Updated: Oct 15, 2019
When I first came to the United States, I was timid. I was afraid to speak up, shy to show my accent, and tried to assimilate with people around as fast as possible. I guess it was the post-Soviet kid syndrome when after years of isolation, the world just seemed to be too big to digest.
Interestingly enough, I was not a newcomer. I traveled a lot while working as a journalist, my English was good, but I still was having a hard time not to lose my identity. For me, the transition was not smooth. I was starting as a musician and as a civilian at the same time, and it was overwhelming. I had my family support in a difficult time, but how often the immigrants, especially women, are all alone and insecure. Especially in the entertainment industry.
This year after releasing my first album and single "American Beauty" and starting to develop a thicker skin, I felt almost a hunger to do something to change things. This week we announced to our partners a launch of Michelson Immigrant Women's Resource Center in Los Angeles. It will work as part of the Michelson 20MM Foundation. We plan to provide 5.1M immigrant women in California with no-cost academic and career advising, financial counseling, legal expertise, and access to a vast network of mentors and collaborators. That is something I wish I had when I was starting as an artist in a foreign country. I am talking a bit about it in this interview.
We plan to start with an office in Los Angeles and see how far it will lead us. Today I am way over my fears and insecurities about my identity and honestly believe that the power and beauty of America are in accepting and letting be. People from all over the world come here for a dream, and they are not afraid to work hard to make it a reality.