Following the release of Spectrum London (check out the review here), I had a quick call with Mzz Kimberley. Mzz Kimberley performs regularly in London’s Supperclub, The Glory, The Ivy club, The RVT, The Brompton Club, Shoreditch House, The Cellar Door & the Edinburgh festival.
Mzz K. is also the chairman of ‘Drag Queens Against Breast Cancer’, benefiting the breast cancer campaign, & in January 2016 made her appearance on CH4’s Body Shockers.
Mzz Kimberley plays Mzz Demeanour in the hit new LBGT QPOC webseries, Spectrum London.
Planet Nation: How did you get involved?
Mzz Kimberley: I was an actress already. Monica approached me to see if I was interested in developing the character of Mzz Demeanour. As I had worked with CampbellX before, I knew what to expect and how the cast and crew would become a family already. As the character developed I got more and more involved and so ended up playing the part in the series.
Planet Nation: What was the highlight of working on Spectrum London?
Mzz Kimberley: The highlight was definitely going to Hollywood for the premiere. 2 weeks of living the dream in LA.
Planet Nation: It is very much real life, the overlaps and experiences I do understand are so genuine that this helps me to understand and believe the parts that are new to me as a viewer. Did you also find the story true to your experiences?
Mzz Kimberley: It is a kind of life that a lot of people don't realise exists. You could be living next to someone and you could not know if they are transgender or not. They could be married with children. Spectrum London is showing the public that LGBT people can have a regular life. It is so true because you don't know people's story. People think that they know people, but you never really know people behind closed doors. It is really educating people.
The gay scene reminds me of a bunch of republicans. Gay men dominate the scene. I always say - let them dominate. We need to just do what we need to do. Let's just get on with it. I've been around a while, and back in the day there were similar problems. Reading up on the past when the first NY pride took place - there were gay men who didn't want trans or people in drag. The scene was slightly more together back then however - but otherwise not a lot has changed. Gay men are so accepted that they sometimes look down on other members of the LGBT community. You would think because of the journey - that as members of the wider LGBT community we would be a little bit more accepting. I'm disappointed at present - but it is important to highlight that some cis male men don't feel comfortable in certain LGBT places. Our community is fragmented.
I work with gay pride and there was even a mention about making sure the content isn't too white and too gay male, which I was really happy to hear. Certain members of the LGBT community are starting to come together. The queer community in particular are more understanding around the use/misuse of labels and the bigger picture within the community.
Planet Nation: How important is it to have people of colour on screen?
Mzz Kimberley: It is very important - especially in England. The media is always shouting about England being multi-cultural. But TV doesn't reflect that. I'm American and you turn on the TV and there is true diversity on television. Representation is very important - you need to see people like yourself to feel you belong. There is some good art out there. It is changing. BAFTA have announced this year that they are not going to nominate certain film and television if is too white. Small changes such as this make a difference. We need diversity.
A lot of black actors are going to the US because it is a lot easier to get work there. Then they come back to the UK and become big over here. It would be great if they could get roles in the UK and become big over here. All the big awards for Spectrum London are from the US. Whilst I'd love to see UK awards, US awards still raise the profile of LGBT people of colour - it just takes a little longer to filter through.
Planet Nation: Your character facilitates the drama but doesn't really get too involved. Did you enjoy playing Mzz Demeanour?
Mzz Kimberley: What you have seen of Mzz Demeanour is just a taste - there is a lot more to come. She isn't all sweet and innocent!
Planet Nation: What would you love to see in series 2 for Mzz Demeanour?
Mzz Kimberley: It would be great if Mzz Demeanour could get someone pregnant in a lesbian affair. Or maybe join to a church with the church not knowing she is a transgender person. Perhaps Mzz Demeanour could get involved in community, supporting the local kids who love her, but the parents don't to show the differences in perceptions and attitudes between adults and children.
Society needs to put themselves in someone else's shoes more, to understand the impact of their actions. Why are transphobic people trying to hurt people? What are they trying to do?
I grew up in a church environment. My Nan died recently and when I went to church I needed to use the bathroom. Everyone stared when I came out of the toilets - I mean where did they expect me to go?!
If you look at the wider world - in Russia for example, Putin goes on about saving the children from LGBT people. What about the actual bad people? Paedophiles and abusers who aren't LGBT? Why don't they put so much energy into them?
There definitely needs to be a lot more understanding and love in our community too. We can try to educate through entertainment such as Spectrum London. However if people don't want to learn then there isn't much more that can be done. People are people. People are going to do what they want. As long as you are not physically hurting people, do what you are going to do and be who you want to be.
I'm all for free love. Society needs to learn. You should be able to be free to love whoever you want to love.
Spectrum London is a new groundbreaking UK Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) drama web series created &
produced by award winning Producer Monica Y. Dee & award winning writer Jake Graf, Episode 1 being co-written by Monica Y. Dee & Jake Graf.
Spectrum London is an ensemble piece performed by a diverse group of actors from the London LGBTQ community. The drama interweaves the characters’ stories & everyday lives to show their highs, lows, loves & challenges to bring to the audience experiences which transcend gender, sexual orientation & ethnicity.