We had the good fortune of connecting with Susan Vishmid and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Susan, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking calculated risks in life and business is absolutely essential in order for your business to move forward. When I finally stopped caring what others think and just went for what I want to achieve good things started to happen. Fear of failure is not an option for me. I am not afraid even if I make a wrong decision because success is not achieved without failure. No one achieves success in anything without trial and error. Understanding that there is no “right way” or no “one way” to do things is also key to risk management. We do the best we can with the time, resources and information we have available to us at any given moment.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a professional ballet dancer. My journey began at age 4 at Westside Ballet in Santa Monica, I have danced with numerous professional companies including the Pennsylvania Ballet, California Riverside Ballet, City of Angeles Ballet, San Diego Opera, Santa Fe Opera and Chicago City Ballet to name a few. I started my own company Freaks With Lines® in 2017 because I was not seeing the opportunities that I wanted in Los Angeles for classicaly trained dancers. I view everything through the lens of ballet and therefore can offer viewers a unique perspective on the art in today’s world. Anyone who says professional ballet is easy clearly has no experience in the art form. The amount of grit, diligence and tenacity this art form requires molds one into a strong individual mentally and physically. Dealing with rejection on a weekly or even daily basis is certainly a key component of the job description. My company, Freaks With Lines® serves as a platform to showcase both independent and collaborative works between professional dancers and other creatives in various disciplines. Dancers are FREAKS who live, eat and breathe to create LINES and ultimately scrutinize those creations. Dance is a self serving art form… Freaks With Lines® are the creators and the consumers of our own art. I am most proud of the latest project I created, produced and co-starred in called (italicize name of TOR) Trilogy of Relations. Presented through the lens of ballet, (italicize name of TOR) Trilogy of Relations is an exposition on three different iterations of love. Freaks With Lines® dancers entice us into three pas de deux playing on themes of elation, manipulation and flirtation. (add space) Filmed in the gritty, concrete-ensconced core of Downtown Los Angeles, (italicize name of TOR) Trilogy of Relations exemplifies Freaks With Lines’ unique ability to produce raw and engaging performances anywhere, anytime. In typical Freak fashion we continue creating and consuming our beloved craft while tempting you the voyeur to accept the invitation to experience our work. (italicize name of TOR) Trilogy of Relations premieres on February 14th at 2pmPST exclusively on BalletProject.TV and will be available for streaming for 30 days with the purchase of a ticket. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.balletproject.tv/
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?
I would take my friend to downtown LA and show them around and make sure to check out the Last Bookstore. A true gem in Los Angeles. I would also take them to the Broad Museum in downtown. If it was summer I would try to check out a KCRW event. KCRW puts on great free concerts and shows, especially in the summer time. Lastly, I would take them to Santa Monica and show them around 3rd Street promenade and take them down Ocean Ave and possibly pop in for a happy hour at one of the many restaurants and bars by the beach. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Mario Nugara, my mentor. Working with Mario has shifted my entire approach and technique in ballet. Without him I doubt I would be where I am today in my career. Mario has taught me how to be an excellent dancer, dance instructor and essentially helped me realize that I truly am an expert in my field.
Martin Chalifour Eric Friedlander (only for personal image/headshot)