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Meet Kathreen Khavari

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathreen Khavari.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kathreen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I actually started off in the field of Public Health Infectious Disease Control. I received two degrees in the field, but had always wanted to act, ever since I was a child. I chose a different path because it didn’t seem feasible or logical to pursue a career in the arts. Ironically it was while I was getting my Master’s degree in London in infectious disease control when I finally made the decision to become an actor. So as soon as soon as I returned home to Oakland, I worked in public health during the day and took acting classes on nights and weekends. I did that for a couple of years until I finally quit my job and moved to NYC to get experience in theater. After doing some off-Broadway, I moved to LA and shot a short film which I wrote and starred in where I played eleven different characters having an identity crisis. The video went viral when Upworthy posted it, and every acting and writing opportunity I got after that was a direct result of my short film.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s been anything but a smooth road. Going into this industry I had zero contacts and zero understanding of how the industry operated. Everything I learned, I did so along the way. Every contact I made I did completely on my own–going to film screenings, contacting directors I liked, reaching out to industry professionals and asking to meet with them. I was always under the false impression that actors get “discovered” and then become overnight successes which is a completely false narrative. Going into this, I didn’t realize just how much work it would be, how much rejection I would face, and how much tenacity was required of me. I had heard that it would be difficult to break into the acting industry, but somehow I thought that with enough hard work and tenacity, I would be guaranteed results, and to a certain extent that’s true, but there’s also so much that is out of my hands. I don’t think the ‘struggle’ will ever end because at every junction, there is a challenge. This is not a smooth path.

Kathreen Khavari – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m a character actor and a writer, and I’ve recently launched a podcast with my writing partner, Chuck Neal, called “Strongly Worded” where we read aloud real strongly worded written exchanges that border on the absurd. My writing partner and I also wrote a pilot that is currently being developed by Refinery29. I also voice the first Marvel superhero to headline her own series, Ms. Marvel aka Kamala Khan, on DisneyXD’s Avengers Assemble series and in the upcoming feature on Disney Channel,, Marvel Rising. I played Samantha, a Monterey parent, in Season 1 of HBO’s Big Little Lies, and Patricia, Issa’s bitter co-worker, on HBO’s Insecure.

As the child of immigrants, born and raised in Oakland, California–a city where social justice permeates the culture–I’m very vocal about the importance of representation in media, and critical of the portrayal of minorities in film and TV, especially Muslims, Middle Easterners and North Africans. My goal is to create work that is a true reflection of our world and that hasn’t been tainted by the colonialist view of ‘minorities.’

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Making a living wage doing what a love, acting and writing, is my personal marker for success. If I can help the world become a better place along the way, there’s no greater marker of success.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Dania Maxwell

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