Krishnakumar, known to all and sundry as KK, is tall, imposing, with a twinkle in his eye and a voice that carries to the far end of the building Little Theatre’s studio is situated in. Hearing him, one would think he was a pretty accomplished singer. “Oh no no no. I don’t sing... much. I’ve sung a little here and there, but I've not taken it up as a full time thing. You think I should?” he asks with a nervous grin. He has just wrapped up a five-day show with Atita – Into the Unknown and is now rubbing his hands in glee for his next show at the Short + Sweet festival which is also, incidentally, his first with his new production company, KiKass.
Aimed at a mostly young adult crowd, the new company is KK’s brainchild – a product of nearly six years of learning with the Little Theatre – and Einstein. “My background had nothing to do with theatre. I’d gotten a sports scholarship to Marquette University, where I read Einstein’s quote – I’d rather waste time doing something I like, than spend time doing something I don’t. That’s what made me switch careers to theatre, because I love acting so much,” he says.
The former national level swimmer then took up acting, which led to directing, scriptwriting and stunt choreography – the last of which really took off with the Three Musketeers last December. “I started stunts from the first production I did for Little Theatre, called Atita – Out of this World, around two years ago. That actually had silambam in it,” he says with a grin.
The other aspect of working with the Little Theatre also means that there are a lot of kids to work with. And learn. “They are my biggest source of learning!” he says cheerfully. “A child comes with no baggage at all – there is no acting background, it’s all very raw. And what you learn from them is actually spectacular. A lot of my learning also came from teaching them.” And what has he learnt from teaching the kids so far? “Patience!” he says with a loud guffaw. “When you’re working with so many kids, you really learn how to be patient. Otherwise, you’d just go mad,” he adds.
And after dabbling with sets and lighting in last week’s show, is he planning to run a one-man-show soon? “Maybe. But I’d absolutely love to,” he says but hurries to add, “We might be doing something in November though, from KiKass – you should watch out for the sets and lighting. And stunts, loads of stunts,” he says with that twinkle back in his eye.
As for an immediate fix of KK’s acting, KiKass Productions will be staging Oru Cup Coffee, written by Jagadeesh Khanna and directed by Rohini Rau. The 10-minute play also stars Dinesh E and Abishek Joseph George.