Kimberley Crossman is living the dream. Not only is the former Shortland Street favourite appearing in new comedy Stepdave, she is helping make the wishes of ordinary Kiwis come true in Cadbury Dream Factory.
"This is the goal, for me anyway, to be working on quality shows, with great people," says the now Los Angeles-based actress.
"It has been slightly challenging in terms of scheduling. The past few months have been some of the busiest weeks of my life and also the best.
"I feel that everything I have been working hard for is coming in to fruition. I am very blessed and grateful for my current situation and loving every minute of it."
Such diversity is nothing new for the multi-talented Kimberley. Past successes have included a stint with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, representing New Zealand at the world cheerleading champs, five years as Shortland Street's Sophie McKay and even a role in the music video for singer Selena Gomez' hit Birthday.
Stepdave is a comedy drama about Dave (Go Girls Jono Kenyon), a 25-year-old slacker whose life is turned upside down when he meets the woman of his dreams, Cara (Sia Trokenheim), who 15 years his senior with three kids and some serious baggage in tow.
Kimberley plays Stacey is a confident, intelligent and full-of-life character who has one one fatal flaw - she falls in love too easily.
In Cadbury Dream Factory, which she co-hosts with Brooke Howard-Smith, she spends her day's making deserving people's dreams come true.
Kimberley says she finds it hard to decide which role she enjoys most.
"That is like trying to pick a favourite child," she says.
"I love presenting and I love acting. I love working on Stepdave and finding ways to make my character interesting to watch. Acting is my passion and to be on set working on such a great show is honestly such a great feeling.
"And with Cadbury Dream Factory I love being part of a team who are literally changing peoples lives. It is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had and I don't want it to end."
She's the only female on the Dream Factory team which, as well as Brooke, includes comedians Guy Montgomery and Jesse Griffin plus former Sticky TV presenter Walter Nelland.
The team travels New Zealand granting wishes, big and small, for deserving Kiwis.
Wishes ranges from the small - people wanting a nice family dinner - to the crazy - makeovers for dogs.
"The ones I find most rewarding are the wishes that people have for other people," Kimberley says.
"Some of them are kind of silly and fun and others are really deserving people for whom the outcome is going to literally change their lives and they'll be talking about it for years to come."
Needless to say, there are tears.
"We haven't finished filming yet but I have cried. Everyone has had a few tears but they're tears of joy and love," she adds.
"It's just so cool seeing unsuspecting people have great things happen to them. I certainly wouldn't say you'll be sobbing though entire episodes or anything like that - there are a lot of comedic things as well - but I think you'll be left at the end of the hour feeling good and reflecting on your own life."
Kimberley says she found the whole Dream Factor experience extremely humbling.
"I can't say enough how grateful I am for this experience. Obviously I'm not allowed to tell anyone the kind of dreams we're doing but it's incredibly humbling," she explains.
"Some people are going through really hard times and to be able to lift some of that weight and be able to give them a moment for them is great and I am happy to be part of it."
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