On March 3, 2009, Arthur Kadyshes quit his job as a financial adviser at an American Express franchise in Conshohocken, changed his name to Arthur Kade, and embarked on “The Journey.”
“The Journey” (his capitalization and punctuation) had been a long time in the making, the product of several converging events: an awakening timed to his 30th birthday in 2008, years of psychotherapy, the dissolution of a relationship with a woman to whom he’d almost become engaged. “It got to a point where I went into work one day and there was no passion,” Kade says of the career he had “conquered,” the salary “in the six figures,” the townhouse “professionally decorated with designer furniture,” trips to the “most exotic places in the world,” sex with “the most beautiful women in the world.” “I’m a passion-driven person,” he says.
Kade has given himself three years — and approximately $500,000 from the sale of his financial-planning franchise — in which to become a Hollywood actor, in the vein of “Bruce Willis or Mel Gibson or Christian Bale.” Never mind that his entire acting experience had hitherto been limited to a theater minor from Temple. He’s rented out his townhouse, taken up residence on various friends’ Center City couches, and hired an agent. He spends every day scouring acting websites, makes regular trips to New York for auditions, works out twice a day, takes Botox injections as well as a potentially dangerous over-the-counter muscle builder, plus the virulent anti-acne drug Accutane for his adult acne, and has accepted all the low-paying, non-speaking “background work” he can get — “I’m not a fan of the term ‘extra,’” he says, “it’s demeaning in my eyes” — including on the TV show Gossip Girl as well as in a movie being filmed in New York and the M. Night Shyamalan movie currently being filmed here.
All of which means a few years back, this would have marked the end of this story. Barring a lightning strike, “The Journey” would almost certainly have ended with Kade fading away to nothingness. But Arthur Kade made a fateful decision — to launch the website Arthurkade.com.
The result is a blog that is equal parts diary, public exhibition and, in the eyes of many, train wreck. It has made him a cult hero — or, more accurately, villain — not only here in Philadelphia, but, as ridiculous as it sounds, around the world.
On his blog, he not only details the minutiae of his foray into acting, but muses more widely about all things Arthur Kade, including his future (“My niche will be the dark, mysterious, anti-hero when I make it to starring in mainstream movies, and I believe that I will one day win an Oscar playing this type of character”), his scale for measuring women’s attractiveness (“What I can tell you is that I am a very difficult grader, and it takes something very special to amaze me into giving them a 9 or 10”), and his frustration with the “General Population” (“There are some people who have the talent, looks, and charisma to make something special of their life, but the majority of people are average to above average”). After being linked to first by local blogger Joey Sweeney’s Philebrity.com (in a post titled “Confidential To New York: We’ll Be Nice For A Week If You Please, Please, Please Claim Arthur Kade”) and then by its far larger New York counterpart Gawker.com, Kade’s blog went, practically overnight, from a few dozen readers to, according to him, hundreds of thousands.