Describe your first acting experience and the moment you knew entertaining was your calling.
I was 14. My best friend coaxed me into joining theatre, and the only reason I agreed is because I thought it would be a good way to combat shyness. My school was doing West Side Story that year, and at that point, all the roles had already been cast. Luckily, the theatre director agreed to cast us as not just extras, but EXTRA-extras. Literally my role on the cast list was “Extra-extra Puerto Rican girl”.
I’ll never forget it. It was opening night. The only task I was given throughout the whole show was to cross from bottom stage right to top stage left. When I walked up to the audience, I remember experiencing this connection to them that was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. I can still remember that moment. I was hooked. I fell in love with theatre at that moment. It took me longer to realize it’s what I wanted as my career. I grew up on an island off the coast of Vancouver, Canada, and pursuing a career in film and television felt like something other people did.
That's a pretty cool entrance...extra-extra! Share a bit about your character Nazneen Khan in Nurses (NBC). What’s most intriguing about her to you?
Nazneen is whip smart and comes from a very wealthy family in India. She never worked a day in her life until she left home and began her first job ever at St. Mary’s Hospital as a nurse. The question is why? Why does this extremely privileged young woman choose nursing of all professions? We slowly discover why she left everything behind for a new life. In the meantime, Naz struggles with basic responsibilities in life. Naz never had to learn how to properly take care of herself and others, until now.
What intrigues me the most about Nazneen is her courage and ability to reset her life in the face of all she’s experienced. She ditches her life in India, and decides to lead a completely independent life for the first time ever in Toronto. We’ll discover the pain she has in her heart, which drove her to such an extreme life change. Nazneen is desperate to show...
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Photo courtesy of Sandy Sidhu