Born and raised in BC Krystal Kiran began studying dance at the young age of three, and singing shortly after that. She began her professional performing career at the age of 16. Kiran has aimed to constantly refine and redefine herself as a performing artist working internationally in film, television, commercials, on stages including Broadway.
She is passionate about teaching and community, Kiran is the
founder of House of Kiran, which has provided musical theatre and South Asian arts education to youth and adult classes in Canada, USA, Europe, UK and most recently, India.
House of Kiran is also home to non-profit endeavours including the establishment of the Maple Batalia Memorial Scholarship for the Arts (in support of South Asian female artists) at Emily Carr University in Vancouver and fundraising for the Speech and Stuttering Institute in Toronto. Through House of Kiran, she wrote, directed and starred in the short film Thy Beauty’s Doom, which received grant award funding from BravoFACT and made its premiere at Punjabi International Film Festival / International Film Festival of South Asia.
Krystal Kiran was recently awarded with an honorary graduate diploma from the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and is a scholarship alumna from the Professional Theatre Training Program at the world-renowned Banff Centre.
Kiran has appeared as a lead vocalist on AR Rahman’s Jai
Ho World Tour. Some of her film and television credits include Private Eyes (Global), Workin’ Moms (CBC), Suicide Squad (Warner Bros/DC Comics), Minority Report (Fox), Hemlock Grove (Netflix), Hellcats (CW), Hairspray, The Love Guru and more.
She will be playing the role of Saroj Rai in the musical production of hit film Monsoon Wedding. The musical will be directed by critically-acclaimed director Mira Nair and will make its world premiere at Berkeley Rep Theatre in California with a Broadway run to follow.
Even with her super busy schedule, we were able to talk to her about her career more in depth.
How did you begin your journey in performance arts/ acting etc?
I started taking ballet classes when I was 3 years old and at the end of season there was a recital, so that was my introduction to performing. Acting came a bit later. The first play I ever did in high school was “Hamlet” where I played the role of Ophelia. Community musical theatre also gave me a taste for acting in my youth.
How does it feel to be apart of the Monsoon Wedding musical that’s inspired by the movie?
I remember seeing “Monsoon Wedding” for the first time and just being utterly inspired and blown away by the story and music. To be working with Mira Nair and being directed by her in this process is nothing short of a dream come true. It’s been a very collaborative process so far in the sense that what I have to uniquely offer as an artist is being encouraged to express. It will be a bit of a nostalgia party for all the South Asians who come to see the show and I can’t wait for people to see it!
Being of South Asian decent, have you always had a strong support system in your choice/passion to be in the creative industry?
Taking into consideration the fact that my mom put me in ballet lessons when I was three years old, I think that pretty much
answers that question! While I don’t think my parents thought or expected that I would end up making a career out of the performing arts, they have been understanding and supportive. I am incredibly grateful and blessed in this sense because I know that this is not the case for many, if not most, South Asian professional artists.
Who/what inspires you in your craft?
Life inspires me. My family, my friends, my boyfriend, our dog. Music inspires me. The energy of New York City, where I am right now for “Monsoon Wedding” rehearsals, inspires me. The
rest of the people in the cast also inspire me. Everyone is so ridiculously talented, but they are also wonderful humans. It’s a gift to be in their company.
Do you enjoy performing on a stage more, or being in film/TV?
I don’t prefer one over the other as they are both completely different mediums and I love both. What I will say about performing on stage, however, is that I love the immediacy and engagement with the audience. The energy exchange between humans in live performance can’t be energetically replicated when you’re shooting for TV or film and this is something I find very nourishing!
You can follow Krystal Kiran on Twitter and Instagram @krystalkiran
To learn more about her check out her website: www.krystalkiran.com