Born in Melbourne, Kara Sims completed her full-time training as a scholar at Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance in 2020. Prior to graduating, Kara originated the role of Billie in A Sharp Intake of Breath by Lucy O’Brien (Melbourne Fringe Festival) and the lead role of Max in Suddenly: A Short New Musical (DHB Theatrical) – a film for release in 2021. Proudly Filipino-Australian, Kara was a semi-finalist in the inaugural AOC Initiative in 2020. Kara is ecstatic to be making her professional musical theatre debut in Moulin Rouge! The Musical.
From what age did you know of your great interest in acting and performing arts? What was your first project?
I’ve always loved the performing arts from a young age. Whether it be at a party singing karaoke or joining the local ballet school, my parents supported me in doing what makes me happy!
I think the first performance/project I had (that was more than a school show) was for a charity – I was 6 and sang “I am but a small voice” by Lea Salonga.
What are some of the projects that you have been involved in here and/or overseas?
As I’ve just graduated, I am still quite new to the industry. I’ve recently been a part of a short film called Suddenly: A Short New Musical, in which I played the lead role of Max. This project started during Melbourne’s second lockdown and was a great experience as I did it while I was in my final year of training. It was great to work on something that involved both film and theatre.
When I was 14, I was lucky enough to go on a USA tour with a music theatre program I was a part of. As well as performing there, I got to see my very first Broadway shows starring actors I really look up to.
I also did a lot of amateur and school theatre in my teens, which led to me performing dream roles and earning awards. My first professional production is Moulin Rouge! The Musical – which previews and starts on August 13 at the Regent Theatre, Melbourne.
Of the work you listed, which one would you consider is a favourite?
I really think Suddenly: A Short New Musical holds a special place in my heart as working with young creatives who I consider great friends and creating an original Australian piece is an amazing experience in itself.
Who would you credit as having the greatest influence on you and in what you do? Who would you select as the most enjoyable person/s you have worked with and why?
Lea Salonga has always had such a huge influence on me, representing us in the Filipina community on a big stage. I also look up to the likes of Sutton Foster, who has had an amazing career as a versatile artist.
In saying that, I must credit my teachers over the years who have influenced me in ways they don’t even know. They reminded me in classes to work hard but remember and prioritise the joy of being creative.
What project are you currently working on?
I am just about to commence rehearsals for Moulin Rouge! The Musical which tells the story of artists who are trying to survive and put on a show against all odds, which remains relevant today as we come out of the theatre shutdown and work together to put on an incredible show.
I am in the ensemble and get to cover/understudy two other roles.
What else would you want to accomplish?
I would love to move and perform overseas if the opportunity arises. Other than performing, I’d love to use my platform to raise awareness for social justice. I feel that having a career as a performer in itself is a great privilege and is a hard path to take even without the hurdles that accessibility creates. Whether it be as a performer or not, I want to ensure I’m doing my part towards everyone’s human rights being respected and protected.
Do you have any projects coming up?
I’ll be on Moulin Rouge! The Musical for a while! Though, I have released music on Spotify and Apple Music and would love to continue to do so. You can check out my releases by searching Kara Sims on either platform.
What advice would you give to other aspiring Fil-Aussie Actors who are still trying to establish themselves in the industry?
This has been my favourite quote for many years, “comparison is the thief of joy”. Everyone’s journey is different and that is what makes being creative so beautiful. Keep working hard, be self-aware and kind to yourself and others.