All Articles Tagged "Kim Coles"
Audrey Kelley, writer of I’d Never Say This in Public and Audrey & Dre, is watching her star rise. Not only has this Second City product’s webisode been picked up for distribution, but her play, Supernatural, is coming to NY after a successful run in LA. MN talked to Audrey about capturing the individual hair stories of seven women in her new project, and about knowing how to care for her own *4C (adjective: tightly coiled) hair.
Zahra: First, congratulations on being a part of such a culturally relevant play. You sound so gracious, so excited. That’s great to hear. Supernatural features seven women who “confront” their hair using a series of monologues. How did these personas emerge?
Audrey: In the process of writing the play, we tried several different characters to see which way the story works best. There were six, but another person was added, which helps set up the story for people who aren’t aware of the African-American experience in this country.
Zahra: Yes, certain demographics require a bit of history. Tell me about the seventh persona.
Audrey: Dr. Jenkins is a sociologist who lays out how we got to the point of so many people perming their hair. She talks about our history in this country, and how the institution of slavery influenced where many people are today, mentally. She gives a timeline from slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, civil rights, to desegregation. She’s setting up the atmosphere in that we are in a nation that took everything from the black community and dehumanized us so that they would be comfortable having slaves.
Zahra: Whoa! I’m glad to hear that the play has genuine dialogue, that’s special. Isn’t this a matter of beauty standards?
Audrey: Yes. A part of dehumanizing us was characterizing everything that was black as ugly: bigger lips, darker skin. When slavery was over and the black community tried to assimilate, millions of people were set free to go figure it out in an atmosphere that wasn’t for them.
Zahra: I would describe what you’re saying as political, but that’s me. What’s your word? By the way, I was going to save the tough questions for the end. No need to warm you up, though.
Audrey: In the play, Dr. Jenkins does say that our image is tied up in politics when we wear our hair natural. Let me get the script. She says, “women who reject relaxers are really all political activists.” Unfortunately, our hair and our politics are intertwined. Historically, when women are trying to make a statement, they have done so with their hair.
Zahra: And today?
Audrey: Even though we are nowhere near where we should be in terms of being equal in America, we cannot deny that there has been progress. Women today who wear their natural hair are not seen as much as making a big statement. Women today probably won’t get fired from their jobs. So there is some progress in the American community on this topic, including whites and blacks.
Zahra: Thanks for saying that. I am thanking you for being a thinker, I suppose. I also think it’s cool that you have a background in comedy. Why did you want to direct a play that our modern-day vernacular might deem “conscious”?
Audrey: We are a writing and producing team, the three of us (including Candace Kelley and Gilda Rogers). I am the one bringing the theatrical background, the dramaturge. I’m collecting information from people, so this naturally falls in my lap. It’s my contribution.
Zahra: Kim Coles, a comedienne, is the lead. Are you trying to bring humor to a potentially sensitive topic?
Audrey: The character that Kim Coles plays is Keekee [sic], and she is our MC. Her character has her own hair company, and is based on Candace Kelley, whose natural hair products sell in Whole Foods. In the play, Keekee is doing a hair show in Brooklyn. Basically, she tells the story of women she meets at shows, and we are listening to these women testify.
Zahra: Testify, that’s a word I like better than “confront.” So is there are a thread to the black church?
Audrey: All of the characters tell their own story. One is a preacher’s wife. Through the Jewish woman’s story, you learn that she is a Black Jew. So many facets of the Diaspora are represented: mixed, lesbian, etc.
Kim Coles has had a successful career with various comedy tropes. In TV roles, she’s been sassy, aloof, and witty. At stand-up shows, her confidence in being herself and connecting with broad audiences is unparalleled. Since 2010, the Brooklyn native has worn her natural hair out, ditching the weaves we’ve seen her wear for years, and now she’s taking her talents off-broadway with a new project, Supernatural: The Play. In this interview with MN, Kim talked to us about the new venture, dubbed “The Vagina Monolouges about hair,” and explained why the black hair conversation is about unapologetic swag.
Zahra: I have to start by saying that you are the perfect choice to MC this play as KeeKee! A few years ago, I recall you on Dr. Drew’s show discussing natural hair. You were a model of poise and confidence. Describe the importance of being a part of this project and your role.
Kim: I met Candace (co-writer of the play) a while ago when I did a natural hair meetup. She told me about this play, and then I saw it when they brought it to LA. It is perfect for me. I play the narrator of a conversation with other women, giving them permission to explore. It’s not about telling someone they should be natural. It’s about exploring the conversation and the conversation around it.
Zahra: It’s a conversation within a conversation. You’re right.
Kim: It’s a good conversation that we’re having, accepting, embracing and celebrating what we have.
Zahra: We know you as a cast member on In Living Color and Living Single, and as a guest on Martin. Then, you had straight hair. Straight is pretty standard in terms of your business, show business.
