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|Q&A by NICKY LONDON|
|a) Where do you originate from and when did you arrive in New York?
My family is from Korea. I was born in America, grew up in South Carolina. I attended North Carolina School of the Arts for a year and then transferred to the Boston Conservatory. I lived in Boston for 4 years and I was visiting New York throughout those years and finally moved to NYC the week of Sept.11, 2001.
b) Current occupation and/or title (i.e., designer, make-up artist, etc.)
I recently ended a career as a makeup artist (6 years) and I am currently devoting all of my energy to "Kim Aviance". Since arriving
on the New York scene 6 months ago, I am proud to be a part of Happy Valley, Opaline, and The Bank.
c) Inspiration (movies, designers, performers, music, color, etc., etc.)
Ignorance, Middle America, American Pop Culture, My Parents, New York City Nightlife, creatures of the underground, homosexuals, the topic of drugs, other cultures and anything not "normal".
Dance, Martha Graham, George Balanchine, the Alexander Technique, Madonna, Jose Xtravaganza, Grace Jones, Renaissance men, Andy Warhol, John Galliano, Issey Miyake, Kenny Kenny, Mother Juan, Kevin, Josephine, La Gere, and Sky Aviance.
Fashion, the re inventor of club music for 2 generations- Larry T. My family of friends from Boston, Lee Tergesen, photography, anything from black to white, anything between male and female and MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
d) Objective - Tell me your dreams, why did you come to New York, what are your aspirations?
Like every other successful artist...to continue my path as a performer.
I moved to New York to continue my dance training at Alvin Ailey. I also needed to leave the club scene in Boston. I hungered for more while living in Boston, even as the "it" girl of that time. It bores me to feel comfortable in life. I didn't attend the Ailey school, after being accepted, because anatomically I was male and they require male dancers to only take male curriculum. It seemed to me, that gender was the reason I was rejected from the dance world. I was already working as a performer but also as a makeup artist in Boston for a major photographer, so I resorted to make-up to continue living in New York. After auditioning for companies and taking my portfolio around I realized Sept.11, 2001 is not a good time to move to New York. I finally landed a job at Pierre Michel Hair Salon on 57th Street. It was there that I gained a lot of knowledge on the effect you can bring on people and your surroundings. I realized that I had found a way for people to not reject me. Instead they were curious and it came naturally to me. The thought of people not being threatened by subjects that were unfamiliar to them amazed me. I guess me never seeking acceptance from them allowed people to view who I was as a person and what I brought to the table instead of just what I was. Now, I just wanted to combine all of the things I loved to do together and create an outlet for me to artistically fly. A place where music, dance, fashion, art, and gender illusion can all be expressed through me.
To me that is where my happiness lies. To be able to combine all the things I love to do with things people have passed on through me and create something fresh that can be shared on a mass scale. I want artists to be inspired, others to expand their views. Also I want to send a message to let people know the road doesn't have to be a lonely one. To make a point that will encourage people to think outside of the box. To be a performer that can bring together anybody and everybody is what drives me. Unity. My dream is to especially re-unite the gay community. We are some of the most fascinating creatures in this world and great strength lies in unity. To me without unity among our culture ignorance will always believe what they believe and that allows them to keep us right where they want us. In the world, dating back to Da Vinci, homosexuals have been known to be the the creators and makers. My dream is to educate as many people as I can reach and surpass the point of just being accepted. My dream includes showcasing the real masterminds behind most of today's jobs. I seek gender equality as well as equality for people despite their sexual orientation. I have parents who never understood my life and most of the world is just like them. I have the choice to allow them to hold me back and keep me where they need me or the choice to make things happen.
e) Where do see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
In a show...with me styling the clothes, the hair, and the make-up, on pointe shoes, playing an electric violin in a futuristic couture kimono, with a stage full of dancers doing my choreography...lol. In 5 to 10 years I hope I am in a similar place mentally but I think life is already mapped out and I like not knowing what the future holds. The possibility of something being endless leaves room for me to grow. I do know I will start a show or company one day, structured like Cirque du Sollel. I want the show to showcase many talents of the underground world but not exploit what makes it underground. I am step closer after every night and I have been accumulating contacts of artists of all sorts that I hope to work with for it. I am also very passionate about recording music and I am
ready now to collaborate with other artists to record. I feared the amount of "useful" music training I had was going to be minimal in regards to what I what I want for my music, but really I just needed to remember all of my knowledge is useful. Music to me is having something to say and I never seem to have that problem anyway. Music can be your religion and one can use music for spiritual guidance, instead of an organized religion.
f) If you could give one piece of advise to someone who has aspirations of following in your footsteps what would it be?
NEVER FOLLOW. Take your own footsteps but use others as guidelines. Nobody should tell you how to do things. If you feel right about what you are doing, do it. I also believe it is not "what" you do but "how" you do it. There is only one way a person who seeks good you should live...find what makes them happy and just live. "When you live, everyone lives." Try to think of your ultimate place of happiness, where you could have it your way. Don't listen to any negative voices including your own, if it doesn't involve hurting
someone think daily of that happiness is to you...and I say...make it happen. The truth is that nobody stands in the way usually, but you. Own your feelings, and embrace your insecurities. Nothing can make you feel a certain way, except you. Keep Pushin' On, Step By Step, and Make It Happen. At times I think we can all be so negative and become discouraged about things in our life, but being aware of your dreams can help bring you support. Being aware of words and expressions we use daily can help build strength, like habitually saying "that's weird," when really it's good. When you say things out loud you are confirming what ever it is you are saying, which may not be exactly what you feel and you are then sending it out into the universe. It's nice knowing my life is no longer "weird" to me.
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