We are excited to talk to Kim Kuzma who has been performing in Puerto Vallarta cabaret venues since 2005. She has been a major factor in the development of the Puerto Vallarta cabaret scene and has recently become a real estate agent. We wanted to hear how she began performing in Puerto Vallarta and then how real estate was added to her career.
Kim, first tell us how and when you got started performing in Puerto Vallarta?
On a whim, I flew with a dear friend, John Whelan to solely audition for Mark Rome at The Palm Cabaret & Bar in 2005. I was so beside myself with excitement with the idea of returning to Puerto Vallarta after a family vacation in 1984, that I forgot to bring my cd of my backing tracks! Can you imagine? I’d come to audition and suddenly I’m sheepishly handing my recorded ‘Contradictions’ CD over to Mark so I could proceed to sing backups to my own voice, to a packed room full of men! I was so nervous due to my error but all went well and then with Mark’s casual flair, he said ‘You’re hired! Let’s start with two weeks this winter.’ And the rest is history, my friends. I’m so grateful to both Mark and John, for I had no idea that PV would be such a quintessential destination in my life.
You also perform in the US. Describe the cabaret scene in PV for someone who hasn’t seen a show or performance here?
Someone visiting PV for the first time will be gobsmacked with how much remarkable talent there is here. From solo artists with tracks/bands, to tribute artists, bands or hysterical drag acts. (‘Female Delusionist’ as one of my best friends, Miss Conception/ Kevin Levesque calls himself!) One’s musical scope may broaden after a vacation here if you take the unique opportunity to visit the shows here.
When I started in 2005, there were only a handful of visiting artists like Ida Slapter, who had the best damn legs in and amazing splits in town, Kinsey Sicks, Amy Armstrong, and Carrie Chestnut. Today you have the choice of 12 shows a night or more. Vallarta has had artists from television: Branden James of Branden + James -America’s Got Talent, Jai Rodriguez-Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, Leslie Jordan-Will and Grace, Effie Passero-American Idol to seeing new acts like Diana Villamonte-Tina Turner, Maru Prado Conti-This Is Gaga, Roy Gomez Cruz-Freddy Mercury. There’s so many I could mention. Enrique de Allende is one incredibly talented man that I’ve had the opportunity to perform with as well here, who grabbed the attention of many folks since he’s started performing here.
Let’s not forget the abundance of immense local musical talent! I truly fell in love with the sound of latin guitar and was thrilled when Eduardo Leon and I joined forces back in 2012, building the band, creating a whole new platform of music to perform, incorporating other amazing musicians over the years. Want to hear wicked good talent and lean into a tasty chocolate martini? Head to Garbo’s Piano Bar to listen to Piel Canela, featuring Fernando Gonzalez, Eduardo Leon and Luis Rascon on Saturday nights at 10pm.
How did your shift into Real Estate happen?
I pondered about it for a year but it felt quite natural in the end to make the decision to get into real estate. I wanted a new challenge in my life aside from music, to create a sense of stability for my future. (I can imagine some of you are laughing… REAL ESTATE? STABILITY?!) Something that I could do at any age. Besides, no man, gay or straight, wants to see me promoting the beach at 60 in a bikini! (Bite your tongue – I’m not there yet!)
Fortunately, I had a couple of friends who were realtors, who suggested I look into it. They knew I was ready for something else to add to my creative side. As one friend said to me, ‘You could sell dog shit in different colors’, when considering my ability to relate to people easily after years of onstage experience. I know a lot of people from the USA, Canada and beyond. I’ve also formed lifelong friendships while performing in PV for the past 17 years so it simply made sense. So thank you, Tim Longpre and Ron Morgan for your suggestions and belief in me.
I’ve always been fascinated with architecture, from excelling in drafting during high school, to taking an interior design course when I was contemplating leaving music back in 1994 to have a ‘more stable career’ and relationship. That didn’t last long. I left the guy and kept singing. Thank goodness I chose correctly. My deep interest in design and architecture and how people create their own personal oasis never left me.
