THEATER BUFF: Grasan Kingsberry of “Motown the Musical”
Every third Wednesday of the month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer will fill out my nosey little questionnaire and offer a glimpse of what they look like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. For March, we’re revving our engines for a visit to the Motor City…
Name: Grasan Kingsberry – named after my grandfather’s middle name Gray, and great-grandfather’s first name Sandy.
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Current Show/Role: Motown the Musical/Four Tops, Jackson 5 (Tito), Contours
The best part of the show I’m working on now is: Being able to listen to and perform with a 19-piece orchestra playing Motown music!! And then seeing the audience go bananas! It doesn’t get much better than that.
The most challenging job in show business I ever had was: I’d have to say was when I did the out of town try-out for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in San Diego. At the time I had just started dating someone back in New York. It was only my second show but my first being a part of an original production. I knew no one in the cast. So being away from home, my boyfriend, and in an unfamiliar environment amidst new and interestingly dynamic personalities in the cast made it a challenging experience.
If I wasn’t an actor, I would be: An athlete. I once had a dream to be an Olympian.
Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? Places!!: It’s when all of those jittery emotions and nervousness have to hone in as you ready yourself to take that journey. And as soon as that curtain rises it’s GO time! As my friend Jerry Mitchell would say, “FULL OUT!”
The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at: 9th Ave. Saloon is a fun place to go. It’s kinda divey and my buddy Kevin, the bartender, is a great guy and takes care of his patrons. El Centro for my margarita fix. Another spot I love going to is Casellula for my wine fix. They have an extensive wine selection, great food, and the place is so cozy and warm!
After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to: Century 21, the original one downtown, but go early to prevent fighting through crowds. I’ve found some incredible items there for a bargain including this fabulous D&G suit I wore for an opening night. Also Harlem, Red Rooster to be specific. Great food, great Harlem vibe, and you have to check out the downstairs lounge area after dinner hours. Live DJ spins downstairs and often times live musicians play upstairs for dinner. There are many other great spots in Harlem along Fredrick Douglas.
If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be: I’ve heard great things about Australia, or maybe Spain. I’d love to live somewhere where I could literally rise out of bed and jump into an ocean, like Bora Bora.
March came in like a Lion; now it’s time to pick a Lamb: Shari Lewis’ Lamb Chop, Silence of the Lambs, Author Wally Lamb?: OMG, Shari Lewis’ Lamb Chops Play-Along! That red Afro and “This is the Song That Doesn’t End!” I lived for that show growing up!
My workout “secret” is: Mixing it up. Muscle confusion. I do a combination of yoga, cardio, TRX suspension training, and dance. But the true secret, for me, is supplementation.
When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than: Charm/swag. I’m a southerner so charm to me is appealing. A killer smile will turn me into putty too.
My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is: fab.com. They have all kinds of neat and interesting items which are perfect for gifts.
Board shorts, speedo or skinny dip? All the above. I believe in a costume change!!
People would be surprised to learn that I: Am the rare case of a performer who actually booked a Broadway show before I even graduated college. I booked Disney’s Aida about a three weeks before graduating Juilliard. I would take my morning classes, rehearse in the afternoon with the dance captains for a few hours, then go back up to Lincoln Center for my evening rehearsals. I felt like I was the big man on campus! I was in school AND on Broadway!!
When I was 10, I wanted to be just like: Aladdin, well in the sense that I really wanted to be a Disney character voice.
Ten years from now, I’d like to be: A better version and expression of myself now. Content and successful, and hopefully a homeowner by then.
March Madness! Which Broadway show (other than the one you’re in) would win in a theatrical hoops tournament? Which wouldn’t make it beyond the first round? I love this question since I am a huge sports fan. I’d have to say Lion King. They may be hoisting the trophy at the end, simply for the fact that they’ve been a company for over 10 years so their teamwork and sportsmanship are probably excellent. And I’m sorry to say this as they are friends of mine, but Kinky Boots may be out in round 1. Those divas can swirl and twirl in a pump, but I’m not sure what will happen when you put a Nike sneaker on and ask them to box out!