Kim: It’s interesting. I didn’t think about that when I decided to make this change. I always marched to the beat of my own drum. You do have to look like what they want to cast, but I didn’t think about the ramifications because I wasn’t working that much. When you’re on a regular show there’s a look they want you to have and maintain. On a couple of casting calls, I had people look at me, and then my hair. They were thinking, “now, what are we going to do with this?” I sort of whispered, “don’t worry, I can wear a wig.” So I do me, and let them come to me.
Zahra: You have been very public about your natural hair love affair. Why? I mean your hair and face are all over your website, honey! Where does that confidence come from?
Kim: Maybe it’s the confidence of naïveté. I’m Kim Coles. I’m a personality. I shouldn’t have a website where I’m a shrinking violet. If you have the audacity to build a website, you should be living out loud. Right now, I’m shopping without makeup.
Zahra: Your candor is pretty hip. I believe that you were born in Brooklyn, and the play is set in Brooklyn where your character, KeeKee, is doing a hair show. Have you recently walked around Brooklyn to take in the vibe?
Kim: I haven’t done a hair meetup there yet, and I’m dying to do an event. You know people always ask me, “what’s so great about NY?” Here’s what’s so great about Brooklyn. You grow up around so many cultures and foods. I know how to say “hello” in three languages. It’s a real melting pot. Particularly, there’s such a strong Afro-Caribbean culture and they are very proud of their Africanness. I grew up around that. You can be unapologetically black and unapologetically whoever you are. There’s a swag, a natural, unapologetic swag there.
Zahra: Kim, Kim you’re awesome! I have lived in the area for five years now, and that’s the best way to describe why I’m sticking around. I mean some swag is manufactured, but when that’s the case, it’s not made in this part of the USA.
Kim: Yes, you can do you and no one blinks. You’re expected to be different.
Before reality tv ran rampant, there was a such thing as a scripted program. Some of them were called situation comedies, more often known as sitcoms. Such shows featured a series of actors or actresses. And in rare instances these shows featured a predominately black cast. But not like a reality show, where bottles were thrown, tables were shook or altercations ensued, these cast members weren’t beefing with each other; but portrayed the notion of friendship. Though they had their differences, they ultimately had each others’ best interests at heart. Reminiscent of a younger, darker Golden Girls and the predecessor to Girlfriends, Living Single was one of the best examples of a black sitcom and here are just a few reasons why we miss tuning into new episodes on Fox.
Woo woo woo, woo woo woo…where has Kim Coles been, besides gracing us with her presence on Living Single reruns? The beloved actress hasn’t necessarily been MIA; with a new show on OWN called “Are You Normal, America?“, Coles is now a bona fide game show host. She dropped by Madame Noire studios to not only talk about her new gig, but also let us know who she keeps in touch with from her Living Single days, how fans like to greet her with “woo woo woo” and her other career as a motivational speaker. There’s so much to learn about Kimmy! Check it out.
More on Madame Noire!
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When it comes to implementing a little color into our wardrobes, some of us can be a little hesitant. But once you find the right hue for your skin, there should be no stopping you… Check out the celebrities who aren’t afraid to be seen in green or any other shade.
Tia and Tamera
Remember these ladies? Well, besides starring on “Sister, Sister” in the 90′s, they have come full circle with their wardrobe. They are showing off their new Spring promo looks for Season 2 of ”Tia and Tamera,” premiering in June. This season, the reality show chronicles everything from Tamera’s new marriage to Tia’s career as a now working mother. Spring has sprung for sure!
All that talk about Oprah adding more black faces to her network OWN wasn’t a joke! Actress and media personality, Kim Coles recently signed on to co-host the game show “Are You Normal, America?” with Barry Poznick (pictured above).
Essentially the show asks a panel of people to determine what is and isn’t normal to “the average American.”
Sounds like it could be interesting and we’re sure Kim will make a great hostess.
Game show and OWN aside, Kim’s hair is giving me so much right now. This curly fro is killing the game.
Will you check out Kim Coles on OWN?
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Before the relaxed chicks start pouting and whipping their hair and the naturalista mafia starts throwing up Black Power fists please know that this post is not about celebrating natural at the expense of our relaxed friends. If your hair is healthy and it looks good then it looks good- I don’t care whether you put chemicals in it or not. Honestly there are some celebs who look better with a weave or a relaxer…no names. So with that said, here are the celebrities I just happen to want to see kinky rather than straight.
Perhaps best known for her hilarious work on “Living Single” as Sinclair, actress Kim Coles has decided to share her natural hair journey with the blogosphere. In an industry where appearance counts for a lot, making the decision to go natural is kind of a big deal even in today’s world of lacefront wigs and extensions by the foot.
Check out more pictures and details of Kim’s journey on AOL Black Voices.
Which celebrities do you think would look great with a natural do?