Award-Winning Writer, Director, And Actor Kymberly Harris Shares Her Story

Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?

I’m a writer/director/actor and the founder of Firsthand Films.

My award-winning shorts FAITH (starring Britt Lower) Rose’s Turn (starring Rhonda Stubbins White) can be seen on Amazon Prime. My award-winning feature I Heard Sarah (starring Diva Zappa) is in distribution through First Focus International.

Currently directing three features, The Boy in the Pink Flip Flops by Robert Allan Ackerman, producers Michael Mailer, Alessandro Penazzi, and Cassandra Han, Tell Me Something Good by Xan Church, and The Man Inside (which I wrote) that is also developing FAITH into a series.

I’m always seeking great creative producers to collaborate with, along with my managers at Zero Gravity and attorneys at Ramo Law.

What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?

My 20 years of experience coaching actors (many of you know) and teaching the craft of acting (currently at Strasberg) keeps me connected to my passion for bringing the best and most surprising and personal performances out of actors.

I enjoy bringing to life socially conscious, intimate threads in stories, with a focus on female empowerment and diverse representation. I am interested in the psychology of our personal relationships to the society we live in, and mining the truth of the moment, whatever genre I’m working in.

Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.

I’m an actor, a playwright, an active theatre director, and an international acting coach.

A short film I wrote was commissioned, and the producers asked me if I would direct it. I thought, me? I can’t do that. I happened to be on the phone with my Mom at the time. She said dammit Kymberly, you say YES. I decided to try.

Once I got on set, all of the various skills sets came into one, and I was in a flow. I discovered what all of this experience had led to, and that it belonged in the realm of filmmaking. I’ve never looked back.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?

As I said, the doubting voice. To be a truly effective creative, you have to have enhanced powers of empathy.

I’ve lived in a space of heightened sensitivity for a long time. Unfortunately, this can lead to internalizing other people’s doubts, criticism, bias, sexism, scarcity mentality, as the truth. I’ve had to fight to realize that one person’s opinion or limited thinking about women in the industry belongs to them and is not a reflection of what I’m bringing to the table.

I can take helpful notes, stay connected to my vision and leave the rest. Notes are always subjective, so what I’ve learned is to navigate the challenge of staying connected to your original impulse. Not to morph it to please someone else.

This is a lifelong pursuit, and it’s important to balance one’s passion of conviction with humility and to learn tools to always behave with compassion towards yourself and those you collaborate with.

Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?

I’d love to share my series FAITH with Reese Witherspoon/Hello Sunshine; my film THE MAN INSIDE with Freckle Films, and the film I’m attached to direct Tell Me Something Good with Ava Duverney/Array.

These are my goals for 2022!

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