We had the good fortune of connecting with Kandace Crystal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kandace, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
Kandace Crystal (she/her) is an Actor, Director, and Florida State University alum from Miami, FL. Kandace’s father was a Marine and her mother a bookkeeper. She lives for her 3 brothers, nieces and nephews, as well as her dogs. Kandace feels extremely lucky to have a family that supported her. Kandace feels strongly that “Family support is the main reason I am where I am today along with a few amazing mentors. If I did not have my family behind me at all costs, there is no way I would have any success.” Kandace currently works for two different theatre companies as the Associate Artistic Director of Trinity Theatre Company and the Artistic Director of American History Theater. You can find her around town performing, directing, or taking in a show. Her love for theatre came from Debate Club where she found her niche in Humorous Interpretation then proceeded to attend a magnet high school for drama before attending FSU. In response to the disproportionate murder of black and brown people at the hands of police, Kandace developed a Podcast/Oral Documentary with Cloudcast Media entitled 8:46-The Catalyst for Change as a means of documenting feelings and responses to the current epidemic. Kandace hopes to continue using her art to tell the stories of people whose stories need to be told whether on stage, on screen, via voice, or in daily conversation. Feel free to keep up with her journey on social media, @KandaceCrystal on all platforms.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I do it all! I am most proud of never giving up on my craft. I started off getting an education and jumping into the industry headfirst. Honestly, it’s hard being in an image based industry day after day. You often find yourself wondering if you are good enough and some days you want to give up. I try to focus on the good–and all the people in my corner rooting for my success helps. Biggest lesson I could take away is that, when it’s your time, you better be ready to claim it. As far as Kandace Crystal as a brand, I hope people see me as more than just one thing. Yes, I an an Actor, Director, Model, etc…but I am human. I love telling stories, that may be because of my Haitian heritage. Ultimately, I am here to create art. All stories deserve to be told and I want to be a vessel in making that happen.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my besties came to town the first place I would take them is Redwing Bar and Grill for Karaoke! I love their ambiance and everyone is welcome attitude. I am pescatarian and swear by Suckerfree Southern Plate and Bar. They have delicious food, bomb music, and are unapologetically black. We love to drink and explore speakesies, so Raised by Wolves and False Idol are an absolute must! My bestie loves a good photo opp so a Padres game and a hangout at the Nolen would really capture her attention. Or a stroll through Balboa Park and a walkthrough at the Museum of Art would be a great way to show her a few of my favorite places.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is so tough because I have two! Firstly, my big brother Leu Freycinet and his amazing wife, Alexis Freycinet, who helped me move to San Diego and get back on my feet. They are a Husband and Wife duo at a local hair salon and do amazing work. I would not be where I am today without them lifting me up. Secondly, Allison Spratt Pearce is a force! She’s a teacher and actor and all around one of the greatest mentors who introduced me to SD theatre and helped me find representation.
Marc Akiyama, John Gray III, Adriana Zuniga Williams
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