Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Spotlight On...Kal Mansoor

Name: Kal Mansoor

Hometown: Maidenhead, England

Education: BA French Language and European Politics from Royal Holloway University of London + Evening courses at the Actor's Centre in London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

Favorite Credits: Nickelodeon's iCarly

Why theater?:  There is no greater buzz or satisfaction than performing in front of a live audience, plus most of my tv and film auditions are for terrorists and cab drivers but in theater, I have access to a much wider variety of work.

Tell us about A Brief History of Colonization?:  It's a one-man comedy show about the colonial history of India.

What inspired you to write A Brief History of Colonization?:  It started as a 5 minute stand-up comedy routine where I talk about my life as a British-Indian actor. Then I did nothing with it for months, and went through a phase of being very angry and bitter about the whitewashing of history in Hollywood and I felt so powerless. Then I realized I wasn't...

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: All theater. I have so much respect for stage performers who are brave enough to step in front of a group of strangers and perform. I'll watch pretty much anything, but obviously I gravitate more towards stories that are similar to my own, about immigrant life and struggles.  Two of my biggest inspirations are John Leguizamo and Eddie Izzard. They've both created their own careers and succeeded purely through hard work and determinations, without wealthy families, connections or luck. They pushed the boundaries at times when they weren't really accepted in their fields. They educate and entertain their audiences which is what I hope to one day do.

If you could work with anyone you've yet to work with, who would it be?: Too many to name, but a few are: Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Stephen Daldry, Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Keye.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: The last one was probably The Play That Goes Wrong. It was hilarious, one of the funniest shows I've ever seen. The timing and technical ability of those performers was obscenely good.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Knowing Hollywood, probably Jared Leto or someone like that. If I were to cast it? Riz Ahmed. He's one of the best in the business and one of the most important figures of my generation.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I think I would watch Hamilton when it was at the Public Theater. I enter the lottery every day but I don't know if I'll ever get the chance to see it. 

What's your biggest guilty pleasure?:  Popeyes. No question.

If you weren't working in theater, you would be _____?: I would be a vet. Working with animals is the only other thing I would do with my life.

What's up next?: A Brief History of Colonization. That will be next for a while...