The invitation to Boman Martinez-Reid’s 18th birthday party was startling. It was 2016 and the Toronto native invited all of his friends to his family home.
“I basically just told them, ‘Come prepared. Cameras will be rolling,’” the content creator and TikTok star says. “I didn’t give them any more information, but they showed up and I recorded everything.”
Earlier that year Martinez-Reid had told his brother he wanted to have his own sitcom one day. When his brother asked, “Why wait?” an idea clicked with the enterprising teen, who had been editing family home movies since at least 2012. Sometimes those video clips came from a vacation or the annual Christmas show his mom organized that they all participated in, creating a Canadian holiday version of Saturday Night Live. So, on that fateful birthday, he invited his friends over with that warning before setting up the cameras and pressing record.
“Basically every conversation I was having was filmed and it was an altercation,” Martinez-Reid says now. That footage became the first few episodes of Reid It and Weep, a web series Martinez-Reid posted on YouTube for four seasons. “That’s where all of this kind of started.”
Over the past year in quarantine, Martinez-Reid has found massive success on TikTok. The content creator racked up millions of views on his posts that bring reality show-style drama to life’s most mundane (and absurd) moments. Someone coughing while speaking to you from a considerable distance turns into them coughing in your mouth; choppy editing previews a presumably damning moment that becomes meek when viewed within the larger context of the scene; and yes, that RuPaul’s Drag Race shade rattle punches up the stakes of an otherwise mediocre read.
Bomanizer, as he’s known on the growing profile, is a wonder and a success not just because he’s got a megawatt Colgate smile, flawless physique, acting training, and a knack for comedy. It’s also because of the time he’s invested studying production of the reality shows he’s channeling, and mirroring those approaches in his work.
“I feel like now, more than ever, the general public is so excited about creators,” Martinez-Reid says. Shows like the aforementioned Drag Race as well as the Real Housewives franchise and Vanderpump Rules have all contributed to his “over-the-top” style of creation. “I hear the word ‘influencer’ less and less and the word ‘creator’ more and more,” he says. And it’s certainly at the right time.
There has been a recent prizing of creator-performers, or people who can both create and perform as talent. Stars like Nyle DiMarco, Daniel Levy, Mae Martin, Bowen Yang, and Ryan O’Connell come to mind. Martinez’s traction certainly began online during quarantine, after he began to pivot his content to the reality-inspired fare, but he seems to be making industry inroads as well. He’s signed to Creative Artists Agency, which represents many of Hollywood’s biggest names, and has appeared on billboards across Canada.
“Even to this day I have no idea what I’ve created,” the star says of his platform. Martinez-Reid admits that after getting off the phone with CAA he felt an onset of tension headaches “all down my back” from the pure excitement. “Because of quarantine I haven’t been able to leave a two-kilometer stretch of where I live, so I have no idea what I’ve created and the extent of it.”
But if the small moments of recognition at the local Pizza Nova mean anything, he’s certainly created something of note. This is only the beginning, of course. Martinez-Reid is already a part of The Gag, which is Comedy Central’s online platform for queer comics. He also has CAA at his side, which means, well, anything is possible.
“I want it all,” he admits after mentioning that he hasn’t seen his followers raising questions around him being gay, something he considers progress. “I want to do a show. I want two more shows on top of that. I want to see what I’m making to be turned into something more longer-form.”
“I have a board of great ideas in my room, and I wrote on it ‘become a rapper,’” he continues, clarifying that he’s both an actor and a creator, and is interested in pursuing both of those things — hopefully with support to come.
“We are a crew of one, right now,” he says. “And it’s me, just me. I’m the one.”
This story is part of Out's 2021 Travel Issue. The issue is out on newsstands on April 28, 2021. To get your own copy directly, support queer media and subscribe — or download yours for Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or Apple News.