Kelcey Watson, a classically trained stage actor, he has made his way to Hollywood and is becoming quickly sought after for his talents. He attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York City in 2001. In 2004 he received a scholarship to attend "The School" at Steppenwolf in Chicago where he trained with Tony nominated actress Amy Morton(August Osage County) and Toni Award winner actress Rondi Reed (August Osage County) as well as Jeff Perry (ABC's 'Scandal'), Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne, Big Bang Theory, Toy Story, Desperate Housewives).
He has received numerous accolades for his work in theater for Piano Lesson,' Take Me Out', 'Minstrel Show! or The Lynching Of William Brown' which his performance was highly acclaimed in the New York Times and Variety in 2007, and 'Six Degrees Of Separation' where he was honored with playwright John Guare in attendance, who gave a glowing review of his work. He got his break in movies when director Paul T. Schuering (creator of Fox's 'Prison Break') chose him to be featured in 'The Experiment' with Oscar Award Winners Adrien Brody (The Pianist) and Forest Whittaker (Last King of Scottland, Lee Daniel's The Butler).
He has also worked on two pilots with the prestigious USC Cinematic Arts School, 'In Brotherhood' which was granted a scholarship at the Caucus Awards in 2012 and 'Boots' which made the Burbank film festival in 2013. Since doing movies Kelcey has worked with such stars as John Beasley, Ted Lange, Clifton Collins Jr., Cam Gigandet(Never Back Down,Easy A) Travis Fimmel(Vikings), David Banner, Eric Roberts, Vernon Wells, and Maggie Grace.
Interview with Kelcey
1. How did you get involved in theater? When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
I got involved early on, when I was a teenager, Then I took a break from acting to play in a Ska band. It was a few years later a friend of mine invited me to acting classes at The 'Omaha Community Playhouse' I took some improv classes with a teacher named Rob Baker. When we finished the classes, he invited everyone in class to audition for his show 'Brave Young Savages' I was so nervous going to this audition, it had been years since I was on a stage, I auditioned and I said to Rob:"Hey, man thanks for letting me audition! That was fun and let me know when the show goes up, cause I want to see it!" Then I will never forget the look on his face, and I look at him and I said "What's wrong, Rob?" He looks at me and says: "I was actually going to ask you to be in the show. I really liked what you did out there" Surprised, I said "Well...alrighty then, I accept"
I was a "Savage" for seven weeks in that play and I have never looked back.
There are two examples. The first is earlier in my career I was in kind of lull with theater for a minute. I was doing shows and I felt a burnt out, I thought "I'm done, I can't do any more shows" I was deciding whether or not to do a play when I went with my girlfriend at the time to a movie called 'Cradle Will Rock' by Tim Robbins. I found so much inspiration in this film, people who wanted to do theater despite what was going on in the world and the inevitable end of the FTP in the 1930's and the climatic ending when you see the characters in the movie do a funeral procession from 1930's and march right into what is now Modern Broadway. I thought:"Yes! that is why I do this!!"
watch at the 5:20 mark: .youtube.com/watch?v=89dGJ_hx8-k
The other is my time at "The School" at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago in 2004, my teachers and fellow classmates pushed me all the time. I went to class and studied very hard I knew I was doing something special there. Everyday I would be amazed by classmates work, and when I thought I had seen it all or that scene can't possibly be topped, the very next day my mind was blown with the absolute talent that surrounded me. And my instructors were world class K. Todd Freeman, Francis Guinan, Tina Landau, Amy Morton, Molly Regan, Rick Snyder, and Sheldon Patinkin, all who helped me develop and fine tune my skills and never settled for anything less. My master classes were exceptional, I learned very good professional and life lessons from people like Jeff Perry, Laurie Metcalf, Austin Pendleton, Linda Lowy, and Rondi Reed, these people gave me some insight in being balanced and forthright with life and acting life.
2. What kind of theater inspires you?
To me there is no one kind of theater, as long as I enjoy the story or I get something out of it that relates to me good or bad. Something that makes a truth known to me or is just plain entertaining. At the end of the day I just want to be entertained and sometimes have my soul moved.
3. Who/What has been your biggest inspiration to you as an actor?
Actor: Peter Sellers, Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman, Howard E. Rollins Jr.
Dancer/Choreographer : Michael Jackson, Katherine Dunham, and Twyla Tharp
Director: Stage: Susan Clement, Rick Snyder, Rob Urbanati
Film: Stanley Kubrick, Spike Lee, Christopher Nolan, and Robert Altman
Playwright: August Wilson, Lanford Wilson, Sam Shepard, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Denis Johnson, and Suzan-Lori Parks
4 .What's your role in Hollywood In the Hood? Why did you want to work on this show?
I play Chaka Oshodi - A Brit who wants to change his image as always playing a sensitive slave type and transform himself into being a lead man badass by playing a notorious violent gang leader in Watts via the found footage craze in Hollywood. He wants more than anything to have this bad boy image and will do whatever it takes to launch himself in this new "image".
I saw the synopsis and thought, this is brilliant! I get to play a Brit and play a dual character when he goes into "gangsta mode" at the same time using the historical city of Watts as a backdrop, where you unite theater and community with a fun parody. I was sold on it immediately!
5. In one word, what is the one thing you are most excited about for the show?
6. What can we do to learn more about you?
Look me up, check me out. Hire me and find out what I'm all about.
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