Kelly Z was a part of Limelight from 2001 to 2011. It was a family affair for the Zimmers as they shared three generations of talent on stage and off. She soared to great heights on stage, and has continued that trajectory in life. We thank her for sharing her fond memories of her Limelight experience and words of wisdom for other Limelighters.
What was your first show?
What is your favorite show that you did or part that you played with Limelight?
Belle in Beauty and the Beast
How were you involved (acting/writing/tech)?
Did you participate in Limelight with a family member? What was that experience like?
Yes, my brother acted, as well. My mom took our headshots. My dad helped build sets. My grandpa would record our shows and make DVDs for the cast. I loved having them involved! I felt so supported of my passion for performing since they were so dedicated to helping make our productions the best they could be. I was always so proud seeing my mom’s photos displayed or when my brother crushed a monologue.
Most memorable Limelight experience?
Singing “Home” in Beauty and the Beast. It was always a dream role for me to play, and I watched the Disney movie every day for a year to basically become Belle so I could get the part. I truly felt so fulfilled singing that song on stage and was so proud of myself for working hard to get my dream role.
What is something you learned from Limelight?
I learned so many skills at such a young age that have really helped me in school, college, my career, and day to day life. Teamwork, patience, perseverance, humility. Not to mention dance, acting, and singing skills. Being in limelight greatly helped my self-esteem and to feel confident speaking in front of a large group of people.
What does Limelight mean to you?
Limelight means a lot to me! It was my whole life growing up from elementary school to when I graduated high school. I met some of my best friends through Limelight who I am still friends with today. It helped me discover so many talents and passions in myself, and I am so grateful for having been exposed to theater at a young age.
What are you doing now? How did Limelight help prepare you for that?
I am a flight attendant for a major US airline. Limelight helped me gain confidence to make the announcements in front of passengers, kind of like performing lines for a play. Limelight helped me with teamwork; I work every day with new people from all different backgrounds and skill sets. I find it very easy to get along with a lot of people and personalities like acting scenes with actors from different backgrounds. No flight is the same, so I learned to be adaptable from Limelight as well. Sometimes things don’t go exactly as rehearsed, but you have to improv and be flexible.
What is your advice for other theater artists?
My advice would be to enjoy every moment! A lot of my fondest memories of my childhood are related to Limelight whether it was during the audition process, rehearsals, performances, or the cast party at Gario’s. Also to never give up the passion! I joined an a cappella group in college to keep singing and performing, I still go to see live theater shows often, and I look for ways to get involved with theater in my community. Just because you don’t make acting or theater your career doesn’t mean you can’t always have it a part of your life.
Anything else you would like to share?
I just wanted to say how thankful I am to Limelight for existing. I think it’s such a wonderful creative outlet for kids and adults. It has grown a ton since I was a part of the shows, and I’m so happy to see it thriving for new generations.