Introducing Bea Martin: Thoughts on the #FutureofMedia

Introducing Bea Martin

Artist, dancer, choreographer, graphic designer & business associate at the Department of Pathology at Mount Sinai  

I met Bea when I was a freshman at Temple University 5 years ago, she was one of the first I had a chat with about Asian American Pacific Islander representation in media. I had to ask her some shotgun questions about her thoughts on the #FutureofMedia

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Introducing Bea Martin

Melissa Ly: As a artist, dancer, choreographer, graphic designer, etc.. how has media played a role in your life? 

Bea Martin: The digital age is truly astounding to me. Anything and everything is accessible in your fingertips anytime and anywhere (if you have service haha). Social media specifically is one of the most incredible platforms. Because of Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, people’s arts have become more accessible at a universal level and it truly transformed the arts. YouTube is one of the most transformative factors in the world of dance that gives a plethora of opportunities for people to access dance whether that is a dance class, a performance, etc.

Before the rise of social media, the only access to dance is to go a dance studio or a performance or a battle etc. This is something personal to me especially as a hip hop dancer because, growing up, I didn’t have access to those things. I grew up in a provincial town in the Philippines and there were no dance studios around. When I moved to Pennsylvania, my access to dance studios were very limited. It was the rise of YouTube that really showed me the world of hip hop dance/choreography dance. YouTube gave me access to videos of Hip Hop OGs and dancers like Shaun Evaristo and Lyle Beniga and Marty Kudelka. With YouTube, I was able to teach myself the foundations of Hip Hop and just dance in general. And my experience is not unique. A lot of people who had access to YouTube were able to teach themselves through that. Now you have YouTube channels like Steezy and Dance On, etc. that gives you access to dance classes online! The internet has also provided a whole new realm for artists to share their art.

Melissa: V cool. V cool. Now I've seen some of your videos and I'm like at home pretending I'm YOU LOL. Anyways.... I wanna know what shows or media content are on your radar? Any recommendations?

Bea: If you’re talking about dancers on YouTube? I’ve been following my cousins Christopher Martin and Mariel Madrid (Mariel Martin). Just kidding. We’re not related, we just have the same last name. A girl can dream. But in all seriously, YouTube has allowed me to follow artists like Chris Martin and Mari Madrid and Keone Madrid. They are just few of the artists that I really look up to (Shaun Evaristo, Lyle Beniga, etc.) They are the few artists on YouTube that are truly dedicated to their crafts and are very truthful to their art. That’s something that I aspire and strive for—honest art.

As for TV shows that I watch, I’m really big on honest art and honest representation and authenticity (can’t you tell I love honesty?), Issa Rae’s Insecure is on my top 5. I am absolutely obsessed with the new show on Freeform called The Bold Type. What these two shows really have are truthful portrayal of people. These shows are very unapologetic about showcasing the errors of people and just being human. And I think that’s beautiful. That goes for other shows like Brooklyn 99 where it is comedy but it be dropping truth bombs left and right! Haha.  

Melissa: If there's one thing you wish you could see in mainstream media? What would that be?

Bea: Me. I want to see me in mainstream, portrayed truthfully and unapologetically. I don’t mean me, Bea Martin, but me as in Asian American/Pacific Islander, queer, woman—a complex human. In a perfect world, right? haha

Get connected with Bea via @thebeamartin

Bea freestyling at Elebration Philly  Photo by: Saeed Briscoe

Bea freestyling at Elebration Philly

Photo by: Saeed Briscoe

Melissa Ly