100 Creatives

67: Kim Porter

67: Kim Porter

Kim Porter's philosophy: storytelling is a birthright.

The playwright and actor has produced award-winning plays that have showcased nationwide.

Porter was born in Texas and lived in San Francisco before moving to Phoenix five years ago. The Phoenix stages haven't been the same since.

When Porter's in town, she's busy teaching. "I love helping people bring their visions to life, says Porter. "It's probably fueled by my chronic codependency, but let's not look too closely at it, shall we?" Her workshop, Writing for the Stage, is for playwrights and solo performers at all levels and is held in Space 55.

"If you have a story you want to add to the conversation, then that's all the "permission" you need."

1. List five things on your Inspiration Wall (real or imagined).
1. Postcards from previous shows I've written to remind me, when I start to despair from the isolation, that one day this script will be performed and my loneliness will end. For a couple of days.
2. A picture of Philip Seymour Hoffman torn from a magazine. Need I say more?
3. I spend a lot of time designing an imaginary tattoo whose job it will be to quiet my inner self-saboteur. It will remind me to stay focused on the fundamental truths of life. Truths such as; "Life is short," and "Nobody's perfect" and "Assume the best of others." The older I get the more I realize that "what we tell ourselves" is the greatest indicator of future success. I haven't gotten the tattoo yet because, clearly I've given it too many jobs and no one tattoo can do all that.
3. This video created by my friend and collaborator Carla Zilbersmith who died recently after a two and a half year battle with ALS. She was such a dedicated artist that she made two years ago while she was still able-bodied, kept it a perfect secret, and wasn't even there in the wings to see how it played out at the funeral. And of course, no curtain call. Talk about delaying gratification.

4. Anything by Lynda Barry who is the greatest champion to creativity ever born.

2. What's your last big project?
A couple of months ago I squeezed myself into a pair of spanks and drove to Hollywood and watched my play Munched receive three L.A. Weeklys and two L.A. Drama Critic's Circle awards. As Joe Biden would say, "That was a big "F"-ing deal" -- I almost never wear spanks.

3. What's your next big project?
I have two. One's a play called Wake of the Bounty and it's a play about a woman who moves to the suburbs in the desert gives birth and develops postpartum depression, and ends up in a life-raft in the South Pacific or maybe she's just delusional and she's never left her bed at all.

The other one is a musical called Blue Galaxie and it's possibly the best thing I've ever written. Set against the back drop of the retro-music club scene, Blue Galaxie is about a beautiful but fat hipster named Lana (the oft-abused daughter of a once legendary rock-star) who struggles to fend off the affection of the earnest chubby-chaser who pursues her. The songs are all by San Francisco legend Roger Clark who was made famous in the 70's when he was sued by Led Zeppelin for releasing a wildly popular mash-up called "Stairway to Gilligan's Island."
Now all I have to do is get them produced.

4. How much do you hate being asked what your next big project is?
I love it so much I'm going to answer it twice.
My other big project is the playwriting workshop that I'm teaching through Space 55 theatre company.

5. What's something you want Phoenix to know about you?
The theatre (and I imagine the arts at large) is location obsessed. And at the heart of this obsession is a self-loathing that sounds something like this. "Well, they can't be any GOOD because they are FROM here." The "here" here is whatever city you are currently standing in.
When I moved here five years ago from San Francisco. I felt "the cool" draining away. I initially panicked. Bloom where you're planted, they say. But some plants won't grow in the desert.

I recently went back to my home town of Wichita Falls, Texas (a town so allegedly lame it's the butt of innumerable jokes) and I realized that I don't actually hate my home town, as I had been telling myself for more than 20 years, but actually love my home town. And while I was there I remembered that I'd made some of the most fearless art of my life as a resident of that supposedly "nothing" little town. It dawned on me that if my coolness was fueled by where I was living then I wasn't working hard enough.

Now, I'm learning to love Phoenix and I admire the rebel spirit of the artists that live here. I feel genuinely free to take big risks and I am routinely inspired by the young risk-taking, dreamers I see all around me in the arts community of Phoenix. 

The Creatives, so far:

100. Fausto Fernandez
99. Brian Boner
98. Carol Panaro-Smith
97. Jane Reddin
96. Adam Dumper
95. Mayme Kratz
94. Daniel Tantalean
93. Yuri Artibise
92. Lisa Starry
91. Paul Hoeprich
90. Betsy Schneider
89. Mary Shindell
88: Gabriel Utasi
87: Tiffany Egbert
86. Angela Cazel Jahn
85. Dayvid LeMmon
84. Beatrice Moore
83. Michelle J. Martinez
82. Carrie Bloomston
81. Paul Porter
80. Rachel Bess
79. Karolina Sussland
78. Aaron Abbott
77. Mary Lucking
76. Erin Sotak
75. Greg Esser
74. Matthew Mosher
73. Mark Klett
72. Tony Carrillo
71. Paul Morris
70. Joe Pagac
69. Alison King
68. JJ Horner

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton