We had the good fortune of connecting with Olga Saretsky and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olga , how has your work-life balance changed over time?
“Balance between Life and work” this type of thoughts for long time was not even existed for me simply because I strongly and fully dedicated to do what I love, which is Creating Art. First it was a Dance, then design , then theater and circus , by the age of 40 all skills and knowledge united in one vision, gave me stability and confidence in my direction… then what? What next? I start notice that I don’t exercise enough, not spending enough time in nature or seeing friends or relatives, not acting on promise to learn more, pushing hobbies aside…. What happened to me? First time in my life I understand that even if I love my job and it is fulfilling me immensely , I still need a BALANCE , I still need time along and time with nature, I do need my relatives around, I do need to rest and time for contemplation. I also noticed that my job was a cover for old traumas and being so dedicated to it is not going to resolve them and soften my heart. Its been active 2 years now that I start working on myself more differently then before, instead of pushing darkness inside I let it flow out of me in silence of nature, trough meditation and isolation, trough simple fast , trough recollection of the memories, I let it all go little by little. Writing, singing and dancing does help to let it out. I think I’m on good track now , I contemplate to spend the rest of my life more mindful to myself and others, more secure and peaceful for myself and others, more kind, more accepting, more balanced. My goal is to live life alive, and to leave life consciously, full of love.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started creating costumes and little performances ever since I was 5 years old. I desperately want to be a dancer or circus performer , I absolutely loved the stage sins I can remember myself. Even so I was born in to creative family , ( father was a sculptor and designer , mother is a school teacher) ,my parents decide not to encourage me to pursue dance career but they also did not try to stop me from pursuing it. At age 17 I organized my first dance trio and start making income with my ideas, choreographies, costuming, in same time I was study Fashion design at local collage where I graduated. It was 6 years after USSR crashed and many countries like Kazakhstan (where I am from) was stragling , I turned 19 and realized that my persistence to support myself with art is working and if I continue this way something good will come out of it. Looking back now, I see my lesson clearly – In every crushed system there is always an opportunities to build a new system. I literally was a pioneer in modern entertainment industry of Kazakhstan without knowing it, I did created jobs that previously was unheard of in post Soviet Union, my passion for performance art was stronger then fear of rejection and there was rejections. It was not easy and to be hones its never easy, but it gets simpler with time. I moved to US (Miami) at age 27 and continue my performance art career, there was allot to learn for me here, so I got busy contacting all possible performance art companies, main time I put myself trough dance school ,learning new dance skills .For next 2 years, I quickly understood ,that I need more training to get desirable dance or acting gigs and I work heard on it till finally I start receiving calls for desirable work. My happy Dance career finally took off in US and presented opportunities to co create with one of the best Miami artists. 5 years after I arrived to US and start my freelance job as a performer, I began to receive performance requests from event agents directly , they was requesting specific solo acts and group acts that I was producing. This is when I decide to open entertainment company and named it Kikimora Studio, it was 2011. Kikimora Studio started as an alternative to the typical patriarchal showgirl esthetic used for entertainment and interactions common in the event industry and replaced it with imaginative “creatures” that allow the performers to step outside their human selves into their own “creature” uniqueness to provide guests with an out of the ordinary experience using the circus arts as a creative bridge. Our company’s path has not always been easy because we go against the grain producing out of the box non-commercial products and services, and also it’s been a constant struggle to make ends meet during the notorious off season in Florida, which in an entire 3 months every single year, of very low event booking (almost non-existent) in the summer months of June, July, and August each year. Struggling to pay bills i decided to explore retail options to supplement company income and keep the business afloat. i began creating custom sewn costumes for the dance, circus, and performance arts community. In 2014 Kikimora Fashion was established on the Etsy platform and became a complete joy and success. Customers love to purchase from our store, leaving amazing reviews and always coming back to order more goods. https://www.etsy.com/shop/KikimoraFashion?ref=seller-platform-mcnav Here it is , once again, I found solution for a low season in Florida , now we fully busy creating during the summer. If not this difficulties I would never know the joy of creating something special for someone you don’t know and that someone is now all over the world. 4 years after Kikimora Fashion opened its store online the opportunity to move out of the home studio presented itself and I took a leap forward. 2018 Kikimora Studio officially got a business office and google location YEEEE!! We couldn’t be happier! https://vimeo.com/262124604 Our Studio provides enough space to host small events for the community and we did many of them! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X47MsYVtrE4&t=5s Our rehearsal space allows to explore art of movement. A high ceiling allows us to work on bigger art projects like a giant Marie Antoinette https://vimeo.com/381720380 or a Heart mascot character Mister Hearty, for a non-profit charity organization https://vimeo.com/402195734 It took us 7 years to get to this joy of finally having a dedicated space. We’re now into 2 years of a business location and due to the Covid outbreak, we are facing moving out due to the subsequent entertainment industry crash. So we start to sew Face masks, first for donation then sell for general public. Good things came out of it , not only we be able to pay our bill this month but also found solution for recycling leftover high quality fabric. Mask Making is our participation in SUSTAINABLE fashion. Due to the nature our of catsuit production we accumulate big verity of perfect fabric for masks so nothing goes to waist and that’s makes us extremely happy for the environment. Everything happen for a reason, we just need to keep your eye open and ears sharp.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
If someone come visit me in Florida I would defiantly take them to Coral Castle museum , Murakami Japanese park museum, Vzcaya museum and park., there is so many things to love about Miami parks, white sand beaches and cultural food markets. We would take a bike ride to the beach or trough the Wynwood , we would visit art galleries and Artists studios. Enjoy the outdoor yoga, enjoy each other conversation. What is not to love about Miami!? probably many things but also there is many amazing things to adore about Miami and this is what we will focus on during friends visits. Beauty and wonder.
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?
Amir S. Roth – Vice President Kikimora Studio Kriston Burnstein – General Manager, Lead performer.