By Alicia Canales
Kimberly Carson spent several hours last spring researching how 1950s teenagers presented themselves in contrast to today’s youth. The ASU sophomore wasn’t working on an assignment; she was researching for her role as Amber VonTussle in the musical “Hairspray.”
Carson, a performer at Valley Youth Theater, said she has a different process for each character she plays. For her latest appearance as Vivienne Kensington in “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” Carson wrote a list of Vivienne’s goals in the show and how to act as a Harvard Law student. This process of creating a character is exciting to her.
“You have to make sure a character’s decisions make sense,” Carson said. “A side glance or a pause has to have a logical reason to make it a believable character.”
She was a third grader when she had her first appearance in her elementary school’s Christmas play. In the same year, she began singing at St. Andrew’s children choir.
“Having something to go to every week, it was nice to have something I could connect with,” Carson said. “It constantly kept music in my life.”
She said it seemed simple to start practicing these elements as she had been taking dance lessons on and off for eight years starting at age four.
Her first performance at Hamilton High School was Cecily Cardew in “Importance of Being Earnest.” She also was the female lead Sergeant Sarah Brown in “Guys and Dolls” her junior year. Carson played Alice Blake in “Up The Down Staircase” during her senior year as well as the lead role of Ti Moune in “Once on This Island.”
When Kristina Alabato, a Hamilton alumnae and current actress, came to Carson’s drama class to talk about acting careers and Valley Youth Theater, Carson began thinking about performing after high school.
Once Carson graduated, she decided to contact Valley Youth Theater. She ended up landing a role for “Hairspray.” In addition, Carson has been “The Wiz,” and “Legally Blonde: The Musical.”
Carson said she loves the energy from doing a live show.
“It’s the only art form where you get immediate reaction to your performance,” Carson said. “In performing, I thrive off the audience.”
Carson said there isn’t one particular individual who has inspired and motivated her. However, she said her family has been her biggest supporter in everything she does.
“Their support has grown as I have grown,” Carson said. “My parents, especially my dad, remind me to pursue my passion, something that will make you happy. Acting is one of my passions.”
Helping others and planning are also Carson’s passions, which is why she decided to major in Tourism Development and Management. She enjoys traveling and hopes to help people with their trips.
You can see Carson perform with the ASU Pitchforks, an all-female a capella ensemble, Oct. 14 at the Susan G Komen “Race for the Cure” event in Phoenix.
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