In a follow up to our interview with Bakari Lebby about Trustus Theatre’s production of Sunset Baby, we put the same questions to actor, Raj Karottukunnel.
Sunset Baby has it’s last performance tonight. Don’t miss it.
Why Sunset Baby?Why not, lol. This is an important story that needs to be told. I love how it’s not your stereotypical happy ending, but it’s an ending that happens. It’s real, it’s raw, it’s powerful.
Why is this an important story to tell now?We’re in a very interesting time in history. There’s a lot of racial tensions, that are being brought to the limelight. Everyone’s so quick to read a headline and form opinions, yet no one actually goes into the back story. No one looks at the situations in a person’s life that has led them to make the choices they have made. This story, let’s you look at the making of a person. We play characters that are hustlers, making moves for the next dollar, but then you also see a desperate father trying to reconnect with a lost child, a daughter figuring how to reconcile with her past, a boyfriend trying to be a provider, and coming to terms with an unrequited love. We get to see the making of these people.
What are your hopes for this production?My hopes are we present this story, in a meaningful way. We’ve all worked so hard, and have put countless hours to make sure Columbia can see this original play. I hope people come out of this show, with an understanding, that not every decision is clear cut.
Who needs to see this? Why?Everyone. This show, offers a slice of life that not everyone sees. One of the many positives of a black box theatre is that it provides a certain intimacy with your audience. Even through the uncomfortable moments, you’re right there with us. Your literally in our living room
What is your role in production.I play Damon, the protagonist’s boyfriend. He’s so desperately trying to be the best man he can be for the woman he loves, yet unknowingly is pushing her away as well. You can see how much he loves Nina, and as much as he hates to admit it, she just doesn’t love him the same way. Damon is a character that you want to like, but also hate. He lives in that grey area of life, like a lot of us.
What is your inspiration?My Family inspires me, I auditioned for this role, because I tell me 2 daughters to follow their dreams everyday, and I refuse to be a hypocrite as a father. I’m only able to achieve this goal because of the support and love from my family. My inspirations for Damon come from people I have known in the past. He’s a likable guy, that’s made some horrible decisions. I’ve met plenty of people who are in his situation, just lost and doing what we can to hold together for a promise of a better tomorrow. There are so many stereotypical ways of playing this character, I wanted to make sure, I didn’t do that. That you see him as a real person. With the help from my Director and Cast, I feel like we’ve achieved this.