kimberlee petersonA few weeks ago, I posted a review of the Lifetime Movie Network offering Secret Cutting. It starred a young Kimberlee Peterson, who I described as one of the more talented TV movie stars I had seen, despite her strange eyebrow that always seemed to float an inch above her other – making her look a little intrigued all of the time.

Days later, I received a letter from her manager/lawyer/agent person, asking me to take the picture of Kimberlee down, which was completely understandable. Hours after that, I got an email and blog post from Kimberlee herself.

Now, at this point I was feeling bad – when you write about people in the limelight, you don’t think about them quite as real people, and you certainly don’t stop to think about hurting their feelings. I mean, I have way more problems than a wayward eyebrow; it’s just that no one really cares enough about me to talk about them. I held my breath and opened the email.

Surprisingly, Kimberlee had written me a funny, awesome response about how she never quite understood why people were so interested in her eyebrow, that seven years after Secret Cutting it was a little thinner, but that it was still going strong. It’s who I am, she wrote, take it or leave it. I just wish people would review my acting instead of it… Often I tell people the Rock is my daddy. She also wrote endearingly about her acting career and her relationship with Lifetime movies. She signed it Kimberlee and The Brow.

The whole thing threw me off balance – she was so confident and responded to my silly criticism with humor, self-assuredness, and tact. It made me think about how personally I take criticism and how terribly I often respond to it – I mostly get defensive and sad. Perhaps, though, Kimberlee’s attitude is what it takes to make it as a successful working actress in a world where it seems like everyone wants to be a successful working actress (she has appeared in a ton of movies and a ton of television shows – Charmed, West Wing, and Boston Public to name a few recent ones). It’s a good lesson: to respond to uncool things with pure, utter coolness.

In any case, Kimberlee and I got to talking, and she answered a few questions for me about what it’s like to work on Lifetime movies and to be an actress in general.

Me: How did you get into acting, and what are you working on now?

Kim: When I was twelve I saw one of those oh-so-cheesy commercials for Barbizon, a school for acting and modeling. I called the agency, set up an appointment, and was very lucky that my parents went along with it. From there I auditioned for a competition called IMTA out in LA (you would be surprised how many stars got their start at this thing) and I got chosen to participate. I competed with thousands of other kids who also had stars in their eyes, placed in a few categories, and was lucky enough to meet my managers, who I am still with today.

At the moment I am auditioning and praying for that next gig. Last week I was on hold for a guest star on that new show K-Ville, but found out yesterday that I didn’t get it. Hollywood is an emotional roller coaster. The lows are really low, but man when you are blessed to be working, you are high as a kite. That little taste of success makes the hard times worth it.

Me: Do you have any TV appearances coming up that our readers should watch for?

Kim: I am lucky that a lot of the shows I’ve done re-air a lot. Check your Tivo’s!

Me: What is it like working on a movie set like Secret Cutting? Is it fun, serious, a little of both?

Kim: All of the above. That was such a magical time. Anytime you get to film on location it adds something special. For that time it’s like the whole cast and crew are in their own little world, a little break from reality. Obviously the topic of the movie was very serious. But for me those are the roles that allow me to release the fear, hurt, pain or any other emotion that I have going on at that point in my life. But as soon as the camera stops, the laughter begins. Being on set is wonderful. I have been blessed that I have had the chance to work with some amazing people. I have had such a good time doing it.
Me: What are you hobbies outside of your job? What things are most important to you?

Kim:  I am a pretty average person. I love to go to movies, experience good food, travel, read, meditate and learn. This world has so much to offer and I want it all! Family above all is the most important. Without that, for me, you have nothing. Life has no meaning unless you get the chance to share it with those you love.

Me: What’s the most challenging part about your career?

Kim: It’s that roller coaster I was talking about. This is a tough business, and you would think that 14 years later it would be easier for me, but it’s not. The rejection still hurts the same as it did my first year here. And that feeling of “oh this is it, I am so close…..” and then you get knocked on your ass. It’s a very humbling business. The criticism is hard too. The bashing my eyebrow takes is brutal. But it comes with the territory. There is always going to be someone out there who wants to tear you down, but that’s life in general. It’s finding a way to balance it all and keep your head up that’s important.

Me: What has been your favorite project to work on?

Kim: I did a film called Primal Force. We filmed it in Mexico and had the greatest cast and crew. It was a wonderfully cheesy UPN film about man-eating baboons…..and cue the laughter……but it was a thrilling experience. The director has been very good to me over the years and brought me in for other projects. We have worked together three times now and hopefully more to come. It was one of those “somebody pinch me I’m dreaming,” experiences. I thrived on that set. Simply put, I felt ALIVE.

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