Updated: Jan 27, 2020
Welcome to the latest edition of our Get to Know series! In this post we are interviewing one of the newest additions to our company, Kiara Dowell! Kiara is a director, actress, playwright, poet, dancer, and dynamic talent.
MONUMENT: Alright, Kiara! Are you ready to introduce yourself to the world?
KIARA DOWELL: Let's do it!
M: What’s your favorite color?
KD: Maroon and teal.
M: Favorite food?
KD: Spaghetti and apple pie!
M: Favorite article of clothing?
KD: Dance tights.
M: Do you have any tattoos?
KD: Nope! No tattoos.
M: Favorite weather or time of year?
KD: Thunderstorms and fall (the type of weather that is nice light jacket weather, but there are leaves on the ground.)
M: Do you enjoy sports?
KD: Sometimes. If I do, its baseball.
M: Coffee or tea?
KD: Coffee. 100% addicted to it.
M: Cat or dog?
KD: Cat, because I feel like dogs are too much, but I can appreciate the occasional dog.
M: What are some hobbies/interests of yours outside of theatre?
KD: I paint, journal, photography, crochet, read, cross-stitch, slam poetry, and sing.
M: What do you do to relax?
KD: Read books, and meditate. I also listen to music and exercise.
M: Dream Vacation?
KD: I want to spend my vacation traveling through Europe, especially Spain, Italy, England, Ireland, Germany, and Russia. I am interested in cultures that are not mine and I feel like I would fit in better with theirs than my own. (American, that is.)
M: Do you have a favorite author or poet?
KD: Jane Austen and Maya Angelou!
M: What's a favorite work?
KD: "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". It's all about Angelou's life and it's so powerful and I just love all her poetry.
M: Do you have a favorite actor or director?
KD: Favorite director is Tim Burton because I love his dark material and how his style. As for favorite actor, it's gotta be Keala Settle from Waitress because she is a role model for me!
M: What is it about Keala Settle that you admire?
KD: I admire Keala because she's a bigger woman and she has darker skin and is still able to rock these amazing roles and persevere past it all and be someone people love!
M: Who are some other inspirations of yours?
KD: J.K. Rowling, because I love Harry Potter. And she didn't give up either. Even though every publisher denied her book, she persevered and it became a huge success. Another hero is my dance coach, because dance is a passion of mine and she let me continue it even though I couldn’t afford it and I was able to do something I loved.
M: What do you admire in people?
KD: Loyalty, trustworthiness, and being true to yourself.
M: What do you despise in people?
KD: Lying, fakeness, selfishness, and stupidity (sometimes).
M: What charms you in a person?
KD: Humor and the ability to deal with my punny self! I love puns, I use humor to deal with my troubles and hard times, and I appreciate people who do the same. I also think chivalry is charming both ways. Men and women opening the doors for each other, because I think it a nice charm for each party for example. Not being afraid to express oneself is charming as well.
M: Where are you from?
KD: I am from Crawfordsville, Indiana, but I was born in Lafayette.
M: What was it like growing up there?
KD: My experience growing up there was rough. I had a hard time fitting in and I had a very difficult family life. I’ve been through abusive family situations, I’ve been homeless, I’ve moved countless amount of times, and I struggled with being bullied in school for being black and not black enough. It has shaped me to believe that I can only do things for myself, because no one else is going to do it for me. I started to believe that I was unlovable and that I had to fight tooth and nail in order to get what I needed or what I wanted. I have been poor and so that made me fight harder, because I was tired of being helpless. Looking back I feel like I was wronged, but it shaped me into the person who I am today. I am able to look back and see that I was strong and brave for being able to deal with what I have gone through and still do something for myself and strive for a better future! I am able to work hard to be successful without the help of others. (While still acknowledging it's ok to accept help from others occasionally.)
M: When did you develop an interest in theatre?
KD: I started dance classes when I was three and so ever since then I spent my life on a stage and being on stage, I was a different person. I liked it and so I auditioned for a musical, Aladdin, and I loved being able to sing and dance and then I auditioned for a play, Harvey, and then I fell in love with acting. It wasn’t until I took theatre 101 that I fell in love with being a playwright and director and now here I am!
M: When did you know this is what you wanted to do?
KD: When I took theatre 101 is when I knew that I wanted to direct and write plays as well as continue acting!