Learning to Trust Yourself: An Interview with Kimberly Hollkamp-Dinon

By Livian Yeh

Hailing from Jeffersonville, Indiana, Kimberly Hollkamp-Dinon attended A.C.T.’s Summer Training Congress after graduating from college. “I immediately fell in love with the learning and training environment, and with the community here at A.C.T.,” she says. “I knew it was a place in which I could thrive.” Three years later, Hollkamp-Dinon has grown in technique, confidence, and artistry. We caught up with her to chat about her time in the MFA program, embracing her weirdness, and her love of The Great British Bakeoff.

Kimberly Hollkamp-Dinon. Photo by Deborah Lopez. 

What's your favorite part of the MFA Program?
Definitely my classmates. I have learned so much from my fellow ensemble members of the class of 2020. I’m so grateful to work with them and learn from them. I have found lifelong collaborators in this group of artists. One of my favorite projects was when we all worked on a production of The School for Scandal directed by [MFA Program Head of Voice] Christine Adaire. We worked rigorously on our script analysis and vocal and physical technique. The production was set in a steampunk world, and it allowed us to explore our individual creativity while utilizing all the techniques we were learning. It was an exciting and fun experimental playground.

How would you describe your approach to your work? 
I’ve been exploring how I work during my time here at A.C.T. Working on my third-year solo show, I’ve realized it’s important for me to rely on impulse, especially in the beginning stages of my work. I always look for glimpses of humor in my acting, collaborating, and creating. It helps to release pressure on myself to be perfect. Most of all, I try to focus on generosity and integrity in all my work. I'm kind of a weird person, and I have come to realize that it’s so important to let my weirdness shine through!

Other than theater, what nurtures you?
I love reading and playing video games. During shelter-in-place, I have been playing a lot of Animal Crossing with family and friends. I also love reading fantasy series; right now I’m reading The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I also love baking! If I could be on The Great British Bakeoff, I would totally do it, but I’d need to practice more.

Kimberly Hollkamp-Dinon in Ti Jean and His Brothers (2019). Photo by Jay Yamada. 

Who inspires you? 
My family—they work hard and with extreme love and care. My mom and my grandmother have always been role models. My dad is also a huge inspiration—he’s a journalist for The Courier Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, and works harder than anyone I know. As the breaking news editor, he and his staff just won a Pulitzer Prize for a story they covered last year! I love my family immensely and am so proud of them.

How have you grown in your artistry in the past three years?
Oh man, I have grown tremendously. I’ve grown not only as an artist and actor, but also as a human being. I now really pride myself in my technique, especially regarding voice. I have become more confident. I rely on my impulses, and try not to question them. My stamina and emotional endurance have greatly improved. I now believe that anything in my career is possible. I have found my voice as an artist, and I cannot wait to expand on it and explore it for the rest of my life.

Check out A.C.T. MFA Program Class of 2020 here.

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