We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelly Maglia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelly, how do you think about risk?
I used to bounce between the rush of risk-taking and the velvet-coffin of playing it too safe. I’m definitely the daughter of my entrepreneurial father and my more reticent mother – so much so that they STILL both sit on either shoulder, like the proverbial angel/devil 🙂 But I’ve learned that BOTH risk and reticence are important for entrepreneurs. You need to be able to step outside of your comfort zone if you are ever to achieve anything. And indeed, if you fancy yourself a cutting-edge artist, thinker, or inventor, you HAVE to be willing to go where no one has gone before. It’s scary, but it’s the ONLY way to go! However, I’ve also learned that having a safety net is not a bad thing. Early in my career, I subscribed to the “leap and the net will appear” philosophy – which got me into some sticky situations. These days, I take more calculated risks. Meaning, I do take deliberate steps outside of my comfort zone, but I make sure that if I fall down, I will be OK no matter what. I’ve also learned to embrace failure as a huge gift! If you’re not failing a little bit from time to time, you’re not expanding – which could eventually put you out of business. But if you’re too wild and don’t think through the consequences of failure before taking a big step, you can end up having to dig yourself out of a big hole. But in the end, even a big mess has its lessons for you, so you can turn any experience into gold!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I consider myself a rock n roll polerina and fashionista. I started life as a classical singer, but my heart has always belonged to rock n roll! These days, I’m making music that combines opera with 80s-style hard rock, and when I perform live, I also perform on a pole. As with my singing, I’ve brought classical influences to my pole dancing. I have extensive ballet training, and I combine this with exotic-style movement both on stage and in my music videos. I’m also a costume/fashion designer, so I design all of the costumes for my stage shows and music videos, and I have a line of glam-wear that caters to fellow performers as well as any woman with Big Diva Energy! When I perform live with my band, I call my shows “Cirque du Rock.” Think: Van Halen meets Cirque du Soleil. I feature not only my awesome band, but myself on pole and always a cast of beautiful pole dancers and contortionists as well. And of course, we’re all wearing crazy costumes 🙂 Combining all of this has taken me some time, and it was not always easy. It took me many years to really believe in myself. I kept hearing this voice in my head that said, “You wanna be a rock star? Yeah, so does everyone. Good luck with that!” But finally, I couldn’t ignore my dream any more. I was so tired of living a mundane life that I decided I needed to take the risk and go for it! I had been running a costume business for a while, so it wasn’t a huge leap for me to turn my attention to also selling and marketing music. It was the internal leap that was the most difficult; giving myself permission to fully be ME meant I had to unlearn years of thinking that said I should be a “good girl” and behave like a responsible middle class adult. It wasn’t until I understood that I could be both rock star and entrepreneur that things really blossomed for me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, I’m a rock n roll girl at heart, so I would want to show any guest LA’s famous Sunset Strip! In non-pandemic times, I would take them to rock shows at the Whisky a Go Go, The Viper Room, and for a late-night dinner and drinks at The Rainbow. On another night, we’d also take in a rock show at The Lucky Strike in Hollywood, and then on to a nightcap or two at the pole-dancing dive bar, Jumbo’s Clownroom. I would also take my guests to my fave local hangout – Jones Hollywood (which I consider to be my very own Cheers!). I also love the winding streets of Silverlake, so we’d definitely do some shopping and dining there. I would also treat them to the beautiful view of downtown LA from the rooftop bar/restaurant, Perch. And to cap everything off, I would take this guest to the beach, teach them to surf (if they’re willing!), and then we’d have cocktails and dinner at Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, followed by a midnight burlesque show in the basement of Townhouse in Venice. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people to thank for the success of my business (including my parents & my dear friends)! My music producer Konstantin Silich has been a huge foundation of my musical journey. My music video director and pole coach Veronica Nichols has also been a constant collaborator and rock of emotional support. My dear friend and coach T Keaton-Woods has advised me in business and talked me off the ledge many times 🙂 And recently, I have been coached in business & mindset by Katie Zaccardi and Quazi Johir, and I’m so thankful for their mentorship!
Photos by Mike Quain and Kelly Maidy.