Stage Mom, Kim Dant, Mom of Annie's Pepper
Shares Her Thoughts
A few weeks ago I had the privilege to talk with Kim Dant, mom to Adia Dant who plays the orphan Pepper in the off-Broadway production of Annie. Adia is also the understudy for Annie and made her debut in Ft. Lauderdale. For those of you who have ever thought of engaging your children in acting you’ll want to hear what Kim has to say as new "stage" mom! Adia is just 9 years old but really has a passion for acting and Kim feels her biggest role is to provide her daughter with the tools to pursue her dream, be her biggest supporter and guide her in the right direction. She definitely doesn’t view herself as Adia’s manager and leaves it to her agent to determine what would be best for her acting career!
When I spoke to Kim, she and Adia were just 6 weeks in to a year-long National Tour of Annie. Back home in Indianapolis, Kim’s husband and son are holding down the home-front while trying to catch some of Adia’s performances throughout the country. Traveling to the different cities has been one of Kim’s favorite parts of the tour outside of first and foremost seeing her daughter pursue her dream. But Kim says packing has been a real challenge. She finds herself sending bags home with family as she accumulates things, but still has a good bit of luggage to carry from city to city. What I was most impressed by is hearing that Kim is still holding down a full time job while traveling. Her company was agreeable to providing her with a laptop and phone and allowing her to work remotely. Since she carries the family’s benefits, this was a must, but has been extremely challenging as she still seeks to find a balance of work and stage mom.
Speaking of stage mom, Kim doesn’t like the rap that the title gets and doesn’t really consider herself a standard stage mom. She really reiterated that her role is really just Adia’s mom and she’s there for her when she has good days and bad. She has formed some great bonds with the other orphan’s moms and the girls all get along. When she has work to get done she may rely on another mom to get her daughter to school or practice with the key being communication. Sounds like the normal way of getting through life with kids, in my opinion! Kim said they are all already thinking about how sad it’s going to be when the tour is over. And as far as a normal childhood, that is the biggest thing that Kim wanted to stress to all the moms out there is that she isn’t keeping Adia from a normal childhood. It’s not just school and the show…they are out seeing zoos and museums and the girls are swimming and have taken up new habits of knitting and crocheting.
So how did Adia get into Broadway at such a young age you may ask. She has been dancing for 8 years and began singing about 18 months ago. She got the Annie bug and starred in a regional production. She entered a singing contest to which her dad promised a trip to NYC if she won and even though she didn’t he still sent Adia and Kim to see Annie on Broadway. From there, Kim connected with an agent who connected Adia with an acting coach. Adia also still keeps in touch with her local singing and dance coaches while on tour through skype. Although Adia has had little disappointment in her career, her first audition for Matilda in White Christmas wasn’t a success. However with more than 400 girls who tried out for Annie she was just one of 7 chosen!
On her debut of Annie, Kim said Adia was totally fearless. Kim on the other hand "had never had that feeling of being really excited, but totally nervous" and kept those emotions to herself! Throughout our conversation Kim really kept the theme that the passion is Adia’s and as her mom she just helps her follow that dream and living out that dream is just normal!
You can catch Adia as Pepper at the Benedum this weekend!