We had the good fortune of connecting with Katharine Kimball and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katharine, how do you define success?
It may sound cliché, but I think about the way my childhood-self would feel if they could see me now. I think it’s important that my younger self could look up to me. I was one of those kids that adults would refer to as an odd -I mean old soul. For a second grade assignment, I once wrote that when I grew up my dream jobs were to be a waitress and an actress. My teacher just laughed, but I was dead serious! Even at eight years old, I felt a deep connection to performing for an audience, and the rush it gave me. The feeling was pretty similar to the sensation of sick-glee I felt, watching my mother’s horrified face as I nearly dropped her fine china while clumsily “playing waitress”. I couldn’t get enough of that feeling. I’m lucky to have always had a clear vision of the life I wanted to live: simultaneously thrilling and down-to-earth. When I got my first job at a restaurant, I snickered to myself “there’s one life goal achieved”. That job paid for my move to Los Angeles, with everything I owned packed in the back of my car. When I got here, I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t have a place to stay, but somehow I made it work like I have always done. I wasn’t blind to the obstacles in my way, but I was determined and undaunted by hard work. I started working on commercials, music videos, plays and stand up. I’ve had friends spot me in the background of some of their favorite movies and shows. Recently, I bought a home not too far from the beach and I’ve built a happy, sustainable life. There’s still so much I want to achieve in my career(s), and in life, but to me the true definition of success is happiness. Success is being true to yourself and what you, only you, want. Simply put: I I love acting! The story telling, the interpersonal connections, and feeling that childhood thrill every time I step on a set, or stage. I’m truly happy to be doing what I love and the best part is knowing that little girl would be so proud.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I like to say that I honed my talents underground, with many years of murder mystery dinner theatre, musicals, and improv and stand up shows. For me, acting isn’t about a spotlight, I was doing this long before anyone was paying attention. The real reason I’m apart of this industry is it’s one of the last bastions left dedicated to true connection, expressing our most complicated and frightening emotions, and stories that need to be shared. That’s why I love dramas, especially period pieces. Last year, I had the pleasure to star in a film noir-style production for Hollywood’s Fringe Festival in which I played a powerful, morally ambiguous, femme fatale. Honestly, what could be more fun? I love sinking my teeth into complicated roles. I enjoy stretching my empathy, seeing how I can relate to a character one might typically classify as “bad”. I love a challenge: there’s so much to be learned from them. I think it’s really important to keep learning, growing, and having new experiences. Not only for ones own sake, but as an actor, it brings much more nuance to your roles. I’ve started to be able to look at past hardships in my life as hard earned experiences that broaden my view, allowed me to deepen my connections , and actually improved my acting ability.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For breakfast, it has to be pancakes the size of your head from the Griddle Cafe on Sunset, with the fresh French press coffee. Which, despite the coffee, will promptly put us into a food coma until much later in the day, totally forget about “hiking Runyon”. We have to go thrift shopping though. The shops around here hide true gold and I am like a lucky charm or magnet: you are practically guaranteed to find a leather jacket that makes you look like Brad Pitt for $10. Now that we’re all dressed up, we can grab dinner at Bossa Nova on Sunset. Now, normally I’d suggest a live show of some sort: opera at the Ahmanson, stand up at the Comedy Store, or a concert at the Wiltern, but that might not be an option. For an outdoor option we could rollerblade by the beach, my cheetah print Maxi skates are always in the back of my car.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My biggest supporter and number one fan will always be my grandmother Ruth. She has been with me every step of the way: sitting through every choir concert and equestrian completion, bringing flowers to every opening night. Even being my road trip buddy. She is the source of all my best stories, probably in part due to her flair for the dramatics and her thirst for adventure and knowledge. I’ve fallen asleep many nights listening to her talk about her travels or tell tales she made up on the spot. She’s clever and compassionate, and has instilled in me the same, a strong set of values.
Lance Bachelor, Jade Blairs, Daryl Jim