We had the good fortune of connecting with Kate Conklin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kate, how does your business help the community or world?
The impact of this work is designed to cooperate with the inextricable web of relationships of individuals and cultures with the planet- it is by nature, ecological. When we hone our skills of performance, which are really communication skills, we are actively including ourselves and the world in entirety. We are whole, and interconnected, and this work makes that the central principle from which all other decisions are derived. Quite frankly, recognizing our wholeness and cooperating with ourselves and each other is the most important thing we can do. Performing arts and media are among of the most powerful ways we reflect and change culture, dream about, and ultimately realize, what’s possible.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work as a singer is all about wildness and precision. Singing is like flying- there is both incredible control and total adaptability involved at all times. I learned about singing as a career from people like Tori Amos and Nina Simone, and the gift of that education was that these powerful women were exquisitely skilled, deeply connected to the infinite, and did not hew to any sort of traditional career as I understood it. In short, they did what they wanted. For me, this set the concept of singing as infinite, and I’ve never ruled out doing something if I truly want to do it, and think I can approach it with respect and integrity. That means that I sing in 17 languages, very often in Bulgarian, because when I am significantly moved by music, I change my life. That has meant learning to sing opera, North Indian music, contemporary experimental music, studying in Bulgaria with some of the best singers in the world, learning to conduct, joining Cirque du Soleil, and deciding to make a deliberate study of extraordinary human performance, so that I would be able to continue to grow and explore.
My coaching is about using all of that to help other performers do the same. I have analyzed the most potent principles of peak performance, learning and human coordination, and I use that framework to coach the most extraordinary performers in the world. Since we are a global community, we have been working virtually for years at this point, and I have developed a comprehensive, collaborative method that works beautifully online as well as in person. I also do sessions and courses for non-performers, people who just want to move and feel better. The same principles that help someone do backflips or sing Mozart can be applied to computer use and fitness. Currently I have several online courses, The Foundations Course for Professional Singers, Human Movement & Design, and The Online Bulgarian Singing Course. You can find out more here: https://kateconklin.com/
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
OK I LOVE this question- and this is going to be food heavy! For activities, my favorites are the Annenberg Pool and Huntington Gardens. Lots of walks and swimming are my favorite things. I would also find out what my circus friends and clients are doing (Emma Peele doing fire or Burlesque, Stefan Haves producing a variety show) and go hang out there- it’s a great circus scene here. I would also see any performances by Jodie Landau (vocalist/composer/condcutor/percussionist) and Danny Holt (pianist/percussionist) and Jett Kwong Kelly (vocalist/composer/vocalist, Chinese guzheng player) all of whom are brilliant performers, and beautiful humans. Now, the food: (I eat mostly paleo, and all of these picks are G, refined sugar-free, and absolutely delicious.) Pizzana for Gluten-Free Caccio e Pepe pizza, Breadblok for GF Pain du Chocolate, Sweet Laurel Cake Shop for anything, but right now the ice cream sandwiches are big with me, and Frozen Fruit Co for the best coconut-based ice cream. It’s heaven. And Erewhon Markert for pretty much anything else… I would also source Gluten-Free Sourdough Pizza Dough from WOWBakesLA and make a pizza and a Sweet Laurel cake at home (my favorites are German Chocolate and Chocolate Raspberry.)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The framework I use in my art, coaching and life is Systems Thinking. I learned about it from Fritjof Capra (https://www.fritjofcapra.net/) , a scientist, educator, activist and author, who has online courses that I think every human should experience. Capra Course is a phenomenal introduction and exploration of the systemic conception of life at the forefront of science and its application in economics, management, politics, design, medicine, and law. Capra is unique in that his work includes many ways if knowing, from cutting edge science, to ancient wisdom. His influence for me is inestimable.
Shawn Flint Blair, Hannah Arista