Perfect Pitch: Kala Maxym
Updated: Sep 15, 2022
Founder, CEO, Performer
Current City: Los Angeles, CA.
Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Founder & CEO of Five Senses Tastings; Sensory Wellness events that bring the five senses into harmony through the careful pairing of food, wine, and music.
Notable Prior Jobs: Senior Program Analyst at the Criminal Division of the USDOJ Customer Success Manager at VC-backed tech firm, Smartling, Inc. Professional Opera Singer.
When I Started Performing: In my living room: always! Professionally: middle school.
Performing Arts Background: Aspen Opera Theater Center, Diva Opera European Tour, Opera Santa Barbara, Wilton Hall - London, Walt Disney Hall Sang for lots of choruses: Pacific Chorale, Musica Viva NYC, Choral Arts Society of Washington, Choir of the Canterbury Cathedral (UK) Bassoonist and pianist Sang for London Inaugural Ball for President Barack Obama (2008) Sang for Chilean Presidents Michelle Bachelet and Sebastián Piñera Perform for various charities, including Doctors Without Borders, Pamoja Tunaweza (Tanzania), Chilean Earthquake Relief (joint venture with the British Embassy Santiago, the Gabriela Mistral Foundation, and the Chilean Mission to the United Nations).
How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? Being a performer requires you to be not only creative but also strategic, patient, quick-thinking, and endlessly resilient. My path to performing took a while: I tried my hardest NOT to be a performer for most of my life, thinking music was the "easy" path so I chose to study something that was really challenging for me: politics. HA! I could never really leave performing so I minored in music, and moonlit as a performer during college and my first professional experiences working for the government. At the beginning of a performer's journey, the endless cycle of "practice - prepare - perfect" seems like it will eventually lead you to success. Be it the role you desperately want, the conductor you're dying to sing with, or the stage you know you just have to step on once in your life, you truly believe that if you do these things enough, you will get the job. And then, after a while, you realize that this is not the answer. The rejections outnumber the acceptances at a rate that makes your head spin, and sometimes the audition you think you totally bombed lands you the job you didn't even think was within arm's reach. After a few years, you realize that while these three steps are indeed key to one's "success," performing is really much more of a crap-shoot, if you will. Kind of like life, I guess. I used to address my business the same way, agonizing over every detail of every email. And sure, I still do that sometimes, and I always want my grammar to be correct (!), but I have realized that my clients don't just buy my services. They buy... me. My personality, my vision, my creativity. Knowing that perfection is an unattainable (if conceptually worthy) goal relieves some of the undue pressure on us as small business owners to "always get it right." What I learned as a performer - rejection after rejection - is that there are very few "perfect matches" – or acceptances – in performing. It is the persistence, the ability to pivot quickly and gracefully, the ability to step back when you need to in order to reassess and then boldly go forward, even if you don't have all the answers, that gets you the job in the end.
Favorite Performer: Ummm... you want me to pick just one :) Tash Sultana, Maria Callas, and a lot of my friends whose names aren't on any billboards but whose voices have touched my soul.
Follow this Performer:
Instagram - @fivesensestastings
Facebook - fivesensestastings
LinkedIn - /in/kalamaxym