Four months ago, in mid-May, I was sitting in my living room feeling a little sorry for myself...which is totally ridiculous because my life situation at the time was very comfortable, very safe, and surrounded by love and support (it still is!). But after two months of being quarantined at home, I was starting to feel a palpable lack of purpose. Sure, I was still gainfully employed by a company I loved, but there was still this nagging feeling that I wasn't doing enough for my community. I searched my brain - kinda burrowing thought-tunnels in my psyche, Shadow-Monster-style (Stranger Things fans unite!) - and then, piece by piece, I knew what I wanted to do.
Kinda cliché, isn't it? Mid-forties woman sitting in her mid-century living room deciding how to pivot her career just REEKS of mid-life crisis. (That's a lot of effing "mids" in that sentence, I just realized.) It seems like everyone these days is trying to figure out their next steps. COVID-19 has shown us all that life just doesn't always go according to plan. Sooooo....I started thinking that if life is so unpredictable anyway, then what's the risk in pursuing something you think just sounds, I don't know, cool?
And then I thought, I like people. And I thought, I like talking to people. And then I realized, Ya know, I REALLY like talking to people about money. And then: You know what would be freakin' cool? Talking to people about money who don't typically get a lot of it but have figured out a way to make it work for them. Wait, who is that? Who are the people in my circle who somehow have made dollars work for them, even though they're not super rich but they're clearly happy and inspired and produce amazing work? OMG you know who, Kim? ARTISTS. FREAKING ARTISTS are the ones who've figured it out.
(Yup, welcome to my thought process. Substitute "freaking" with another popular word starting with F and you've pretty much got the exact transcript of my internal monologue.)
And then, somewhere in that stream of consciousness, the words "dispel the myth of the starving artist" materialized in my mind, like a really beautifully painted thought bubble in a lovely serif font. (My next thought was wait, is "starving artist" capitalized? Do I want to lead with that image? And then the bubble kind of dissolved into pastel-colored ribbons while I debated the choice to capitalize or not to capitalize. Do you guys do this? Do your thoughts appear in color and in brushstrokes?)
Anyway, from that moment to now, I've been crafting The Nuance as a "thing" and even though it's not fully formed yet, I am really loving what it's turning out to be. Four months later I've had 17 interviews with artists from many worlds - from theatre, hip-hop, opera, sound design, game design, television - and in the pipeline I've got even more artist interviews lined up that are guaranteed to educate and inspire.
So exciting, right? Okay, fine, even if it's exciting to no one else but me; even if this project is the NICHIEST NICHE OF ALL NICHES, I'd like to claim this little tiny territory where art intersects with money, and mine the bejeezus out of it. Honestly, I think this is where we want to go. This is what we want to pay attention to, for the sake of the next generation of artists. Because - like I said earlier - life is unpredictable anyway, so who's to say that artists will always starve? Who's to say that artists aren't the folks who are going to TAKE OVER THE EFFING WORLD some day?
I dare you. I dare all of us to think about this - ALL of this - differently.
Anyway, it's time.
Welcome to THE NUANCE!!