PERFORMING LIVE MIZZ
Updated: Nov 4
Mizz (she/they) is a filmmaker, actor, musician and activist currently based in New York. In 2022 she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude from NYU Tisch with a minor in Psychology. One of her life’s passions is to create art focused on inclusion and diversity as well as constructing safe spaces for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists. Throughout her life she has travelled around the world including Malaysia, London and New York, hoping to bridge cultural gaps to cultivate more empathy and understanding within others.
Hi Mizz! Thank you for taking this interview with us! Congratulations on your upcoming show! And your upcoming performance at The New York Theatre Festival. You're being featured as Olivia in a sequel to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, written by Minh Anh Day. How are you preparing for the show?
Besides reciting my words over and over again! Before a show I like to take time to prepare my being, I think that in order to fully step into a character I first tune into my mind, body and heart, so I can take the necessary steps to align myself with who I believe Olivia is. Olivia is beautiful, regal, bold so taking the time to prepare myself to walk like her, talk like her will make it easy for me to step into her presence once the curtain goes up! I'm spending this week, before the run, practicing a lot more yoga, meditation and breathing exercises to fully relax my body. I think that opening week of any live show production can be stressful and who knows what crazy things might happen! So It's important for me to stay present and calm.
How did you get this opportunity?
Nothing out of the ordinary, I found the casting online and I immediately fell in love with the sides. When Minh Anh called me back, he made me read for both Viola and Olivia although secretly I only really wanted Olivia, so I was very happy when he offered me the role. It has always been a dream of mine to play her and it's even more exciting that I get to add my own twist through exploring her in a contemporary sequel.
Can you tell our audience what they should expect at the show?
Thirteenth Night will make you laugh, laugh and laugh some more. Minh Anh has written such a witty, clever, hysterical piece and with a cast so rich in talent you'll be delightfully entertained. This wonderful cast consists of: Gracie Goheen (Viola), Ben Katz (Orsino), Parker Jenkins (Sebastian), Jerome Allen-Smith (Antonio), Sara Ornelas (Malvolio), Christina Mei Chen (Maria), Akiyo Komatsu (Sir Toby/Jailer), Jake Goldstein (Sir Andrew/Officer) and Amanda Yuan (Feste) - all beautifully gifted in their craft and hilarious to say the least. And of course we would not be where we are today without the production team: Meredith Shell and Regan Lavin who keep us all safe, happy and make it all happen! The aesthetic of the show is also fleshed out by the incredible costumes done by Isaac Vancuren. With this incredible team it will definitely be a show worth watching!
Why did you choose to get involved in the show?
Besides always wanting to play Olivia and my obsession with Twelfth Night in general. I thought the concept was very clever and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the script. I haven't performed live in over 3 years and my last show was actually As You Like It, written by Shakespeare where I played Orlando and so, being familiar with Shakespeare, this project felt like the perfect entrance back into the theatre world.
Can you tell us the journey about getting to perform in a project like this one?
We started rehearsing about 4 weeks ago and we open in a week so everything's been really fast paced which may seem stressful but this team has a beautiful way of keeping things light, we laugh and play a ton during rehearsals and when you're having fun, the work is easier to execute. Getting to know the rest of the cast has been my favourite part, It's incredibly inspiring to be in a space with actors that bring their own authentic flair to the work. I've learned so much from them and I hope to continue to work with them in the future.
What kind of journey was it for you to be ready to give the audience a LIVE performance?
I haven't given a live performance in over 3 years but I've honestly never felt more prepared. I think that as I learn, grow and change throughout this life, my craft as an actor gets better. Working more on the independent film scene these last few years has definitely changed the way I approach acting. Being on camera the technical demands of an actor is very different so In order to fit the style of live theatre I've had to make some adjustments but It's been fun to remind myself of my training.
You're also working on a short film centred around Kendo, a style of traditional Japanese sword fighting. How did this come about?
Also, random casting I found online so not the most interesting story. But this piece was written by Cherry Alcantara, who is also directing it. I admire his ambition and commitment to this project as Kendo is such a beautiful practice and I think as a team we want to make sure that this project is as authentic as it can be. I've been in Kendo training these last couple of weeks and it's been difficult but incredibly fulfilling. We start filming very soon, so I'll have more updates!
What's next for you!
That's always a fun question haha. We're in the middle of post production for Anya Schulman's short film No Kissing, we actually filmed this early August 2021 and we're just about to wrap up this project and it will be available to the public soon! Once again, more updates soon!
Instagram: @Mizz_kamaluddin and Tik tok: @mizz.kamaluddin