~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
After four years of hard work, my first feature film, MODEL MINORITY was finally making its World Premiere at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in May of 2012. And in the midst of the screenings, celebrations and awards, my dearest friend, mentor and touchstone, Kym Wells, quietly passed away much too young, after a year and half of fighting the good fight against brain cancer.
I had the opportunity to say good-bye to her and told her everything I needed to say, everything she already knew: that I loved her as dearly as if she were my sister by blood, that she was always the one I turned to for advice about life and art. She introduced a young, sheltered girl from Las Vegas to the musicals of Stephen Sondheim, the movies of Preston Sturges and the art of the French Impressionists. She was a tall, beautiful fair-haired Canadian girl, and was the first person I met who never saw a person’s color, only that person’s soul. She once asked me and our friend, Silvia, who was Latina, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be ethnic and exotic-looking?” When we laughed, she genuinely didn’t know why. She leaves behind her African American six year-old son, Nicky, whom she adopted through the Children's Bureau of Southern California.
She was one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever known: playwright, novelist and screenwriter. I would not be who I am today, had I not had Kimberley Wells in my life.
I will miss her every day.