Today we’d like to introduce you to Kira Tidmore.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I moved to L.A. just a few months shy of turning 30. I lived in Alabama almost all my life and always felt this need to get out and try something new. I wasn’t sure what exactly, but I was going to make it happen. Ever since I was a kid, I was always creating. I went from drawing to stitching, to painting, and even did a little sculpting.
About four years before I moved here, I settled on the idea of doing special effects make-up. I practiced all the time and helped people with their Halloween costumes. I couldn’t get enough of it. My plan was to wait until my car was paid off and save as much as I could. During this time, a friend of mine told me he was moving out that way and needed a roommate. This was my chance, and I had to jump. I packed up whatever I could fit in my Subaru wagon and took the longest road trip of my life to Los Angeles.
I settled in Koreatown and quickly got a day gig. Then went directly to the make-up school that I was dying to attend, only to leave heartbroken. It turns out they can’t accommodate students that needed to hold down a day job while attending classes. This was a major setback, right when I thought I was going to get my life started. Over the course of the next few months, I witnessed a neighbor in my apartment building always rushing in and out with life-sized statues and movie props. It sparked my interest, and we began chatting.
His job involved restoration of props used on screen from television and movies. He also fabricated replica characters seen in pop culture, horror, and sci-fi. As fate would have it, he also needed an extra set of hands. I spent the following three years working side by side learning the craft. Much like Dr. Frankenstein, I would build creatures out of spare parts, handling fragile artifacts from cinema history, and putting my previous years of special effects makeup practice to great use. Eventually, my business partner made the decision to move away from prop restoration, and focus solely on statue fabrication.
Since I had been handling the majority of restoration for the company, this was the perfect opportunity to branch out and create my own brand. For the last year, Kirasphere has been bringing iconic TV and movie props back to life. It may not have been the original reason I moved out here, but this career has brought me new opportunities I never could have dreamed of.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest struggle was leaving my home. I spent the majority of my life there and didn’t really know anything else. It was the hardest thing I’ve had to do. The second struggle was learning how to adjust to life in the city. Especially one that has the top ten highest rent rates in the U.S. You really have to hustle out here to get what you want
Additionally, owning your own business in this line of work is more or less the same as being freelance. The job has peaks and valleys, sometimes workflow can be light, and other times it’s overwhelming.
Please tell us about Kirasphere.
Kirasphere specializes in film and T.V. prop restoration and preservation. A large portion of my work stems from the horror and sci-fi genres. Over the years I’ve been able to get my hands on iconic creatures and practical effects from franchises like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Gremlins, and Men In Black.
Probably the largest portion of the business has come from the Alien series. At any given time you can typically find a series of Xenomorphs, Facehuggers, or giant eggs scattered about the workshop. It’s truly awesome being able to work on so many items from cinema history, many of which came from my favorite productions.
I think what really sets my business apart is the bar I’ve set for quality. I have high standards, and nothing leaves my shop unless it meets them.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Movie and game nights with my family.
- Website: www.kirasphere.net
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @kirasphere
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kirasphere/