Kevin Daniels is at it again. Fresh off of a heralded engagement as Magic Johnson on Broadway, Daniel is right back on a Los Angeles stage, portraying another African American hero. Rogue Machine’s latest production One Night in Miami…, tells the story of the little known gathering of a quartet of iconic Black men on the eve of Cassius Clay converting to Islam. In between performances, Kevin took a little time to answer question for LA SPLASH, to learn more about this raising talent.
Congratulations on the great success of One Night In Miami... at Rogue Machine and your new series Sirens, that was just picked up by the USA Network. Similar roles?
Thank You! I feel very lucky to get a chance to work back to back on such exciting projects. The roles are very different but there are a lot of similar themes. Hank, like Jim Brown, doesn’t really hold his tongue. He is great at his job and has, shall we say, a hedonistic lifestyle that he enjoys. All good buddy comedy stuff.
Are you "the artist" in the family, or did the arts thrive in your household as a child?
I don’t know if I was the artist per se in my family considering how much music prevailed in our lives. My sister and I used to sing our favorite gospel songs around the house Ad Nauseam. We grew up in the baptist church where our Grandfather was pastor. So at an early age we did all of the church plays and pageants and readings and solos. My sister and my mother are both Incredible Singers. Me not so much.
How did theatre/acting find you?
I grew in up in Texas in a predominately sports oriented household. One day I went to see a school play and decided I wanted to try and do that. I joined the drama club, took some speech and debate class and starting competing with other kids across the state. I kinda never looked back. To the dismay of my football coach.
After starring on Broadway last year as "Magic Johnson" in the play Magic/Bird, you chose to play another sports icon, "Jim Brown," in One Night in Miami... here in Los Angeles. Are you a big sports fan, or is it just a coincidence that these roles come back to back?
It’s been a little amazing that I got to play two living sports icons back to back. Both men who dominated their sport. both sporting the number 32. When i first read the script I knew right away this a role I’d love to play.
Since this is the World Premiere production, was there continued development of the play during rehearsals?
Absolutely. Our director Carl Cofield really set up an open and collaborative room. Kemp would come in with new pages to suit our strengths as actors as well as clarifying the story. I’ve worked on a lot of new pieces in the initial stages and thats always where some of the best work gets done when you’re creating and shaping the play. again so lucky to be in a room with such talented folks across the board.
How was that process for you as an actor, working with the Playwright Kemp Powers?
It was fantastic working with Kemp. He was so knowledgeable about all of these guys and so open to sharing his baby with us. Allowing us to play without ever becoming over bearing, which can sometimes happen on a new piece. He’s an incredible talent. Can’t wait to read what comes next. He’s currently working on a new play called The Two Reds, and his writing has been selected for publication in The Moth’s first ever book of collected works. I think Hyperion Books will release it in September.
Do you think this play has a future in New York? If so, would you want to be a part of it again?
Yes. and Yes. You know any great producers?
What roles are on your wish list for the future?
One Night in Miami... is now playing through July 28th, 2013 at The Rogue Machine in Los Angeles. Go Check out Kevin’s brilliant work.