Ransford Doherty who plays Coroner's Investigator Kendall on TNT's Major Crimes is our surprise guest today on Monday Crimes Monday. With the cast since the days of The Closer, Ransford's character investigates the body before it gets to the morgue. Ransford has guest starred on many mystery shows including Castle, JAG, NYPD Blues, Body of Proof and Bones.
How did you win the part of C.I. Kendall?
I got the part of C.I. Kendall by auditioning for the role on THE CLOSER. In fact Anthony Hemingway, director of Red Tails starring Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Michael B. Jordan and a slew of other talented actors, was in the room for my audition. (Note to actors, you never know who’s in the room for your audition so always bring your “A” game!)
What was the audition like?
I was prepared, relaxed and did my job, which was to tell the story, then leave! I always tell the students I coach for auditions that your job is not to get the part in the audition. Your job is to tell the story. Art imitates life. When I got pulled over for speeding a few weeks ago in South L.A. the Police Officer I was dealing with was not worried about getting the part and neither was I. My concern was the story I was going to tell the police officer and boy did I have an epic novel in mind. However, the story I decided to tell was the truth which was, “Yeah I was speeding and I shouldn’t have been speeding, you caught me.” Low and behold to my surprise, instead of getting a ticket, I got a warning. (Which by the way I’ve yet to get a speeding ticket!) Then my passenger, a fellow teacher I work with at Augustus F. Hawkins High, Mr. Daniel Anderson screams, “He’s on the show Major Crimes! He plays the Coroner’s Investigator.” I then jumped in and plugged the June 13th Season 5 premiere. But I digress…
I auditioned for other roles on THE CLOSER prior to getting the role of C.I. Kendall, but things didn’t work out, which was a blessing. When I got the role I had no idea how many episodes I’d be in. I thought maybe 2 episodes, but then it turned into 20 episodes. I also didn’t assume when THE CLOSER ended that I’d be on MAJOR CRIMES, however God had other plans for me. I’ve been with this phenomenal cast and crew since 2008, over 60 episodes and counting!
Do you have character traits in common with Kendall? How is he different?
Kendall and I are two different people. I am energetic and can get easily distracted like the question I answered, while Kendall is focused and reserved. Kendall is not the life of the party. He comes in and does his job to provide for his son due to the fact he is a single father. When he is at work his mother takes care of him.
I understand that you are also a teacher when you’re not acting. How does your acting inform your teaching and how does your teaching inform your acting?
When I share with my students about my acting they don’t hold back with their observations or questions. For example the most common question I get is, “If you’re on television, why are you here?” which is totally understandable. The perception of an actor that’s on tv is that once you make it, you focus on that solely or if you’re a teacher, you have no life outside of the classroom. The beautiful things is that when they see me, they see the possibility, which is the operative word that you can have the best of both worlds, no longer having to worry about sacrificing one dream for another. Working with my students is just one aspect of teaching, there is also my fellow teachers, administrators, campus workers, teacher’s aides and office staff members that teach me a plethora of thing and I am forever grateful. Once I leave my teaching job and get on set, what I do is focus, embrace and pour everything into this blessing of participating in my dream as an actor. I take nothing for granted when I am on set and I love every minute of it. It’s why I moved out to Los Angeles.
Are you working on any other projects now that you’d like to tell us about?
Outside of Major Crimes, I not only still roll with my webseries family Caribe Road, but I’m working on another fun project on YouTube that I am co-creating with actor Greg Yoder and our newest member Reke Rene called "da bad boyz". It's a series of slow motion comedy skits that involve security guards handling everyday situations in a very epic way - we call them EPIC MINIs. There is no dialogue so the music tells the short story. Anyone from anywhere around the world can enjoy the visual humor. Here’s one of our latest clips.
As we continue to produce these fun moments in time with da bad boyz, we are looking to introduce and cameo many talented actors along with featuring the beats of various local musical artists. When it comes to the field of education my business partner Shawn Geegbae and I are working on a fun, exciting, creative, and let us not forget educational financial literacy project that we will be launching in September 2016!!
Last week our surprise guest was Kearran Giovanni who plays Detective Amy Sykes. Don't forget to head over to the Major Crimes page on Facebook tonight between 9-10pm EST and 6-7pm PST for the Major Crimes Facebook chat where Executive Producer James Duff and members of the cast answer fans questions via video chat.