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December 2016 BOLD Woman of the Month: Kim Exum, NYC

We are Bold! An organization that exist to build up black women in the performing arts for the restoration of culture. We truly believe black women have and will change the world, and want to spotlight women who are doing just that!

Every month we will introduce you to one of our amazing BOLD women in our movement. We ask seven specific questions, which highlight the very different and unique journeys each one of us has, while hearing about what has inspired them to shape culture through the performing arts.


This month we are so excited for you to get to know Kim Exum! She has helped pave the way for BOLD women in NYC and we are excited to share her story with you.

In which part(s) of ‘the biz’ are you involved?

The only thing I can honestly say I am not is a producer. I've dabbled in everything else.

Where are you from? When and why did you move here?

I'm from Baltimore originally and my home base is NYC. I've always loved New York, even before I was an actor. I was always attracted to the energy of the city.

What is your favorite part about the work you do?

Even though some people would call doing the same show over and over again monotonous, that's my favorite part. I like being able to explore the same material every night. It's comforting to know that I can go in and find something new within something that is the same on the surface.

What is a challenge you face or a challenge you have overcome in your career?

Judging myself extremely harshly is something I'm always trying to combat. I'm extremely self critical and it's difficult to stop doing that especially when you're performing on such a large platform every night. I have these weird moments now where I still question if I'm good enough. I get nervous about notes and beats and spacing. I want the people who employ me to be very satisfied with their choice of choosing me so I worry about if I'm consistently getting better, if I'm making the same mistakes, if I'm giving 100%. There is comfort in having a job but there is also pressure to maintain a high caliber performance. Sometimes I'm scared of being pitchy, which is a dumb fear to have because I've never had a pitch issue, but new fears arise when your responsibility is greater. The mind will find something to worry about, so I guess my biggest struggle now is acknowledging the anxiety I have about my job and not letting fear take over. I have to tell myself I am doing a great job every night. I have to let go of mistakes I make. I have to accept that I'm not expected to achieve perfection and the only thing I can do is my best.

What project have you worked on that you are really proud of?

It may sound corny, but I'm most proud of Book of Mormon. I think I'm working super hard and even though I have fear and I'm totally uncomfortable within some moments, I like proving to myself that I have the capacity to do this. I have the balls to do this. I had the balls to actually make a dream happen, which is scary. It's so scary. So I'm just proud of where I am in my journey.

When have you felt BOLD?

I feel bold when I'm able to speak my mind and be myself. Anytime I'm hiding behind a mask I feel weird, so the more I can be myself and explore who I am the more bold and authentic I feel.

What a privilege it is to get to know you Kim. We are excited for the ways you will change the world by being authentically you. Keep being BOLD!

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