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Interview: Reina Shay Broussard

Reina Shay Broussard: You’ve had a lengthy career as a comedian and actress, but you’re still best known for your role as Synclaire on Living Single. Does it bother you that people remember you most for that character?

Kim Coles: Not at all. I totally embrace it. If you say, “Woo, woo, woo!” to me, I’ll say it back. I love it. “Woo, woo, woo” is something that my character used to say. It’s something that my mother used to say to my brother and me when we were kids. When words would fail her, she’d just go, “Oh, woo, woo, woo.” It’s compassion. It’s a combination of “I see you, I feel you, I acknowledge you, I got your back.”

RSB: Why do you do what you do?

KC: I do what I do because there’s nothing else for me to do. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. It is in my soul to spread love and laughter. Even if I wasn’t an actress or a comedian, I would be spreading love and laughter [with] whatever I did.

RSB: When I heard you speak at the Women’s Empowerment Conference in Houston, you shared your personal empowerment message called Open The GIFTS.

KC: Open the GIFTS actually came out of this quest. I ended up going into a pretty deep depression that people don’t know about, and now I’m talking about it. I was too focused on, If I’m not working, who am I? Why am I not doing that thing that I want to do the most? Why am I not successful in this moment?

I thought, If I’m going through this, then other people are, too. GIFTS is an acronym for Gratitude, Intention, Forgiveness, Triumphs, and Self-love. I believe that those are the principles we need to explore in order to discover our true gifts.

Everyone came here to do something magnificent. What is important is that you live your life to your fullest potential. That’s how you open your gifts and share them with the world. You should only be doing that thing that lights up your soul. You should only be doing the thing that makes you happy. Not just surface happy. That content, all-is-well-with-my-soul happy. It’s the thing you would do for free, and if you do it, you actually become hugely successful and make a lot of money, because the universe is going to send you the resources.

I’m happy to get up in the morning. I’ll tell you a little secret: I still want to work in Hollywood. However, I get really excited about getting on a plane, flying to a city, and talking to a group of people about finding the gifts they already have inside.

RSB: How do you deal with your pain?

KC: I examine it every which way. Why do I really feel this way? What’s going on here? I have to really explore it all the way out, drill it down to its lowest common denominator and go, Oh! That’s what that is. I’m feeling insecure. Or, Oh! God has something better for me.

RSB: How do you maintain your center in the middle of chaos?

KC: I’ve lived on the earth for fifty years. I’ve had enough experience with knowing that things will turn out just fine. I pray for that. There’s a lesson in everything. Looking for the lesson is grounding.

RSB: Are there any particular humanitarian or environmental causes that you support?

KC: I lend my voice to several things. I’m starting my own foundation called the Kim Coles Foundation.

RSB: What are your particular goals with your foundation?

KC: Anything that helps women close the gap between self-hatred, or not understanding their self-worth, and self esteem.

RSB: Anything else you’d like to share?

KC: I just want a life that’s full of up-leveled joy. And I’m ready to meet a nice man! Put that out there, too.


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