Today we’d like to introduce you to Desiree Parkman.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Life for me began the day my mom enrolled me in dance classes. I was always a pretty determined child even at the age of three. I saw these children dancing around and doing jumps and leaps and I knew I belonged there. That started me down a road and journey that has lasted and evolved over three decades. What started as a passion turned into my chosen career path.
After training in my hometown outside Boston I quickly began booking as a dancer at the early age of 17, working for theme parks such as Busch Gardens and Disney World. Fun Fact I was the first African American chosen to be apart of the now defunct Can Can show Diamond Horseshoe in Disney’s Frontierland. I also spent time in honing my craft at Alvin Ailey Dance intensives and apprenticing with the company Philadanco before taking the leap of moving to NYC. My dance career blossomed there and I was able to work as a performing artist for the next 15 years. Some highlights being apart of the world-renowned Radio City Rockettes, making my Broadway debut in the Grammy and Tony award-winning show Annie Get Your Gun. That dance life led me to cruise ships, national and international tours and opened up the world to me. I started transitioning from performer to arts administrator in 2007 when I packed up and moved to Cleveland to become Director of arts and Culture, designing and implementing programs for six clubs. This was a great time in my life as it really gave me a solid background in building curriculum, nonprofit development and fundraising.
I also had the honor of co-writing Drama Matters which layouts ways to start theatre and stagecraft at your school or youth organization. Seeing the impact of the programs I created in the community and how needed they were kept me working in this capacity for the next ten years. From starting my own youth arts program to developing programs in LA I am proud of this time in my life where I was able to contribute to the building of the next generation. I think I have always loved helping people and sharing my knowledge with others so it was natural that my next step would be to delve into the world of coaching and development of creatives and small emerging companies. Parkman Creative was born right here in Miami. Its sole purpose is to help connect the dots design a blueprint and provide access to emerging artists and creative entrepreneurs. We do this through coaching, strategic planning, events and workshops designed to elevate brands and market to their target audiences. What started as just many conversations between myself and other creatives has now turned into a real entity that is helping connect artists grow and thrive! Currently, I am working with several brands including travel groups, makeup artist, entertainers, and the list is growing!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Smooth road? Try cobblestoned and bumpy lol. I think any artist can testify that this life is not easy. You must continuously reinvented yourself and diversify the way you work. I have been truly blessed to have been able to work in my field for so long but it took a lot of sacrifice, faith, and preparation. The biggest struggle came after when I transitioned out of dance into at the time an abyss. This is one of my topics I discuss when speaking to other artists, This time can be really depressing especially not knowing where or what you want to do next. It was a difficult time for me and took a lot of inward work to really tap into what my next thing would be. Not enough is spoken about on this subject. Artist are like athletes in that they have short careers but unfortunately do not retire with the same access to money that professional athletes do. I actually started a documentary y that speaks to this very topic called Encores and Second Acts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scn4FgidhkI
I believe the biggest struggle is financial and having the means and access to be an artist that thrives.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Parkman Creative – what should we know?
What I am doing now is building Parkman Creative to be recognized as a premier agency for growing artist brands, creative entrepreneurs and providing expertise on event and entertainment production. Just this year I have been able to bring entertainment into a local North Miami restaurant from poetry to after work socials and mixers. What I am known for is creating transformative experiences. And connecting people. Like I said earlier I have always been in the business of helping people and now I am able to really put all my talents and passions in one place. I started with my own event Flesh Memory which premiered at Art of Africa last November it was a true celebration and re-connection of the diaspora through dance, art, music, and fashion. I am also the producer of the show Ebony Cabaret which is a throwback revue show in a setting reminiscence of the Cotton Club featuring singers, jitterbug dancers and Burlesque with live band to boot! I am shopping this show around now looking for a venue to present it here in Miami after a successful run in LA. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwU8qXNe-xM
I am also a published author with my book Dancing with Naima which takes us on journey as Naima prepares for her first day of dance class.
What I am most proud of is seeing a client that came in with an idea but no plan and together we set about creating that plan and turning it into a real living breathing entity. Whether it be an event or product the end result is still the same! What sets me apart I believe is my varied background. I have had the opportunity to work across the board in the entertainment field as a performer, then administrator, director, producer not to mention the people I have met along the way. I believe this knowledge and access enhances the experience I can offer my clients.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
I have so many! But this one is a top! I used to call up agents and casting people in LA and NYC as a child to ask questions on how to get in the business. One of my calls this day was to Alvin Ailey. I left a message and he called me back I was about 10. I told him that one day I would dance for him in his company. It just so happened they were on there way to Boston so he offered me tickets and my mom took me to see the company and I got to go backstage to meet him and the company. That was a gamechanger for sure seeing myself represented on that stage and seeing them firsthand laid an important foundation for me.
- For coaching I offer a free 30 min consult where I gather info and see if we are a good fit from there pricing depends on services needed but range between group coaching $25 monthly to $125 for 1 on 1
- I have shows that are all packaged and ready for your party or corporate event ranging from $2000-$7000 depends on show type, size of cast . Also available to create a specialized shows
- Website: www.parkmancreative.com
- Phone: 305.846.4061
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @desiredffect @parkmancreative
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/parkmancreative/
- Twitter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwU8qXNe-xM
- Other: www.dancingwithnaima.com