He found a new girlfriend, and she inspired him to at least have fun making videos again. Whenever he'd go on vacation or take a hike, he'd make a little video and upload it to YouTube. It was a video diary of sorts. He'd be open about his life, his ups and downs, as well as his experiences. Then a friend asked Kramer to make him a vacation recap video, and that friend happened to be friends with a guy who managed an up-and-coming DJ and producer named 3LAU.
“He went through my YouTube and he was like, 'yo, this stuff you're making for yourself, I would pay you to go on tour with this DJ,'” Kramer remembers. '”We'll pay you $250 a day,' and I'm like '$250 a day? I don't even know what that looks like,' but I literally almost didn't go. I was so in my comfort zone back then. I didn't like people in my space, and I just didn't know if I could do it. A lot of it was just in my head, and I think a lot of that's what fear is. It's just preventing you from doing what you wanna do, when all you have to do is just do it.”
It snowballed from there. Videos with 3LAU turned into a music video for Avicii. He got a tour with Martin Garrix, which led him to Justin Bieber. Kramer excelled because of his hunger and a down-to-earth attitude; he isn't interested in taking the same glamour shot at every show – although he certainly can. The crux of his work is in finding the human behind the star, and exploring the reality of life in front of a camera.
“You see them at their best, see them at their worst, and have access to their information at any time,” he says. “You can develop these new stories. You can take concert footage ... but you can give it a new perspective.”
Kramer's favorite episode of Dare to Live stars Steve Aoki, precisely because of its truth. The two met on the road and often talked about one day going cliff diving. The show gave Kramer the perfect excuse to make good, but it also gave him the chance to speak about the fear of losing his father. Aoki had once opened up about losing his own dad to pneumonia in 2008, and Kramer's father was recently diagnosed with cancer.
“He and I talked about the importance of balance,” Kramer says. “When you're with people that you wanna have quality time with, you've got to have the quality time. You can't be hanging out on your phone. You've got to be fully present, and that's really helped change my perspective on a lot of things, and how I view my relationships.”
All that real talk came between bouts of swimming with sharks, rip-tide surfing, and cliff jumping, with Aoki all the time one-upping the stunt-prone philosopher. It was the episode in which Kramer pushed himself the most, physically and emotionally.