St. John's Confidential File
HOLLYWOOD—HELLO AMERICA! Very few people in Hollywood, especially pretty young actresses will admit they enjoy the world of monsters and cinematic horror. And KIM FARRIS, is the first to say that playing a monster, is engrossing and very challenging for an actress. Her experience working in "Walking Dead" is actually a learning experience for any actress.
Q: How old were you when you first discovered that you wanted to become an actress? What kind of motion pictures affected you, emotionally, the most?
A: I believe I must have been about 8 years old when I saw Star Wars for the first time. I was in such awe at the action, the heroism, I wanted to be Princess Lea. I admired her strength and courage. Plus I had a huge crush on Harrison Ford so I wanted to be in her shoes when he kissed her!!! I remember Superman had an impact. I don’t know anything about these strong men, and just being swept away I guess I fell in love with that idea as well. It was a nice little fantasy. Another movie that struck a chord, a strong one, was of all movies, Dracula with Christopher Lee. I was probably around the same age, 8 or so, when I saw that for the first time. It scared the living daylights out of me (pun intended?)! I still remember that bell scene. As scary as it was, i was enamored by vampires. When my dad would rent movies I always asked him to get vampire movies. I really enjoyed Peter Cushing and absolutely loved Vincent Price.
Q: Was Hollywood a place that you believed you might feel comfortable becoming a part of?
A: Yes! I respond that way because when I was 12 we were driving down from San Jose heading toward Disneyland. I remember sleeping all the way until I woke suddenly and we were in LA. That felt, even then, like a sign I was destined to be here. For years and years it had been a fantasy of mine, I would have little scripts i would write, stories with my dolls, etc. As far-fetched as it seemed to be I knew there had to be a way I just didn't know how. For the longest time I admit i thought it was merely just a dream to be had.
Q: As a young girl who were some of the film idols who impressed you the most as artists and why?
A: Carrie fisher as Princess Lea was one of my first film idols. I would watch old movies with my parents that had Natalie Wood and Elizabeth Taylor. I was impressed they were in the business at such an early age. Meryl Streep has always been admirable to me ever since I was a kid. I remember hearing about the Deer Hunter and what an impact it made in movie history and how she was such an amazing actress, I wanted to know how I can be like her.
Q: Has it been difficult to convince the powers-that be that you are ready to take on bigger dramatic challenges if only given a chance?
A: Oh absolutely! I'm not going to lie. This is one tough town! I think of it more though as a challenge. there are so many aspiring actors out there just trying to grasp that one chance. It is sad the there such a small percentage of actors who actually make a living at this craft. With the explosion of the internet and social media I have found it is much easier than what it used to be to get your name out there. With Facebook, Twitter, Lenkedin, Youtube, etc there are so many avenues. What a lot of people forget is that it is a business and you have to treat it like one. Doing the research, taking the classes, knowing your brand. The "powers-that-be" want to know you are a professional. It is indeed competitive out there but I don't let that hold me back or slow me down.
Q: Do you think after being cast in “Walking Dead” you could be type-cast as an actress? And what kind of affect did appearing on the show have on you personally as a rising ambitious actress?
A:The "Walking Dead" Websode was indeed an amazing experience. I worked with a brilliant director, award-winning Greg Nicotero (executive producer and make-up master mind for "The Walking Dead" series). Type-cast as an actress? Type cast as a zombie, yah maybe! Playing a zombie does take some acting chops that is for sure. Seriously, I was surrounded by such a talented cast and crew. I was professional and very patient (in 2+ hours of makeup you better be). As long I make a good impression, word gets out one way or another, I get called back, or called in for something new.
Working on the Walking Dead" web-series was the highlight for me in 2011. It was such an honor to be asked to work on the show. Having "The Walking Dead" listed on my resume is definitely a conversation starter when I am at an audition. "How long did it take to put on the makeup?" "Did you eat any bodies?" etc. As morbid as it may sound it actually is a nice ice-breaker!
Q: What sacrifices have you made in order to survive as an actress. Has it affected your personal life, home life and the way you view reality?
A:I knew that if really wanted to be serious as an actor I had to move away from home in San Jose to Los Angeles. The Bay area has some decent local opportunities but I wanted more. It has affected a relationship or two. I have worked with some high-profile actors, directors, etc. and there has been some insecurities and jealousy but I have never allowed that to stop me. There have been times I had to put acting on "hold" in order to take care of my family and financial matters. I have had family members and friends try and sway me to be an accountant or basically any other profession than this. Pursuing a career as an actor probably is one of the hardest, most challenging professions out there. A lot of it is luck, timing, who you know, who knows you, and really up to the Universe if it is going to happen. At the same time I have the perseverance and the tenacity to make it happen. The great Charleton Heston told me once when I asked him what advice he can give to an aspiring actress. His response: "Never give up".
Q: What has been the most disappointing experience you’ve had in the business of struggling to become a recognized actress?
A: Before I moved to los Angeles I had lived in San Diego for a couple of years. When I realized it was time to move to Los Angeles I decided to try and get a job as a tour guide at Universal Studios. There have been so many actors that started out working there. It was the perfect actor-friendly job and such a fun place to work. I remember I auditioned with over 50 people. It had been a very long day driving 3 hours from San Diego. The audition process was time consuming. by the time I was up for my piece to audition my blood sugar dropped exceptionally low and i was not prepared. In effect my performance was less than satisfactory. When it came to their decision making they chose all but two people. Unfortunately i was one of those two people. It was heart-wrenching. Lesson learned.
Q: How have you changed as a human being since experiencing and actually living in the world of fantasy and special effects?
A: That is an interesting question and i hope you don’t mind if i tweak it a bit. Being in this line of work was all fantasy and special effects in my mind as a kid. Since watching Dracula and countless horror and fantasy movies growing up, it never ceases to amaze me. Being an actual part of the fantasy and special effects is like being a kid. It is so much fun! It gives me such a natural high. To finally do what I love is such an accomplishment!
Q: who is Kim Farris today as a woman?
A: I am a survivor. I have guts. Acting is in my blood. It has been there for as long as I can remember. I am also a photographer, journalist, a poet, a screenwriter, a producer and a director. I am a very passionate person. I'm a philanthropist, a lover of music, of art, animals and children and meeting all kinds of people. I care deeply and would go to the ends of the earth for a family member or friend in need. I never want to stop learning. I am a multifaceted woman ready to spread her wings and fly!
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