So, the Oscars are this Sunday night, and my favorite part about them is watching the acceptance speeches. I find them so inspiring and moving!
Therefore, in anticipation, here are just a handful of some of the most memorable ones over the years. I seriously had to stop myself from posting dozens!
One thing that I have struggled with for years is the desire to be PERFECT. A perfect child, a perfect student, a perfect actress, a perfect lover, a perfect human being. To get everything RIGHT.
Well, I'm working on changing that! And I think shifting my paradigm to be striving for Excellence instead just might be the key. Already a weight feels lifted, and honestly, it just feels better inside. Because I do have high standards and I'm forever going to be raising the bar for myself and my goals...but Excellence is reachable -- versus Perfectionism which is this divine ideal that is, when you really think about it, absolutely unreachable (Can you even define it? Try! It's ridiculous, right?). I need to be more kind and honest with myself, and set my eyes on something that I can be satisfied with and realistically attain. Excellence is something that I can definitely specify for myself (and I'll share that with you another time)...
But for now, I'll leave you with some awesome quotes all about the concept of Perfectionism -- and why it's just plain silly:
“When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target.” - George Fisher
“Once you accept the fact that you're not perfect, then you develop some confidence.” - Rosalynn Carter
“To escape criticism — do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” - Elbert Hubbard
“Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.” – Kim Collins
“Why, when we know that there's no such thing as perfect, do most of us spend an incredible amount of time and energy trying to be everything to everyone? Is it that we really admire perfection? No - the truth is that we are actually drawn to people who are real and down-to-earth. We love authenticity and we know that life is messy and imperfect.” – Brene Brown
“Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” - Harriet Braiker
“Life is a moving, breathing thing. We have to be willing to constantly evolve. Perfection is constant transformation.” – Nia Peeples
“The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.” – Eugene Delacroix
I wanted to share with you all a couple of cool projects I’m working on: Two short film scripts that I’m focusing on producing over the next year or so, plus a very special thanks to a pair of coffee shops that help fuel the fire. :)
The first is something that I’ve been slowly developing over the past several months – since summer! – with a fantastic writer, Coco Solari. She’s just delightful, and we’ve spent hours at Think Coffee in Union Square talking about life, movies, people, and utopias/dystopias. That’s because we’re developing a pretty cool science-fiction/futuristic script about destiny vs. free will in society, Coco helming the script and myself in the backseat, enjoying the ride. Right now she’s furiously penning the words on the page, and I can’t wait to read it.
The second I’m actually co-writing (a slightly terrifying task), but it’s with the partnership of John Olson, an actor and playwright I’ve known for years. You might have seen him recently on the Swedish reality show, Allt för Sverige. ;) Anywho, I was inspired by recent sad family events in my life combined with simultaneously amazing reconnections to tell a story of grief and reconciliation. It's sort of a love letter to my family, and hopefully an inspiration to others to not let those important ones in your life slip away. John and I have been meeting regularly over the past couple months at my favorite coffee shop in Astoria, OK Café, discussing character development, conflict, and storyline, sharing personal stories and reflections to spark ideas. It’s been so thrilling and I’ve started to shake off my nerves of script-writing. We’re getting closer and closer to diving in and writing it, and I think it’s going to be really really good.
So that’s where I’m at right now, and I hope you’re as excited as I am to see where these developments lead. And check out your local coffee shop to support small business! :)
This post is simple, yet it's the perfect mindset to start the New Year. One quote. Take it in, and if you're like me, let it fuel you. :)
It’s easy when you’re at the end of a year to forget all the great stuff that has happened in it. Sure, Facebook’s app helps, but as we all know, it hasn’t quite been the best measure this year.
Looking back, the things I am most proud of are:
Find Love, NYC – Sure, we filmed in it 2013 but most of the post-production, and especially its release, happened in 2014. One of my favorite projects I’ve ever worked on, with some of the best people I’ve ever collaborated with. Truly special, and I’m so proud of what we made. Plus, Samantha Medici ranks on my list of Top Characters I’ve Played.
Festivals – From representing films to just exploring, I checked out so many film festivals over the year. Jersey Shore Shorts Festival, SoHo International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Chain NYC Film Festival, New Hope Film Festival, and another 48 Hour Film Festival. More than I’ve ever gone to in a season before! From averaging just one a year to jumping up to 6, I look forward to increasing that number exponentially each year.
No Exit – Getting to understudy again for The Pearl Theatre Company was a dream. Thrown in the middle of it all, covering two major roles, it was a hell of a challenge (pun intended), and I’m really proud of my work. I only got to tread the boards during understudy runs, but I still feel very accomplished. It felt great to delve again theatrically into something.
Gunzenhauser No. 7 – A film for the 48 Hour Film Project, I got to play a complex character in a genre called Film de Femme– “specifically designed by the 48HFP to encourage strong roles for females in 48HFP films." I felt like I was part of something bigger than just the festival: Progress.
