2023 Rising Star Nichole Mischke: Giving a voice to authenticity
Former TV reporter creates venue for vulnerabilitySeptember 14th, 2023
Nichole Mischke, 35, created the online media platform Uncovered to give people who are hiding debilitating secrets an opportunity to share their stories and eventually heal from the accompanied feelings of isolation and shame.
“It takes being vulnerable to be connected with people, and shame keeps you from connection,” Mischke says.
The former KHQ-TV news reporter, who graduated from Gonzaga University with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, created Uncovered in 2018 after finding the strength to reveal a secret of her own and one she kept for about a decade: She was bulimic.
“There’s never a moment where you’re like, I should just go get help and tell someone about this,” she says of her once-secret disorder. But soon after facing the realities of potential declines in her mental and physical health, she says she pushed through her fears of judgment and social rejection to disclose her eating disorder to a room of 200 people.
Coming clean was a jumpstart to the healing process for Mischke, she says, adding that after her disclosure, the same people who she was ashamed to admit her secret to—including her husband and parents—instead, showed encouragement and support for her condition.
Mischke says she decided to launch Uncovered shortly after her public revelation, partly to explore another avenue of storytelling outside of news reporting and in part to keep her on a path of recovery and accountability.
“Part of me felt like, if I can find the courage to share this, it will keep me accountable to not do it again,” she says. “As soon as I was done sharing this thing that I thought I was so alone in, I immediately realized I wasn’t.”
Mischke selects individuals who voluntarily reach out to her platform to share their personal experiences. Their secrets revolve around typically stigmatized issues including addiction, mental health, domestic violence, eating disorders, and other sensitive topics.
Uncovered has produced 12 documentaries and hosted two events.
Kalae Chock, a news anchor at KHQ-TV and Mischke’s friend, says the media platform is both beneficial and inspiring.
“Maybe the more we’re able to talk about our own issues or our own stories, other people will feel connected to that and come out of whatever secrets they’re hiding or holding,” says Chock.
Chock adds that Mischke deserves to be recognized as a Rising Star for her positivity, hard work, and storytelling talent.
“She wants everybody around her to succeed in whatever they want to do, whether it’s career, life, love, anything,” says Chock. “She’s everyone’s biggest fan.”
Mischke says that, while Uncovered isn’t profitable yet, she’s confident that the media platform will begin earning revenue from event ticket sales and sponsorships going forward. Then as earnings rise, she hopes to expand her team and increase annual production to include daily content.
“Income (will come) from our ticket sales, which will cover the event space and programs and paying the people that helped me put it on,” she says. “I’m not the person out here making a ton of money. I’m literally running on passion and a dream.”
Uncovered is owned by Nichole Mischke Media LLC and occupies a studio at 108 N. Washington, in downtown Spokane.
Mischke is responsible for conducting interviews, filming content, video editing, finding sponsorships, and organizing every aspect of event planning for Uncovered. She does most of the work on her own and with help from a few interns, she says.
Uncovered held its first event in 2019 at the Magic Lantern Theater in Spokane. After a pandemic-related pause, in-person events for the company resumed last March with a sold-out show at the Garland Theater.
Uncovered will host its third showcase at the Bing Crosby Theater on Oct. 27.
Chock says Mischke’s energy is impressive, especially for someone with additional roles as a busy Realtor, wife, and mother of two.
“She’s also constantly pleasant and happy,” Chock says. “I think she has the energy because she’s so passionate about it.”
Mischke says her goal is to grow Uncovered to support full-time employment. In the meantime, she plans to continue encouraging people with shameful secrets to find community connections as part of the healing process.
“Vulnerability is the gateway to love, connection, freedom, joy that we want to experience,” she says. “You have to be vulnerable to have some of the greatest feelings of community and connection.”