WATCH: Actress Kim Fields Stays in the Game, Part 1 - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Kim Fields is the host of Lens on Talent on BET and Centric. (Photo source: Al-Karim Powell- Darensberg)

Actress, director, producer, author, wife, and mother Kim Fields is a veteran in the entertainment industry at the young age of 41. After decades of playing characters in front of the camera, Fields has taken to working her magic behind the camera. Now she is adding something new to her repertoire: host. Fields will appear every Sunday evening on BET’s and Centric’s Lens on Talent: A Johnson & Johnson Filmmakers Challenge, a one-hour, short film showcase on emerging African American filmmakers competing to win an opportunity to produce a short film that will air on BET and Centric. Here, in this exclusive interview with, Fields talks about her life then and now working in the entertainment world. Lots of people know you from your characters on Living Single and Facts of Life.  However, your career expands far beyond that. Tell us, what is Kim Fields up to now?
Kim Fields: God is good in that I’m still working and in the entertainment industry. I’ve been directing quite a bit, and working on House of Payne and Meet the Browns at Tyler Perry Studios. I’m the producer of a new show that is slightly different from the Tyler Perry brand.  I also direct a show called Let’s Stay Together, a BET original scripted show.  Now I’m hosting a filmmaker show called Lens on Talent.

What have some of the influential moments in your career been, and how have they affected and influenced what you’re doing now?
The most influential moment in my career was the first moment I was introduced to this whole world of entertainment.  I was five or six. My Mother was on tour with Pearl Bailey in Hello Dolly.  I can remember being backstage and seeing costumes on racks, make up, the crew–all that went into putting on a show.  Ms. Bailey would talk to lil’ ol’ me from the stage.  I remember thinking, ‘I like this world.  I like this environment.’  I was never a performer as a little girl, however it resonates in a five or six-year-old’s mind.  It was a defining moment for me.  Every day I’ve been working–whether Facts of Life, Living Single, TV movies, independent films–any day on set helps to redefine who I am as an actor, filmmaker, story teller.

What advice can you give other entrepreneurs?
Understand that when you have disappointing moments–‘cause you’ll have them–don’t let them swallow you up.  Part of the entrepreneur spirit is that spirit to triumph.  Sometimes that may get squelched to the littlest flicker as opposed to the big, bright, burning torch that you usually feel. [One minute you feel] on top of the world–[the next] you get slammed with disappointing deals that don’t happen or somebody betrays you. [There are] so many different elements when you’re dealing with finances and contracts, so many things can be excruciatingly painful and very difficult.  Even in the creative world that I’m in.  Honestly, you can’t let it swallow you up.  I say that from experience because I let something swallow me up. I let all that [negativity] fuel me to where it affected my health, affected me emotionally, and it took me a long time to climb back.

The other thing I would say, too, in terms of advice is you’re never too old to try something.  You know what I mean?  It’s people who say ‘Aw, I’m in my 40s, 50s–I don’t want to start over.  I’ve been doing this …’  It’s never too late to try something. It’s better to try than be bitter because you didn’t try.

Check back next week for Part 2 of our exclusive interview with Kim Fields.

Shannon Lanier contributed to the production of this article.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.