I’d been following Ryan Donner from Ryan Donner & Associates for some time online and saw how he’d become successful in his own right and that prompted me to reach out to him. I can’t express how happy I am I wrote that first message to him inquiring if I could have a few moments of his time for a call. I couldn’t possibly count the hours he’s spent answering all of my questions and always being there for any of our team members who need his expertise or assistance. He is truly a remarkable mentor/boss and broker. He walks his talk and I really respect him for that. So now I can be reached here at Ryan Donner’s website or via email at [email protected]
Describe the current real estate market in Puerto Vallarta.
The market is so hot right now. Listings that may have sat for two years are now selling. Covid has been an incredibly unique time as many people have figured out that they can work from anywhere remotely. We should all know by now that our time on earth is not guaranteed and this caused people to make life changes and in terms of real estate buy now rather than wait. There are great opportunities in pre-construction for those who don’t necessarily need to move in right away but want to take advantage of the discounted rates for investment purposes. Don’t wait if something truly interests you. Feel free to reach out to me, ask questions.
I could have bought a condo by the beach for $25,000 in 1994. I kick myself now. I use my KMA theory for everything now. ‘Will I kick my a** if I don’t purchase this?’ This can apply to anything… Condos, clothing, you name it. And yes, you too can use it. You’ll think of me when doing so!
Why do so many visitors to PV choose to buy real estate here?
PV is a destination that people have come to over the years and fall in love with it more with each visit. I have also met people who are here for the first time and exclaim to me that they’re going home to pack up and move here! Cajones!) People want to be wherever makes them HAPPY. If every time you come here and wake up with a smile on your face, you feel lighter and eventually you think ‘why not plan ahead’ and create roots here? Perhaps purchase a condo to rent until that time comes? Anytime I’m returning and the plane is nearing PV, I can feel the excitement surge through me and I feel like I’m home.
What advice would you give to someone considering buying real estate in PV?
I would suggest renting first in the areas that interest them. You will know if it feels right to you and meets your needs; perhaps you want things that are walkable like restaurants, clubs, that kind of thing. I never want anyone to feel rushed. That being said though, with how quickly listings have been selling your ideal home may be gone when you return in 3 months. Just keep that in mind.
Overall, it never hurts to look, educate yourself whether you’re ready to buy now or interested in buying in the future. Dream it, make it happen and as I say concerning anything in life, ‘why wait…’
Will you still be performing what, when and where?
Performing is in my blood so yes I will still be performing. I love working with the musicians and friends I’m fortunate to share the stage with. It’s interesting though…With music not my only source of income, it has made me appreciate music even more. You don’t sweat how many tickets were sold like last year – bloody hell, that was TOUGH. For everyone! It allows room for a newfound joy and lightness in it all for me. Don’t misunderstand me… Music isn’t about making money. Most performers do it because they thoroughly love it. It feeds and fills our soul like nothing else but we still have bills to pay like anyone else.
SHOWS THIS SEASON
Coco’s Kitchen – Every other Monday / 8pm
Coco’s is not only for breakfast. Eduardo Leon (Guitar), Luis Rascon (Percussion & Cello), Roberto Falcon (Bass) and myself will continue what we started last season with Coco and her wonderful staff. It is an evening ‘Dinner & Show’ in their beautiful garden space. $1000 pesos for a delicious 3 course dinner and music from us, with anything from Gipsy Kings, Adele, Donna Summer, Billy Eilish to classics, mashed up with other songs in the unique way we are known for. I’m really excited to perform with my dear friends again. It makes for a really great evening that is unique while dining outdoors.
The Palm Cabaret & Bar- Every Saturday / 8pm
‘Back to Basics’ with Brett Rowe on piano. A more raw version with piano only, accompanied by some video clips of me performing when starting out. Singing songs I grew up listening to from the movie Fame, to Annie Lennox, Streisand, Jann Arden (Canadians know who I’m talking about) and more.
There’s a vulnerability to performing to one instrument without any bells and whistles. I’m hoping that others enjoy it as much as I will working with Brett, who is new to PV. Brett has played piano for many Broadway touring shows; Wicked, Mary Poppins, including the Chicago symphony orchestra. He is a consummate professional onstage and not hard on the eyes either.
Come see for yourself why so many people fall in love with Puerto Vallarta… You too will be hooked! Keep up with Kim’s facebook real estate page here.