's about making sure everyone else gets it.

These people are beyond inspiring, and I can only hope that someday my impact on this world can be a small reflection of those I admire.


Tell Me Something spotlights interesting people doing interesting things. It appears weekly on and


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