Myself – Sounds narcissistic I know, but I feel like I became even more aware of myself and my desires this year. Although it was a messy journey, I’m a better, stronger person. I learned new tools to advance me toward my goals, and I solidified my commitment. And through tragedy of loved ones, I’ve been jolted with the extreme awareness of the fragility of life – and the resulting vital importance of pursuing one’s dreams and purpose while one can. Do what makes you happy. Throw out the useless stuff. Keep your eye on the prize, and never stop.
Thanks, 2014, it's been a year. 2015, let's rock it out!
I LOVE award season. It's this huge source of inspiration to me, watching the best celebrated work of the year and seeing actors and actresses get recognition for their spellbinding artistic craft. It is this time of year that I dream my career aspirations the loudest and most vividly.
It's the BEST!!! :-)
And one of my absolute favorite treats -- almost a ritual -- is watching all of The Hollywood Reporter's Roundtables -- actors, actresses, composers, directors, cinematographers, etc. They are all so cool to watch and learn from. I completely geek out. :)
You can catch them all on YouTube of course, but I'll post my two faves here for easy viewing.
Even though there are still a few weeks left in the year, I tend to always feel around this time a winding down and closure. Perhaps it is because the entertainment industry slows down a bit during this month, the final couple weeks being a wash to holiday festivities (hey, I’m not complaining!). Maybe it’s also my own mind shutting down, saying to myself, “Hey, you’ve had a productive year, Kimberly—now slow down, appreciate these celebrations, and reward yourself!”
“Any new beginning is forged from the shards of the past, not from the abandonment of the past.”
-- Craig D. Lounsbrough
“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
— Oprah Winfrey
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.
So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
-- Neil Gaiman
“What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.”
— Vern McLellan
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
-- Eleanor Roosevelt
I'm definitely excited for all the possibilities that await and hope you are too!
For the past year and a half, I've been self-producing works for myself and also producing some projects for others. Web series, shorts, music videos -- even a commercial. It's been so cool to develop something from just an idea into a fully-realized film ready to share with the world.
And the best part of it all is that, through this work, I've learned so many valuable lessons about collaboration and filmmaking, which in turn I believe has made me a better actress.
Here are some of my favorites:
1.) Be a Teammate.
There are so many hardworking crew members on set, doing grunt work, focused technical work, creative work -- and all are important and deserve respect. Love them. Treat them well. Offer assistance, kind encouragement, praise, laughs. It'll make the shoot so much more fun and easy, and you'll most likely make some awesome new friends.
2.) Be on Point.
Know your lines, and be as prepared and ready as possible. So many factors go into a great shot -- lighting, camera stability, angles, focus, sound -- so have the goal of always giving a fantastic take! Don't be the one to mess up the shot when everything else is perfect.
3.) Be Consistent.
Make it easy for the editors in post-production to craft their cuts. Keep continuity of movement, speak clearly, etc. This will also make them more prone to keep your takes, and less likely to dump you on the cutting room floor!
4.) Be Cool.
If stuff happens, stuff happens. Be flexible, open, and laid-back for any snafus or delays on set. It happens. Don't be a diva. Go with the flow.
5.) Be Communicative.
I haven't yet met a filmmaker who didn't want to make sure that his/her actors were comfortable. So speak up. Be honest about your dietary restrictions, let them know if you feel unsafe (Safety First!), and ask any questions about things you're unsure about. Stay in the loop and be on-board.
To Sum Up...
Work in the spirit of collaboration and show your best self in every way. Through this, you'll have amazing experiences on set and establish professional relationships for years to come.
Confession: I love, love, love short films. I especially love watching blocks of them screen in a row. Whenever I have to choose a screening block to attend at a film festival, I ALWAYS choose shorts. Seeing multiple stories, different visions, all together -- it’s my jam. It’s literally seeing a clump of movies quickly in a small amount of time. 6 features? Half a day at least. 6 shorts? Less than an hour! This fast-paced NYC woman laps that up. :)
So, you can imagine my excitement upon discovering the monthly IndieWorks screenings hosted by Congested Cat at The People’s Lounge & Bar in the Lower East Side.
I went to check them out last month, and boy I’m hooked!
Absolutely fantastic films, well-chosen by staff, with interesting Q&A’s of the filmmakers. The venue is laid-back, a bar setting, so it's perfect for mingling before, after, and during the intermission – but when the music fades and the two screens start the selections, the attendees are hushed and respectfully enjoy the show.
Plus they give out two awards each night – an Audience Choice award and a staff-rated “Best of Fest” award called the Silver Whiskers. Seed&Spark is an official sponsor and provides perks for each winner. Definitely worth it to submit if you’re a filmmaker.
I’m definitely going back for their November screening next week on Wednesday the 19th. Want to join? Visit here for more info: http://www.congestedcat.com/indieworks/
See ya there!
In memoriam, here my cover of the song, "Oh Sweet Lorraine" by Fred Stobaugh. The song itself has a remarkable story, which you can learn about here.
Rest in Peace, Nana. I will miss you.
Thoughts and ideas about the things that move me most. Passions, desires, favorites.