Though COVID ended Kevin Patrick Martin’s national tour of the Broadway musical “Jersey Boys,” the actor didn’t give up. He returned to Rhode Island and created a business for himself. Martin is seated far left.
“Job security is the biggest challenge in this business,” says Martin. “A show can end for any number of reasons. It could be that your contract ran out or that you got injured or the producer decided to close the show down. I think one of the skills every actor learns is resiliency.”
Martin had been performing in regional theaters across the country ever since he graduated from RIC’s theater program in 2009. After two-and-a-half years, he moved to New York and got himself an agent. By 2017 he had scored what most actors dream of – a role in the national tour of a Tony-Award®-winning musical.
“Jersey Boys” traces the true-life story of Franki Valli and The Four Seasons. As a member of the ensemble cast, Martin plays a host of characters and understudies for Tommy DeVito, one of the Four Seasons. He’s performed in over 600 shows in 45 states.
But when COVID cut his tour short, Martin left New York and returned to Rhode Island, where he began planning to start his own business. This is something he had already attempted years ago as owner of a baking business called Sweets by Kevin.
“I got into baking when I was doing regional theater,” Martin explains. “During my down time, I loved watching the cupcake wars on the Food Network. I learned the art of baking from those shows and from a lot of Martha Stewart recipes and YouTube videos. Then I started developing my own recipes. I wound up competing on the Food Network on a show called ‘Bakers vs. Fakers.’”
Martin also prepared delicacies for Broadway show opening nights, delighting the palates of fellow actors and their audiences. Yet these days Sweets by Kevin is on the back burner to make room for Martin’s new business venture – the voice-over business.
Titled KPM Voice Over, Martin uses his vocal and acting training to produce commercial and radio advertisements, e-learning presentations, video productions and more. He’s also managed to incorporate his baking into his branding. KPM’s tagline is: A Feast for Your Ears, while the homepage displays a parade of sweets marching along the bottom of the page. His promotional material also hints of food, such as “Let me make it worth your salt.”
While Martin is picking up gigs from KPM Voice Over, he’s also anticipating going back on tour with “Jersey Boys” by late fall. If COVID has taught him anything, it’s that his skills are broad enough to go beyond stagecraft.
“I also found that there are things in my life that are as equally important to me as the stage,” he says. “I’m going to be married next year. I’d love to have a family. I think I’m more open to change now and more accepting of new paths in my life.”