Arts & Culture

Our Students: Michelle Kapschull

By Liam Woodworth-Cook


Illustration By Michelle Kapschull

sat down, via the web, to conduct an interview with a fellow student and wonderful member of the Beacon, Michelle Kapschull. To give a brief summary of who she is, Michelle wrote:

“My name is Michelle; my major is Communications and New Media. My focus is graphic design and marketing and this class seemed like an obvious choice. I work at Crossover Touring, a company downtown who books gigs for musicians. We’re tiny but powerful! 🙂 I am admin to the owner and will be the marketing/branding person as well, which I am super excited to do! I also have a freelance business, creating websites through Squarespace (also using beginner coding to specialize the pages) and branding, marketing, etc. My biggest hobby is dance; I belong to a local non-profit company called Vivid Motion. We put on 3 major shows a year, featuring as many dance styles as we can! My other current hobby is being part of SMCC’s student newspaper, The Beacon, where I am the Production Manager. I moved here from NJ and live in Portland near the Back Cove with my angry marshmallow, Daisy Mae Pakora.

Definitely an intricate student. Here’s how the interview went:

If the meaning of life isn’t 42, what is it?

Love. And pizza. (I never read this book.) 😦

What are you most proud of in your life?

I’m really proud of my independence and how, even when I delay the inevitable, I do follow my own path. I’m also really proud of who I am as a person – I certainly have my truly horrid moments, but in general I strive to always be compassionate and empathetic to all. I try to always understand (not necessarily agree with) and honor where another is on their journey. However fleeting the moment, I always want those near me to feel loved and encouraged and supported and heard.

What are you currently working on in yourself, and how is that playing out in the world around you?

To not allow my anxiety to control outcomes, to not have expectations, to be more like water, just flowing along. Except water erodes everything in its path, so it’s basically controlling the world. Which brings me back to the initial point, so I guess now I need to work on a new initial point.

Tacos? Explain.

I shouldn’t have to; this should be an inherent love and appreciation in everyone.

Do you have a New Jersey accent? If so, is it all the time, or only sometimes (and when?)

Some words (like ‘water’ and ‘coffee’) are always Jerseyfied. However, it’s most prominent when I am tired or angry ~ or both.

What is your ideal date?

That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th, bc it’s not too hot, not too cold~ all you need is a light jacket.

Will you speak more on Vivid Motion? Are you yourself a dancer, and of what sorts?

Vivid Motion is Portland’s “innovative and kinda quirky dance company.” We are non-profit and welcome all people- of any dance level, any age, all non/identifying persons. We create 3 major shows per year (two family friendly, one holiday burlesque), as well as smaller one-offs. Our summer show auditions are in June – holler if you want more info!

Growing up, I was not allowed to dance -long story short- but I did it anyway (in my bedroom bc I’m a rebel but only in secret). In my twenties I began belly dancing, joining Portland’s, at the time, only professional belly dance troupe. I still belly dance but I also joined VM so I could expand my movement experience. VM brought me in and allows me a safe creative space to explore ballet and jazz and modern, as well as learning to work with people on a different level, to develop and discover non-sexual trust and intimacy.

How have you ended up in Portland, and thusly SMCC? Any plans for afterwards?

My parents were ministers and they were stationed here after their stint in New Jersey.  (Hellooooooo culture shock.) I’m at SMCC because I wanted to recreate my life. I was/am weary of corporate life – I want to reignite the joy and freedom I felt in high school when I discovered art. So I am here, learning and focusing on graphic design and marketing, trying to be chill with not knowing a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g.

If you could interview anyone living or dead, who would it be, why them, and what you might ask?

Ooooh, I don’t know! I’m a naturally curious person, and rather indecisive, so this is a bit of a crap question. (Thanks a lot, LiaM.) To name a few, I am pretty fascinated with Boudica, Kali, Brigid, Jesus (WHAT DID HE REALLY SAY) and Mary Magdalene. I also always found my grandmother interesting – she shared a lot with me that she didn’t talk about with anyone else. She has definitely helped shape my life. She was trapped in her time, of needing to be married and have kids and she was a little jealous of the freedom I have and how I’ve always been stalwart in not settling for a relationship because of outside expectations or fear of being alone.

What haven’t you expected to unfold in your life in the last 5 years?

I am still surprised I found the courage to upheave my life as I have.

Dream job as child?

Ballerina. Or secretary (because my mom was and I thought she was the most glamorous lady ever; she wore super high heels and dresses and jewelry and I was just gaga for her)

If you could be any instrument, what would it be and why?


What gets you out of bed in the morning?


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