#Janita  #Janitaartist

Next Wednesday, 15th of October, I will be featured on a popular Finnish TV-show, Hansin Matkassa. Despite being a bit of a foodie, it would never have occurred to me to appear on a show centered on food. (!) It simply, quite naturally perhaps, wasn’t on my radar at all. But when I received an invitation to be a guest on this show I was open-minded, and after doing my research on it, I heartily said yes. I watched a cool episode in which world-renowned Finnish conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen, was featured, and I was sold. The whole thing looked like a fun, interesting, relaxed and unique experience, and I’m all for making my life an adventure. I immediately looked forward to being a part of the series!

What’s unusual about the show is that the host, Michelin Star awarded chef Hans Valimaki, visits each of the guests’ homes, and cooks an elaborate meal in their kitchen. There is always quite a bit of hanging out and chatting first in different locations–in my case, in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. I decided to be rather down to earth about the whole thing, and take Hans to a handful of easy places that I frequent: a couple of corner coffee shops, local stores and the like. I prefer to live rather simply on a day-to-day basis, and I didn’t feel like embellishing my turn on the show with  swankiness and glitz uncharacteristic to me. I wanted to feel comfortable and true to myself. It’s nerve-racking enough to have a camera crew follow you around in your own neighborhood..!

At first I was a little squeamish about allowing strangers to come into my personal space to film… I mean, how much more vulnerable can you get?? But knowing that a number of usually private people who I admire and find interesting had made an exception when it came to this production…well, I decided to brave it as well. There’s an intimacy that I’m ready to share with people now, that I wasn’t willing to share before. In the end I quite enjoyed giving a glimpse of what life as an artist in Brooklyn looks like. Also, it was fascinating to be able to witness a super-talented chef create world-class gourmet dishes right there in my tiny kitchen. It can be done, people! I saw it, and I was part of it too..!

All in all, I learned a lot from the experience. I had a great time with Hans and the crew for two days in my ‘hood, and in my cramped apartment, and I was able to treat two of my friends to a magical dinner cooked by a master in my very own home. This will go on the list of extraordinary things that I’ve experienced in my life: opportunities that I would never have encountered, had I not chosen to become an artist. It’s right up there with the most unexpected occurrences of my life, like playing a show in Guantanamo Bay! Yup. Been there, done that. Perhaps I’ll tell you that story one of these days too…

So, for those of you in Finland who are interested, the show will be airing next Wednesday (15.10.2014) on MTV3 at 20:05. In addition to chats and interviews and cooking with Hans, I performed a song of mine solo on guitar; very intimately in my own living room. Hans and I also made some music together, in addition to cooking some great food, which should all be quite entertaining. I had a lot of fun, and I hope the end result will reflect that. I trust that it will! Enjoy!