Tuesday, 19 September 2017

NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Stage debutante Kim Rubie talks about her breakout role, mommyhood and life as an uptown brownin’

LOOKING AHEAD: "There's much more to do, so many things to conquer and achieve," Rubie says of plans for her acting career.

ACCORDING to those who know her best, Kim Rubie is a born drama queen, a natural fit for the stage and the world of theatre. Whenever she would have one of her ‘moments’ while at work or in the company of friends, the suggestion always arose for her to seek out opportunities to transform this natural gift into something worthwhile. She finally took them up on it and sent a Facebook message to David Tulloch, whom she knew from her days attending St. Andrew’s High for Girls. A reply from Tulloch eventually led to a part in his latest domestic saga, White Skin, Black Heart, in which Rubie gets to vividly demonstrate what her friends knew all along: she belongs on the stage.

One of the most exciting newcomers of the season, Rubie brings conviction and fiery energy to the part of Madison, a cantankerous ex-wife who refuses to move on. By her own admission, Rubie is nothing like the half-crazy Madison, who is intent on heaping misery on her hubby Nicholas (played by Tulloch) and his new flame Kerry (Neisha-Yen Jones). But she gets the character; she feels her pain. “I understand where she’s coming from. She doesn’t want the man for herself anymore, but she doesn’t want to see him with anybody else; she can’t handle it,” Rubie notes. “In a way she thinks she’s better than people. I kinda had to step outside of myself to find the character.”

Job very well done. “It had a lot to do with David’s direction,” Rubie says. “I tried to become her as much as possible, but it wasn’t easy. Deep down she’s evil.”

Rubie, who is of Syrian and Black descent and grew up in Havendale, St. Andrew, with her adoptive parents, had her share of mean people to deal with growing up. Leaping readily to mind are those early years at St. Andrew’s, where she was mercilessly picked on by some of her peers. “In first form, they were horrible to me. They called me all kinds of names. It really toughened me up, so by second form I was able to deal with the bullying,” says Rubie, who lost both her birth parents early on. But life had other blessings in store.

After leaving St. Andrew’s, she got into the Randolph-Macon Women’s College located in deep rural Virginia, where she studied Sociology and Anthropology, minoring in Studio Art. “It’s a small college in a small town; everybody knows everybody. I missed home a lot,” shares the actress and trained artist, who now makes her nine-to-five livelihood as a graphics designer.

And when she’s not working, this mother of two is tending to her munchkins, the absolute loves of her life. “I’m a single mom, so it’s work nine-to-five then home with them. I sometimes miss out on spending time with them, so I try to make up for it as much as possible. And now that I’m getting into acting, it’s even more challenging, but they understand that mommy has to do what she has to do,” the 34-year-old explains. “My kids are young so I have many more years ahead with them, teaching them and visualizing for them.”
Back on the theatre scene, Kim Rubie is a promising first-time in whom David Tulloch is well pleased. “I thought she did a great job with the role. She’s easy to direct and she tries her best,” the ace playwright/director tells TALLAWAH. “I’d love to see what she delivers after another five or so plays.” 

Rubie, who will catch a movie at the cineplex every now and again and loves her dancehall, feels more confident in her womanhood these days, and those pangs of stage fright she felt at the outset of the production are now behind her. It goes without saying that Kim Rubie is just warming up. “I’m definitely not satisfied yet. This is not it. There’s so much more to do, so many things to conquer and achieve,” she says. 

What about the ideal stage role she’d love to bring to life? A ruffian. “I tell people all the time, I am not your average brownin’,” she fesses up. “I would love to play a role where I get to bring out the other parts of me. Something out of the box that would really shock people.” Kim Rubie lets put a hearty uptown girl laugh.

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