By Heidi Simmons
When you are one-on-one with Kim Waltrip, you have her complete attention. She is friendly and focused. One would never know she is in the process of completing hundreds of details that require her immediate care. As Vice Chair of Kim and Jim Productions, she is always working.
In the last five years, Waltrip has produced 12 movies. “My passion has always been with film,” said Waltrip. “When the opportunity first came up to produce a feature movie, I jumped all over it.” That was in 2009 with the film ADOPT A SAILOR.
Friends with Sonny and Mary Bono, Waltrip came to Palm Springs often. When Sonny died, and it became apparent Mary would run for his Congressional Seat, Waltrip stayed and helped. After Bono was elected to Congress, she asked Waltrip to be her District Director and Waltrip accepted.
“I had no clue what that was,” said Waltrip. “But, I’m not afraid of a learning curve. I knew I could do the job.” In love with the CV lifestyle, Waltrip moved with her family to Palm Springs.
As if making movies isn’t enough, Waltrip’s Kim and Jim Productions is producing a monthly show at the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs, called “The Edge” series. “Every show, each month is different,” said Waltrip. “’Top Rock’ is this month, ‘Rockin’ The Holidays’ is in December and in January, ‘Rock the Soundtrack.’” A perfect addition to downtown Palm Springs, the show features costumed singers and dancers. The event opened with a star-studded premiere.
Kim and Jim Productions is a company of only three employees. They like to keep it lean. Of course, when they are in production on a film, it may go up to 100. For every new picture, a new crew is hired. There is also the troupe of performers and a staff for “The Edge.”
There is little doubt that Waltrip is obsessed with work. But she manages to make time for her family. Waltrip is married with a 19-year-old son, who will soon be attending Montana State University. Her husband, Jon Reveal, runs a ski resort in Montana. With a home here in the CV and in Wyoming, Waltrip and her family love to spend time outdoors.
“We love to take the RV and go camping. We love to hike and ski,” said Waltrip. “Being outside is where I get my main inspiration.” Often, Waltrip will choose to drive to a movie location rather than fly. “We were filming in North Carolina and I drove there,” said Waltrip. “Some people think it’s crazy, but I loved it! I love to see the country.”
“As busy as I am, I try to help when and where I can,” said Waltrip. “There are so many good organizations and charities in the valley.” Currently, she is involved with several charities. The Olive Crest Homes for Abused and Neglected Children’s Foundation is a passion of Waltrip’s. Her biological father was physically and sexually abusive.
Waltrip grew up withdrawn and shy. However, at 19 years old she entered and won a modeling contest, which launched a career with the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency. Her education was traveling Europe. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and has worked as an actress.
When she was 30, she thought she would be alone her whole life. With help, Waltrip discovered she was a survivor and could move on. Today, her mantra is to surround herself with good people with integrity. Mostly pleasant, she admits she can be tough, “but that it’s for a positive outcome and for a good purpose.”
“I’m so blessed every single day of my life,” said Waltrip. “The Coachella Valley is the most supportive community and environment.” Whether Waltrip is putting on a film festival or continuing with her recovery, the CV is Waltrip’s home. “I absolutely love it here.”
“Keep moving, keep productive. It’s a survival kind of thing,” said Waltrip. “You feel good about yourself when you are productive.”