- Faith & Family
Kim Wayans may best be remembered as the sassy little sister of the great Keenan Ivory Wayans who scored big in the 90s with his sketch comedy show “In Living Color.” It was in fact, a family affair, with brothers Damon, Shawn and Marlon also appearing on the show. Kim went on to add several comedies to her portfolio including “I’m Gonna Get you Sucka” and “A Low Down Dirty Shame.” Her signature line, “But you didn’t hear it from me,” always caused audiences to erupt into laughter.
Now Kim is back and her career has taken on a whole new trajectory. She recently made her dramatic debut, starring in the film “Pariah” in which she plays the mother of a 17-year-old girl who is discovering her identity as a lesbian. And on Friday, Feb. 17, she will take to the stage at the Miramar Cultural Center in her one-woman show, “A Handsome Woman Retreat,” based on her experiences growing up in the projects and and surviving the world of Hollywood.
“It’s a comedic, spiritual journey that came about when I found myself suffering from panic attacks at a very unhappy point in my life,” she said. “My yoga teacher advised me to go on a 10-day silent retreat to get to the root — it helped me discover parts of my life — some funny and some not so funny.”
Wayans says the retreat was instrumental in her achieving a sense of inner peace that has remained with her ever since.
“I am very pleased with the show and it’s both funny and poignant — people seem to love it and that makes me quite happy,” she added.
All roads lead to the family
The Wayans weren’t always a show business family but following the lead and example of oldest brother, Keenan, Kim says it was easy to get involved in entertainment.
“We have 10 children, five girls and five boys, and growing up in a large family has been a lot of fun,” she said. “I have always had a companion, someone to laugh and cry with and we bounce things off one another. Keenan is our leader and was the first one to go to Hollywood to pursue show business. He’s our head honcho and is the best big brother a person could have. He has shown me the importance of having positive role models in our lives.”
Kim, along with her husband, Kevin Knotts, has developed a children’s book series, “Amy Hodgepodge,” that follows the life of a multi-racial girl. She has written six books so far and hopes to turn it into an animated series.
“The series was inspired by my 38 nieces and nephews,” she said. “Many of them are of mixed race and I wanted them to be able to see themselves represented in literature. It reflects our hodgepodge world of today.”
By D. Kevin McNeir