Timing is everything.
Sunday, feeling almost caught up in the writing part of this #AtoZMadness (but still way behind on reading!), I had the task of cranking out a post to go with the letter K. Oy. Kaleidoscope? Karma? Kaput? Kayak?
(I could write about the time I almost died in a kayak – or was that a canoe?)
Well, I still could have tied it to kaput! But I got a test from a friend named Kelly on Sunday afternoon checking in on how things are going (happens a lot with the COVID, and I’m grateful!) and wondering if I’d published our interview for #GirlsRock.
Keenly timed, wouldn’t you say?
Please give a warm CD welcome to Kelly Calhoun. She’s done it all, and even better, has an introspective mindset about how it all works and what it all means. Her accomplishments are second only to her kindness! Enjoy her story.
Eli: When you were little, what did you think you’d grow up to be?
Kelly: A performer, singer or dancer.
Eli: Did you dabble in any of those things?
Kelly: It is funny that you ask that because, as a musician / DJ / performer my band and I will actually be playing a show in Raleigh at the Ritz. This is a very exciting time for us because this will be our first Southern show and the first time we will be officially releasing this album!
As a performer at heart, I also enjoy walking the runway as a model and have been involved in the fashion, modeling industries for some time now and have no plans on slowing down in this field. I recently produced an athlete-interview. I have also been featured as a lead actress in a feature film. The entire movie can be found here. [Trailer for the feature film]
Eli: I checked out the trailer. Looks compelling! And I’m definitely going to watch the movie. What was that experience like, being the lead?
Kelly: Being a lead actress in a feature film was a new experience for me at the time. It was a very exciting role, and it taught me a lot about how to work in the moment and adapt to changes in a creative environment. I truly feel that the and result of this film was a masterpiece and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have acted in the movie.
I feel that playing live music has a similar aspect to it, with having to be in the moment and adapt to constant changes in a creative environment.
Eli: Tell me about a time you did that, adapted to change creatively.
Kelly: I think of the Apple advertisement, “Think Different.” This meme is excellent advice to all creative trailblazers and entrepreneurs. By nature, I have found it a positive thing for one to be able to see opportunities that other people may miss in a situation. What comes to mind with your question for me is working in the fast-paced environment of a fashion show, both as a runway model and assisting with show production.
Through experience, I have found that no matter what my read is on how a fashion show is going to go, the end result will always surprise me! Without fail. I can ask . . . will the Looks be edgier? High glam? Heritage chic? Each show usually encompasses a combination of these and more to create something completely new! And fashion happens so fast, it is so “in the moment.” Whether literally or metaphorically, I think that artists take the key step of looking at the familiar in an unfamiliar way.
I will close with a quote from the late Bill Cunningham, “He who seeks beauty will find it.”
Eli: Where do you find beauty?
Kelly: I find beauty in the outlook people have on themselves in the world. It’s like the Bill Cunningham quote that I mentioned with my answer to your last question. I really believe that we as people have the power to create our own reality. I find much beauty in the people I encounter who really put the effort into acting as such.
Eli: What’s next for you?
Kelly: That is a total secret! Because it has not launched yet.
Eli: Fair enough! Let’s go back a little. You mentioned our power to create our own reality. Tell me a little more about that.
Kelly: In daily life, we need only make an attitude adjustment to deliver us from suffering to joy and be rewarded with peace of mind. It takes effort, but the result is well worth it.
Eli: Tell me about the way you’ve been able to do this.
Kelly: Well, studies have shown that how people react to other individuals and events is largely influenced by their perception and not the actual individuals or events. I find this to be true.
I think that by working on my personal development as a human being, of course, it’s a daily work in progress, but I have found with the assistance of some wonderful people in my life that I have been able to grow enough as a human being to shift my perception to see the best in people and circumstances in life as much as I am able.
Eli: How has that shift in perspective helped you professionally?
Kelly: One word: patience. By falling in love with the process and not trying to force a certain outcome, I find myself to be capable of making the right choices, both professionally and personally, with the desired results.
Eli: I get that. To you, does it feel like the process takes its own course, and you’re along for the ride, to some extent?
Kelly: I feel like in order to be successful one must find an appropriate balance between the two. Between allowing the process to take its own course (i.e. “getting out of your own way”) but you must also know when you must act in order to reach your goals, and you must have the courage to do so. Unfortunately, I do not think that we live in a world where collaborative cooperation is the norm. Taylor Swift calls the current M.O. of the world “the takedown society” (love her!). I have personally found a lot of truth in this and I believe that others would say the same. Therefore, do not look outside of yourself, but within, to find that unique balance for you.
When you think about it, everyone always says they want “world peace,” so much so that it’s become a fashionable trend at the moment. But yet, it doesn’t seem like we are moving very close towards that goal in a major way, does it? At least it doesn’t seem that way when you take into consideration the current state of the world right now, and when you take the time to meditate on it, this has been the current state of the world from the beginning of time; and that current state is so the opposite of “world peace.”
So, I think as humans the most we can ask of ourselves is to find that balance, which is unique to each one of us. And at the same time, do our best to not interfere and to respect each other while we are all in the process of living our lives and doing the same. The balance between being active and passive, in order to reach our goals.
Eli: I couldn’t agree more! Good in small pickets finds other good in small pockets, I believe. We have to change what’s within us before we can influence change around us. We’ve reached the final questions here. Is there anything we haven’t covered that you feel is important to know?
Kelly: I feel like we have dug into some great things here! We’ve definitely covered a lot already, I just want to reiterate how important it is for people to follow their hearts.
Eli: What advice would you like to give people about following their hearts?
Kelly: Tune into their inner wisdom, get to know it a little. What is the feeling like? As soon as they can answer that for themselves, I would advise them to tune into that as much as possible and follow what they are hearing from their inner wisdom.
E is for End-of-your-career awards
F is for Frank, my uncle
H is for ✊🏻 haiku (my quarantine journal)