Kim Hudman: Interview With An Australian Triple Threat
Kim Hudman is an Australian singer, dancer and actor based in the USA. She has performed around the world on cruise lines, has been the principal dancer in the Sands Casino in Macau, and spent two years as dance captain of the two most famous productions at Universal Studios Singapore in addition to performing as lead singer. She has played the critical role of Vivien Pressman and swung for the lead role of Penny Johnson in the Australian national tour of Dirty Dancing.
More recently, Hudman has soloed as the featured dancer with Yvie Oddly for the World Pride Opening Ceremony at Barclay’s Center and has worked with artists such as Whoopi Goldberg, Todrick Hall, Ciara, Chaka Khan and Cyndi Lauper, performing for over 25,000 people, with the event being televised nationally to thousands more.
Hello Kim, thank you for taking the time to talk with us at TAL! How did you start your varied international career, and what first attracted you to the Arts?
My mum was a performer and currently owns her own performing arts school, so the attraction was there from a young age. I was immersed in musical theatre and it became a family affair. I think I found the hunger to perform on stage early, through dance concerts as a child and I quickly learnt the stage was where I wanted to be. Performing to hundreds and spreading joy in the hearts of audience members is like nothing else: it’s one of the most rewarding jobs you can do.
I never had a backup plan as a kid for another career; it was the performing arts industry or nothing.
What’s been one of your favourite moments or career highlights so far?
Definitely playing the critical role of Vivien Pressman in Dirty Dancing was a huge highlight. Playing a villain in a well-loved jukebox musical was a great achievement for me. Every audience member knows the songs, the famous lines and loves the characters, so it was a very special time to be a part of something like that.
My other highlight would be gaining my featured role in ‘Oscar at the Crown’. I moved to NY in January 2019 and within a month of auditioning, I managed to secure this role. The competition here in NY is tough, greater than any other city in the world; there are thousands of girls auditioning for the same role and so when you get selected, it’s a huge deal.
What’s been your biggest learning curve working in the Arts?
Keeping faith and pushing through those rejections. They say the performing arts industry is one of the most mentally challenging careers you can have. You literally face rejection every day; not skinny enough, too skinny, wrong hair colour, too tall and the list goes on. I learnt to not take castings personally and that each day is a new day to audition. You may go to 17 auditions that week and be cut for every single one of them except one and book that job.
You never know what the casting panel are looking for, so it’s important to keep putting on that LaDuca boot, a red lip and a fierce attitude every single time.
What advice would you give to aspiring dancers, singers, performers and those who wish to get into the field?
Keep training always. Never stop as you can continue to learn even when working professionally. I grew up learning every style of dance in Australia; we are trained to do so. It gives us the edge and really pins us as triple threats. My advice is to learn every skill you can, take vocal lessons and be the best version of yourself so you can tackle any challenge. It’s like a carpenter can’t work without his tools. The same goes for dancers, you need to have every tool in your belt so you’re prepared.
It’s tough leaving your family and friends behind to pursue your passion but an artist’s career is short so my advice is to go for it while you can. Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t possible. Twelve years in the industry has taught me that every sacrifice I have ever made for my career was 100% worth it and if I had to do it all over, I wouldn’t change a thing.
While Covid-19 has put lots of things on hold for the moment, is there anything you have been working on behind the scenes? And what can we look forward to from you next?
My latest credit was the Off-Broadway musical, Oscar at the Crown, which is an immersive theatre experience set in an apocalyptic modern world that tells the story of Oscar Wilde. After auditioning against 600 other artists, I successfully secured one of the very few roles cast and covered 7 featured roles being the only SWING in the production. I’m pleased to say I will be reclaiming my successful role once more as we will be doing another reboot of Oscar at the Crown in 2021. I also recently featured as the lead in Jansport’s (Ru Paul’s contestant) music video, and I will be continuing to work with her in 2021.