We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberly Raven and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kimberly, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
The biggest risk I’ve ever taken in life was in ME! Believing in myself beyond limitations, fear, and the pressure of society influences. As a young girl growing up in Southeast Atlanta, it wasn’t much high expectations placed on the kids in my neighborhood. You were given two choices: lose yourself within the cracks of life or take control of your life. I chose to take control of my life and take the risks of growth and change to be the BEST version of myself. We are given this one life that can be lived in so many ways and yet life is sometimes stagnated by the thoughts of anxiety, negative thoughts and rejection. Your life is not your life if you constantly let the opinions of others dictate the production of the process. I never knew how things would work out but taking risks into new territories and opportunities freed me from the continuity of life. Living on edge experimenting with my creativity, taking risks, making mistakes, growing and having fun. Growth does not come without the pain of not having it all together, failure and the laughter of tears. Our lives are shaped by our experiences and the passage of time. It’s in that time, we are delicate with life trials and tribulations. Take the risks, if you win, you will be happy, if you lose, you will be wiser. When I changed my mindset, my life began to change. All things are possible when you take the risk to believe in yourself, your goals and dreams.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a professional actor here in the Atlanta area and venturing into the acting arena has been exciting for me. I first audited an acting class in 2017 at the Alliance Theater to observe and get more familiar with the options that were available to me. My instructor had a different agenda and asked me to participate in a humorous skit performing as “Madea” After class, she’d asked had I ever considered acting? I replied “no I haven’t, “the thought of performing or speaking in front of an audience terrified me.” I was nervous performing that skit, but she didn’t know it. Her response to me was ” you should really consider it. Well, it took me an entire year to consider it and I’m so glad I did. I was eager to learn something new, and reinvent myself as an actress. I returned back to the Alliance Theater in 2018 to began my acting career studying in stage and film. I dove right in attending class regularly, taking notes, asking questions and learning different acting techniques. This was something I decided to dedicate my time and attention to honing my craft, and to build a strong acting foundation. The more you know, the more you grow. I expanded my acting career and learned under the direction of instructors at the New African Grove Theater, Evolve Acting Studios, West End Performing Arts and Georgia Media Academy. The more I attend classes the more self-aware and confident I became in myself. I took the initiative to submit for background roles to get a closer hands on experience as to how a film production works. The onset experience was just the push I needed to extend my acting from background to submit for speaking roles. Taking it back to where it all started, I received my first speaking role in the stage play “Front Porch Society”. Dominating that role gave me the confidence to step beyond the stage into film, movies, television and music videos. Thus, came the day that everything changed in 2020, During the first months of the pandemic in a blink of an eye things changed dramatically in our everyday lives. The closure of schools, businesses and the filming industry were greatly impacted by this pandemic. We were in an emotional state I knew I had to shift my thought process of complacency to something positive and productive. I began to pray more, re-strategize, re-focus, write new goals and prepare for the outcome.. I had come too far to stop believing in myself or my brand. Once my thought process changed, I woke up with a purpose and a relentless mindset to utilize my creativity to overflow in my gifts. I had to adjust to this “new normal” environment, and keep it moving to achieve my goals. When the in-person acting classes was cancelled, I signed up for acting classes on zoom. Film productions was postponed but I kept studying my scripts, In-person auditions came to a halt, but I kept submitting my self-tape auditions. My thirst for greatness was quenching everyday with the need to stay the course. When I stumbled, I regained my focus, when I fell, I got back up, when I was tired, I rested but I never gave up. What sets me a part from others not only in my personal life but in my business career is that I wake up with a R.E.L.E.N.T.L.E.S.S attitude and set my expectations high to accomplish what I set out to do. I’m not afraid to stand out from the crowd, create my own lane and be purpose driven. Manifesting in “prayer” and “preparation” I discovered something magical and deep within myself that wasn’t there before. The process of success isn’t easy and giving up isn’t an option for me. I believe in my brand and in my purpose. I’m destined for greatness and I’m more determined now to make it. . I would like to leave my readers with this motivational nugget. Be relentless in your assignment and remain open to learn, listen, grow, communicate, let go, forgive, be coachable, read motivational books, listen to motivational speakers and adjust your mindset when life calls for a change.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’re glad Georgia is on your mind. Atlanta is the place to be for historical landmarks, great food and southern hospitality. Start your week off with breakfast at the Atlanta Breakfast Club or at the The Flying Biscuit before visiting the Birth Home of Martin Luther King Jr. Enjoy the beautiful scenery at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums with exhibits, galleries and animals galore. Take a brisk walk, bike ride or jog in the mornings and shoot hoops at Piedmont Park. Enjoy a full day at the Ponce City Market for restaurants, boutiques and more…..If you’re living the vegan life Nut_Cafe, Plantbased Pizzeria and Soul Vegetarian will satisfy your taste buds. Let your hair down and feel like a kid again at Six Flags over Georgia and White water park. Get ready to wind down at Kats Cafe for live music, open mic and their signature martinis. Suite Food Lounge has you covered with smooth jazz, or dance the night away on the dance floor with friends or a private rooftop area. Laugh your socks off with some of the funniest comedians at The Uptown Comedy Corner. Satisfy the soul food in you at The Southern Gentleman, Stan’s Smoke Signal BBQ Concession Trailer, and Sliders Burgers Joint,

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give credit and recognize the inspirational people in my life. First honor to God for being the head of my life, for your love, mercy and grace. Sending hugs and kisses to my heavenly parents Jesse and Margaret Raven, THANK YOU! for life and loving me unconditionally. I miss you dearly. ShoutOut to my 2 sons Darius and DeAnthony you are my life and inspiration in everything that I do and that I am, I Love YOU and I’m proud to be your Mom. ShoutOut to my cousins Wanda and Morineke for always checking up on me and supporting me. ShoutOut to my publisher and friend LaQuita Parks of Pa-Pro-Vi publishing for your honesty, guidance, words of wisdom and the girl talks. ShoutOut to my Pastor Dr. CH Braddy of Now Faith Apostolic Ministries for your support and the much needed prayers and sermons. ShoutOut to my acting instructors Allison Gardner, Keith Franklin, Victor Love, Anthony R. Page, Glenneta Griffin and Charles McIntosh for the feedback, encouragement, and pushing me beyond my acting comfort zone. Sending love and a ShoutOut for your continued support to my organizations The Dirtybirds Squad and The MasterMINDZ. I cannot end this ShoutOut without showing love to my hometown the City of Atlanta and the alumni of my high school Walter F. George High School. Thank you for your encouraging words, love and support. You all have helped create this butterfly and now its time for me to fly. I LOVE YOU ALL!!

Instagram: @mz_hollywood41

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/bodyflowinc

Twitter: @mz_hollywood41

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KIMBERLYHOLLYWOODRAVEN

Image Credits
Bernie Beale Films Bad Practice Web Series Khaeem Entertainment Lifetime Movie Network New African Grove Theater Dear X Atlanta Docuseries
Underground Railroad/Barry Jenkins

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