Lehigh Valley, PA
Kage tell us about yourself ?
My name is Kage Darkend. Kage is one of 3 personalities which is the most dominant. My legal name is Taylor Becote-Jones. I am originally from Teaneck, NJ. I lived out there with my mother and grandparents and two little sisters on my moms side. My dad was present in my life every now and then. At age 14 my parents were able to get a house in the Poconos East Stroudsburg area. I went to Stroudsburg high school and graduated in 2008.Then I went to Northampton Community College and majored in theatre for 2 years but didn’t finish.
When did you start getting into dance & acting?
I started getting into dance when I was a toddler. My mom and grandmother would always joke about doing the hammer dance. I grew up watching Michael Jackson, Usher, Sisquo just to name a few. These were the main people that I saw singing and dancing before I understood that you could be an actor as well. For acting Will Smith was the first person I looked at that made me want to act. It was from an iconic scene that everyone remembers from Fresh prince of Bel-Air when his dad shows up. Seeing the scene where Will Smith is breaking down stuck with me for acting. The comedy aspect from every black comedian starting with Redd Foxx all the way down to Dave Chappelle is the reason why I try to do comedy in general. This would help me when I’m at an open mic and working on different jokes that could make people laugh.
As an artist what are some of your challenges and how do you overcome them?
The number one challenge that I have is my mental health. There have been several different ways of dealing with it such as dancing, and parkour which has been my main physical outlet. I know I have split personalities, and black outs from time to time. Without having a proper medical diagnosis or therapy that I could trust it’s been really about trying to navigate the best way that I can. I know how I look at things that would make matters worse although I tried looking for therapy which is challenging because they have to understand me and be able to know where I’m coming from. Currently I am homeless and this has been a choice due to situations that I was dealing with.
To overcome this challenge I found different ways to fight! Although I made the choice to be homeless due to being tired of a very emotional and toxic situation that I was in and helped caused I still try to help people with their hardships and hope that it will help me with my hardships as well. My mother said to me “I have a horrible tendency of trying to take care of others more so than myself." But you want to become the person you needed as a kid. Teaching kids how to to do acrobatic moves and helping them to trust that they can do these moves is a process but helps me to be my best authentic self.
"I still try to help people with their hardships and hope that it will help me with my hardships as well.."
What helps you to keep going and what inspires you to help others to grow?
Honestly it’s love...for example my kids that I coach in tumbling class I teach in a way that they have to trust the process. Constantly talking with my kids and helping them get over mental blocks and face themselves which gives them confidence and being an example in that aspect. If one of the kids are afraid to do a move I would give them a drill so it forces them to face their fear. It’s designed to combat there comfort level. The kids are the main reason why I am alive today. Also watching dancers that I have danced with over the years progress and moved on helps me to also keep going!