Hi. My name is Cassandra, but you may or may not know me as the artist, KALLITECHNIS. What you also may not know about me is that I’m managed by my boyfriend. Now, you’re either reading this thinking, “cute” or “you’re doomed,” and I honestly can’t confidently say we’re a hundred percent representative of either. Why don’t I shed some light on the unusual dynamic, and tell you what I know about everything we are.
For starters, this isn’t a sappy love story. Our blue skies turn to grey, and back again at a faster rate than I can keep up with. It’s the nature of the game we’re in—a lot of highs and a lot of lows. Although, since I’m being honest, this isn’t entirely a sad love song either. Whether our skies are blue or grey or pink or yellow, the relationship is constantly adapting to be able to thrive, regardless of the colour.
“Imagine someone you love, strategically guiding you to lucrative opportunities, all while keeping your best interest in mind, respecting your creativity, highlighting your artistic integrity, as well as honouring your craft through decisions you make together. Pretty refreshing, right?”
What’s it like, you ask? A true test of the ego. And what is the ego? In informal terms, it’s the part of our minds — between the conscious and the unconscious —that is responsible for assessing reality and establishing a sense of identity. In my experience, my ego is hypersensitive to negative possible outcomes. And what that really boils down to is me overthinking about absolutely everything. No, really. EVERYTHING.
Imagine someone you love, strategically guiding you to lucrative opportunities, all while keeping your best interest in mind, respecting your creativity, highlighting your artistic integrity, as well as honouring your craft through decisions you make together. Pretty refreshing, right? To the average person, most definitely! But to an egotistical mind under the spell of insecurity, even the most beautiful part of any relationship can be soured by a distorted perspective of reality.
It all begins when insecurity comes into the picture. Insecurity, the ego’s overindulgent offspring, waltzes in one day, tall, looming, and wreaking of misery. It bears what appears to be a welcoming basket of awareness, which, with time, ultimately reveals itself to be the propaganda of crippling doubt and self-sabotage. What it really wants is your company. It crashes on your couch long enough for you to start wincing at the mere thought of it. Insecurity is a burden. But you already knew that. And it’s that same burden that can have an ego-centered person threatened by someone who’s just trying to help. It’s that same burden that often has me conflicted by the idea, that I, Cassandra, am being managed by a man. That the independent woman that I am, is having her talent handled by someone whose gender role reigns over the patriarchy: the same culprit known for notoriously taking advantage of fellow independent women.
“Here’s what it comes down to: the ego’s point-of-view isn’t reality. The fear that the ego presents as some form of self-preservation, often does the opposite of protecting me.”
Yes, my ego gets the best of me. But wouldn’t you be tempted to think you’re falling prey to the same dangerous dynamic that’s been haunting the music industry for decades? Women in all types of milieus tend to carry themselves with caution when men enter their places of business. History tells me to be wary. And my ego tells me to feel threatened by what could be, rather than what actually is. I carry every woman’s passed experience as I look into my partner’s eyes and have to trust that I know his character better than I know that all men will comport themselves in ways society has conditioned them to believe is appropriate; ways that have been used to manipulate the more vulnerable of sexes.
Here’s what it comes down to: the ego’s point-of-view isn’t reality. The fear that the ego presents as some form of self-preservation, often does the opposite of protecting me. The more I carry myself thinking there’s some sense of power I need to harbour from my manager, the more I realize I’m contributing to a problem that didn’t exist in the first place. The more I worry that I’ll get hurt, the more often I end up being the one doing the hurting. It’s a psychological phenomenon called the self-fulfilling prophecy, and it does a great job at helping you self-inflict some emotional turmoil.
Sociologist Merton coined the term “self-fulfilling prophecy” in 1948, defining it as: “A false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the originally false conception come true.” (Merton, 1968). Basically, if I feel threatened by my partner because I’m doubtful of his intentions, I’ll act (especially react) as if there’s truth to my uncertainties, which creates a fairly tense environment for the two of us that is particularly susceptible to misunderstanding, and ultimately results in an argument founded in nothing but speculation. I thought about a confrontation, acted like there should be one, and poof! There I have it: a confrontation.
“If I don’t stand firmly in what I know, the possibilities my ego entertains undermine the countless times my boyfriend has proven, through concrete action, that he isn’t at all the type of man I’m meant to worry about, thus tragically interfering with what is otherwise, a very healthy relationship”
But, the reality of the matter is, my manager is not just some stranger whose motives are unclear. My manager is my partner: he’s someone I’ve grown to learn, to trust, and to love for the past five years. And if I don’t acknowledge the truth in that statement, it’s quickly overshadowed by what my ego proposes as verity. If I don’t stand firmly in what I know, the possibilities my ego entertains undermine the countless times my boyfriend has proven, through concrete action, that he isn’t at all the type of man I’m meant to worry about, thus tragically interfering with what is otherwise, a very healthy relationship. In many ways, an ego just wants you for itself. It isolates you, pulling you apart from meaningful social bonds, tempting you with the idea that your dependency on others might be a foolish one; that you can proceed in this life relying on your own vices.
So ask me again. What’s it like? I’ll tell you: it’s challenging, it’s rewarding, and it makes so much sense. I get to work with my best friend on a project we’re both incredibly passionate about. We get to make music together, and we get to travel the world because of it. Sure, my ego shows up unannounced once in a while, but at the end of the day, KALLITECHNIS is a home I’ve built with my partner, and although other entities may come around to pay us a visit, our four walls protect a shared truth of mutual love and respect that no ego of mine gets the chance to compromise!
Header Image: Jon Carlo Tapia
*Editor’s Note: KALLITECHNIS released her latest project CHROMATIC on January 18th, listen below!