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Freelance Interview Series – Juggling Work, Passions and Community with Kimber London

Kimber London is a freelance writer, model, and active member and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. They wear many hats and inspire us to get involved in and make time for the activities that are dear to us – no matter how busy we are.

Despite their full schedule, Kimber manages to prioritize what’s most important to them. They shared their perspective on making time for hobbies and passions on top of a busy schedule, along with ways to get involved with and show support for LGBTQ+ communities.

Juggling Work, Passions and Community

1. You’ve been a freelancer, worked a 9-5, and modeled. Can you tell us a little bit about the pros and cons of each working style and which role you enjoy most?

When it comes to a career, I certainly have worked in many. I graduated on the Dean’s list at the University of Washington from their competitive Creative Writing program. At the time, I had just shaved my head and discovered that modeling was my passion, so I took on freelance writing clients to support my modeling. I paid to travel to photo shoots and runways all over the world and, today, I teach models what I learned along the way. I save my students a ton of time and money that’s for sure!

Modeling, like other industry arts, is a job that usually pays about 90 days out. So you may have made a decent day rate, but you’re not gonna see it for three months. You literally have to work another job to pay the bills. I remember days where I’d clock out of my bartending shift the night before shooting with Post Malone. My most recent gig pulled in over $20,000 and I’m so proud. It didn’t happen overnight and I’ll keep working at it always. I started off solo and at this point in my career I’m currently represented by a print agency, a commercial agency, a theatrical agent, AND a manager. So my advice to talent in the field is: get a team to represent you – but that applies to most things.

So I definitely lean towards a freelance lifestyle, just because being an entrepreneur has always been important to me. I want to be my own boss. I wanna have my own hours, however, I got into my apartment because of my steady 9-to-5 job. I have healthcare and other benefits. But it’s a trade-off… A trade-off of time, which is the most valuable asset in my opinion.

So, how do I justify it? Well, the times in my life when I’ve worked on a schedule, whether in food service or full-time or side gigs, it always had to be teaching me something. If I learned a new skill that I thought was important, it was worth the initial endeavor. Now, as you might imagine I’m not really one to keep a job for many many years because ultimately I do want to build my own dream. Not someone else’s. And that’s what you have to think about at the end of the day.

2. You started working remotely when the pandemic hit. Can you talk to us about that transition and any struggles you experienced?

During the nationwide pause, work in Los Angeles was on lockdown. In a city run by the entertainment industry, working actors, models, directors and crew were not considered essential. So, after two months in LA and not seeing things improve, I moved back to the Pacific Northwest, to Coeur D’Alene, ID, for a change of scenery. I had fallen for it while visiting and took advantage of the cost of living. Like I said, I’m still represented in Los Angeles so I can travel for work and get direct bookings as a result, meaning less auditions, more work.

But coming to Coeur d’Alene, ID did have its challenges. This town isn’t known for its gay friendly neighborhoods and programs. However, I was recently elected to the North Idaho Pride Alliance board and have enjoyed volunteering in a community that needs the support. Because I work remotely, it’s important for me to volunteer in the community, which is what I do with my LGBTQIA+ involvements.

3. You’re actively involved in your local community and LGBTQ+ organizations. How do you make time for passions and hobbies on top of your work?

I’ve always wanted to be asked this question. Because when someone asks you this question, it means that they see all the places that you stretch your schedule. Gary V inspires me daily and much like he does, I’ll look at my schedule to decide what’s truly important for the week and if it’s not crucial to my end goal, I open up my book for different plans. In other words, if it’s not a hell yes – it’s a hell no. I just happen to say hell yes to a lot of things like: learning valuable skills at my 9-5, writing freelance nights and weekends, drag show performances twice a month, PRIDE meetings twice a month, and time with friends on the boat or in the water.

4. How would you recommend other members of the LGBTQ+ community get involved and seek out their local organizations?

If you’re interested in local LGBTQ resources, the easiest thing to do is go online to lgbtcenters.org/LGBTCenters and you can search local community centers. You can always email NIPalliance@gmail.com and we can help you get the answers you’re looking for. Sometimes all it takes is a simple Google search for LGBTQ friendly businesses in your area. The best is word-of-mouth. If it’s a small town, it won’t be too hard to find.

5. What advice would you give to those who are striving to become better allies?

If you’re striving to become a better ally, we love you already! My friends who try with my pronouns and sometimes get it wrong, are working on it. That means so much to me. So it’s really all about growth. And understanding what being an ally means, that it’s someone we can depend on when people try to bully us. It’s parents who love their children no matter how they identify. It’s somebody who checks their bigoted friend’s behavior. It’s someone who will hold our hand, and shield us from the attacks of others who hate our very existence. So, give us a hug basically! Shit’s heavy out here. We can all use some help carrying the weight of what’s happening in this country right now. For women, for gays next, and segregation and on and on until we all say enough is enough. So being an ally is amazing and we need more of you!

 

Follow along with Kimber on Instagram to learn out more about them and stay in touch!

About the Author
Samantha is co-founder of Harlow. Previously she was a marketing and demand gen freelancer. She enjoys traveling, connecting with new people, spending time with her husband and their baby (a furry friend named Karl), and throwing back an extra dirty martini every now and then.

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