One laugh at a time, Kim Page tickles people’s funny spot
Kim Page loves to laugh. She also loves to make people laugh. It’s a toss-up which she likes best. "I think it’s making people laugh," she chooses, "because when they’re laughing, I’m laughing too at least on the inside. That brings joy to my heart." Page’s incessant smile and over-the-top sense of humor are familiar to Park City residents who’ve taken in her improv show at local watering holes.
Page, a Park City resident since 1990, describes herself as easy going, happy, fun-loving, loyal and creative. "I think I’m caring and helpful, but I have a serious side too," she says.
She was born in southern California, one of nine children in the combined family of Dick and Donna Page. She grew up in Hermosa Beach, a frisbee throw away from the breakwater. The quintessential southern California girl was surfing before she got her first bicycle. "My dad was a huge surfer so we grew up on boards," says Page. "Sometimes when the surf was good he’d say, ‘don’t go to school today. I’ll write you a note and we’ll go surfing.’"
"My whole life was within 100 yards of the Pacific Ocean on what is called ‘the Strand,’" says Page. "It’s a boardwalk full of seriously crazy people. I really believed there was no life east of the Pacific Coast Highway," she grins. "Every summer we lived in a camper at San Onofre Surf Club, just south of San Clemente. I had no idea that not everyone lived this ‘endless summer’ life."
Page attended Redondo High School, excelling on the swim team and as a cheerleader, of course. She went on to get her associate’s degree at El Camino Junior College.
A born entertainer, Page was involved in community theatre from age two to 19. She thought about acting in films, but stopped short. "There really were a lot of women that looked like Bo Derek running in slow motion on the beach, but I didn’t. I thought, there’s no place for me in Hollywood," she admits.
After college, still firmly entrenched in the So Cal lifestyle, Page hugged the beach and worked in the airline industry for 13 years. She held posts in reservations, sales, marketing and training for Continental Airlines and Air New Zealand.
"Then one day in 1990, I was stuck in traffic on the San Diego freeway and just said to myself, ‘that’s it, I’m out of here,"’ recalls Page. "I decided to chuck it and move to Park City." Page’s parents had been coming here to ski since 1977 and she vacationed here every year. She fell in love with Park City, at that time still a quaint little mining/ski town. "I bought a condo here as an investment in 1988, so at least I had a place to stay," she says.
Page found work in sales and marketing at Park City Mountain Resort and eased into her new life in Park City. "It was a good match and still is," she says. In 1992, she bought a home in the Prospector area, where she remains today.
"Park City has grown, but it still has a small town flavor," she says. "People here are really into health and fitness, which I like. There’s just so much to do here, whatever you want. I do get frustrated with bad driving habits and there are a lot more people in town these days. It just seems like the traffic has gone crazy. But, all in all, it’s a great place to live."
Twice married and now comfortably single, Page shares her home with her two dogs. She’s fond of Shar-Peis, which she describes as "the Chinese wrinkle-faced dogs." "They’re more like cats than dogs, very regal and loyal," she observes. In addition to Mei-Ling, her own Shar-Pei, she’s fostered and adopted several others, including one that was blind and one that was deaf.
Page calls Jimmy, her other dog, a "Chab." "That’s a cross between a chow and a Labrador retriever," she explains. "Jimmy just wants to love you and be a good dog. He’s very attentive and loves to cuddle. He’s the best dog ever."
In 2000, a life-changing event in her mother’s life marked a turning point in Page’s as well. Donna Page, a well-known and much-loved Park City resident, contracted a rare bacterial infection that nearly took her life and forced the amputation of her lower legs and all of her fingers. Her mother’s heroic battle for life was chronicled in local media and rocked the family to the core.
"Watching what mom went through, how she almost died, I realized my own life could be over or dramatically altered in the blink of an eye. I was going through life but not going for my passion," recalls Page. "I decided then and there I’d better get with the program and start doing the things I love."
For Page, that meant acting. "I got an acting coach and started going out on auditions. I also joined ‘Off the Top,’ an improvisational comedy group in town."
Page says her favorite local role so far was ‘Scarlett O’Gilmore," the pig farmer in the Park City Follies at the Egyptian Theatre two years ago. "I had so much fun creating that character. I would go out in my yard and rub my costume in the mud to make it look as realistic as possible," she says.
The blossoming actor recently took the plunge into producing film, forming a company called Crazy Parkite Productions with local film maker Stacy Dymalski and others. "I worked with Stacy on ‘Jupiter Landing,’ her first feature film, and really enjoyed it. When she asked me to join the production team on future projects, I didn’t hesitate," says Page.
Page’s life has come into sharp focus as she matures into her 40-something years. She enjoys spending time with her friends, honing her acting skills, singing, walking the local trails with Jimmy and attending local concerts. "I really do like to make people laugh. I’m putting a lot of effort into the improv troupe as a performer and promoter," she says.
"I like my life here," summarizes Page. "I’ll keep performing no matter what. They say it’s not that you want to act, but that you have to. There’s something about it that makes me feel more alive. I don’t know how else to explain it."
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