thriving backstage

When I launched Keener Editorial, I worried about how to explain the combination of editorial and design services that I would be offering. They seemed, somehow, at odds with each other. But I was only planning to build-out my decades-long side hustles and professional experiences into a one-person business. It couldn’t be that weird.

“Helping scholars and performers tell their stories” emerged as the unifying theme. It does a good job of identifying my clientele and a usefully vague job of describing my services. Now, five years into this enterprise, I have greater clarity about the sort of work I do best and enjoy most. My editorial niche is developmental, organizational, line, and stylistic editing. My graphic design niche is editorial design (program books and other short form publications) and advertising (especially for print). My projection design is expertly curated, beautifully designed, and nimble enough to suit multiple venues on a budget. (Read: I’m still using PowerPoint, alas. But you can do some pretty great things with it.)

Being center stage–as a musician, as a teacher, as a scholar–never sat entirely well with me. Being behind the scenes, on the other hand…that’s second nature. Stage/house manager, ensemble manager, informal tech support, creative problem solver, writing coach, image wrangler, library cataloger, radio announcer. It’s backstage. That’s where I belong. That’s where I thrive.

Photo: Web Summit – DSC05165, CC BY 2.0,

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