The Energy, The Drive: This is Carl Kennedy
Carl Kennedy is best known for his work on the Vancouver stage. His performances as Lucius Jenkins in Jesus Hopped the A Train and John in The Whipping Man earned him “Best Actor” nominations at the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards (2010-11, 2014-15 respectively). Carl holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington-Seattle and has been seen on regional stages from Halifax, NS to Vancouver, BC. Carl has recently “thrown his hat” into the Atlanta area, where he has co-starred on TV shows such as MacGyver on CBS, The Quad on BET, The Bobbi Kristina biopic on TV One, Greenleaf, and his guest star-recurring role as “Officer Gordon” on The Haves and the Have Nots (Season 5) both on the OWN network. I met Carl back in 2008 and he was full of energy and drive then that it comes as no surprise that he is making some good moves in the acting world, so let me introduce you to the ever so talented, Carl Kennedy.
KG: At what age did you say to yourself, I want a career in front of the camera and why?
CK: It’s hard to pinpoint a particular age. It was probably when my mother suggested that if it were possible to be compensated for acting “silly”, I would be independently wealthy. I don’t remember ever being shy (outside of a grade school crush). Acting or entertaining has always been my super power. I could become anything or anybody at the drop of a hat. But, here’s the secret…acting is not about putting on the mask or armor, it’s about taking it off. I’ve always found the stage/screen to be a safe place. The strongest actors are the most vulnerable.
KG: Who were some actors/actresses that you looked up to and or admire?
CK: It’s so easy to default to the well-known actors/actresses (so I won’t). Maybe it’s the underdog in me lol. I would say Robert Townsend, Marla Gibbs, Esther Rolle, and Teddy Wilson to name a few.
KG: Did you ever feel that staying in Seattle would limit you in regards to acting opportunities?
CK: Seattle has a great Theatre scene and Vancouver, BC is a hub for Film and TV. I didn’t necessarily feel limited. I attended grad school for acting in Seattle. Personally, the Pacific Northwest felt like more of a stepping stone than a final destination.
KG: What was the best advice given to you in pursuit of a successful career as an actor?
CK: One day my sociology teacher in university pulled me to the side and asked me a few questions (among those were) 1. Has school ever come hard to you? 2. When you look at a page, do you remember what you see? That day, he compared my mind to a v12 engine. He told me that I only needed about six cylinders to “keep up” with the general population. I was encouraged to utilize all 12 and lead by example. That, and my mother told me, “if you let them, people will their life and live yours too.”
KG: What is your ultimate goal?
CK: To be in your living room 5 nights a week…on the TV of course. That, to me, is the super objective (the destination). There are many routes to get there. I have my preferences, but I try to stay flexible. In my short time on this earth I’ve learned that we (as humans) are more often than not the passenger…and not the driver.
KG: What was the last book you read?
CK: Second Banana: The Bitter Sweet Memoirs of the Sanford & Sons years
KG: What are your thoughts about the recent sexual allegations within Hollywood?
CK: What’s in the dark eventually comes to the light. Unfortunately, the majority continues to shield their eyes. There’s nothing new under the sun…so I’m not surprised, disappointed or disheartened. There is and will be corruption in politics, sports, religion, entertainment, etc. It’s human nature…but that’s no excuse. When you know better, DO BETTER.
KG: Who is Carl Kennedy outside of acting?
CK: A loving son, brother, friend, teacher, poet, avid retro TV watcher, dreamer, believer, the person that doesn’t laugh when someone falls, the person that falls seven times and gets up eight, the person that takes entirely too long in the washroom getting ready
KG: What is next for you?
CK: I have a small recurring role on Season 2 of MacGyver on CBS and a Guest Star recurring role on Season 5 of The Haves and The Have Nots on OWN. I’m also in talks with a Theatre in Toronto regarding a role in a play in the August Wilson Cycle. Rehearsals would begin in the spring.
KG: How can people stay in touch with you?
CK: I’d never thought you’d ask. 😉