Former NTV anchor Mark Masai has seamlessly transitioned to a new and exciting chapter in his life. Following a remarkable 14-year tenure as a prime time news anchor, he now finds himself thriving on a different kind of set—the world of acting.
In an exclusive interview with Kenyans.co.ke, Masai revealed that his entry into the world of acting was a serendipitous moment.
After his departure from the Kimathi Street-based Nation Media Group, he at different points, considered a career in acting when he received an unexpected call from a casting coach. This call marked the turning point, and just a few months later, he found himself gracing the small screen in pursuit of his passion for acting.
The media personality found a harmonious blend between his portrayal as Detective Henry, the straightjacket-wearing investigator in the popular Showmax series "Faithless," and his childhood ambition of joining law enforcement. His lifelong dream had been to become a police or army officer, inspired by the desire to be the one with a gun, bravely confronting and apprehending the
Masai took time to answer our questions on his career trajectory and his future on the small screen. The interview has been condensed for clarity.
What pushed you to transition to theatre and acting from the media?
I would not say I have transitioned as such. It is just an added branch to my ‘brand tree’. I had already dabbled in the world of acting before I started as a TV/Radio journalist and news presenter.
How did you land the role in Faithless, was it a recommendation or an audition?
Someone from the production team reached out to check if I would be interested in this role and coincidentally, it came at a time I was considering the world of acting. I then had to do an audition like everyone else.
How are you finding acting in your role as a detective? What were the highs and lows during the shoot?
I love the role of Detective Henry. As a kid, I always wanted to be a police or army guy with the gun to get the bad guys. So somehow, I am living my childhood dream. The shooting experience has been a high. I am honored to be part of a production that has so many gurus and loving the learning experience.
Acting is quite different from the news media. How has it been transitioning from news to film?
I do not see it as that different. In both scenarios, there is a message, a script, a director, a producer, an audience, lights, camera and action. There is still a dramatic aspect in the news as well. The transition from me has been seamless. It will be the audience that will be getting used to seeing me in a different light.
Is this (acting) a one-time thing or will we see more of this in the future?
I am betting on more, plus I do see life as an act in many ways. It presents different platforms/stages and we have to act accordingly.
Are there acting projects you are working on your own?
Not at the moment.
Any struggles to fit in the role, or have you ever acted before in school etc?
I have had the opportunity to perform as a child way back in the 90’s as part of the African Children’s Choir. We performed for thousands in the USA and that prepared me to reach thousands more in my current/future roles in life.
What's the reaction of close fans and families to your acting debut?
My family has been supportive and happy about this new TV character. Many friends did not see it coming or expect that I had the acting bone.
Are you looking forward to more acting roles, or it's a one-time thing?
Definitely looking forward.
Any high school or campus incident which you can recall pushed you into acting?
Primary school when I joined the African Children’s Choir. Check them out online. Superstars!
Any additional information you wish to share, i.e a word to your fans
Live the life you have always dreamt of. You have got one to live. Keep watching Faithless; we are just getting started!