Krystal Kiran Garib is a singer, dancer and actress of Punjabi-Canadian heritage. Deemed a “triple threat”, Krystal made her Broadway debut at the age of nineteen in the Andrew Lloyd Webber production of Bombay Dreams in New York City. Along with several film & television appearances (Hairspray, Good Morning America, Live with Regis & Kelly, MTV), she has also since performed in the Mirvish production of the Lord of the Rings in Toronto. In 2010, Krystal toured the world as a featured vocalist with Oscar and Grammy winning composer of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, AR Rahman.
An active philanthropist, Krystal founded the House of Kiran, a non-profit performing arts and production company, in 2009. Before the film ‘The King’s Speech’ ever hit film-waves, The House of Kiran helped raise over $40, 000 for Toronto’s Speech and Stuttering Institute with its Shakespeare-based productions, exploring the notion of finding fluency in speech through the rhythmic language of Shakespearean text.
Krystal recently finished filming her first short film which she wrote, produced and directed for Bravo!FACT (The Bravo Network), titled Thy Beauty’s Doom. This was her debut project as a filmmaker.
visit www.krystalkirangarib.com for more info!
1. What are you most proud of?
Proud is a tough word because you have to sacrifice alot on this path. But I am proud of never giving up! My dream as an 8 year old girl was to work with AR Rahman, and now I can say that I have 3 times. I chose to come into this industry on my own and lacked any real guidance from anyone in “the industry”. I am not a child of nepotism. I feel fortunate to have had opportunities early on in my career where my first professional gig was on Broadway. Now almost a decade later, I feel grateful to give back to my community through my own experiences via my dance studio and House of Kiran (www.houseofkiran.org). Most recently, two arrests were made in the murder of an up and coming talented performer and artist, whom I created a short film in memory of for the Bravo Network. Being able to do this type of work is deeply gratifying and something I am very proud of.
2. What’s the one thing that scares you like crazy, but you do anyway?
Anything with heights! I haven’t been skydiving yet, but when I was in Durban, South Africa while on tour with AR Rahman, I bungee jumped from the roof of the FIFA World Cup Stadium where we had performed the night before. I could see the remnants of the stage from our show as I was hanging there! Jai Ho!
3. Who is your celebrity crush?
Priyanka Chopra! She rocks!
4. What inspired you to dance, sing, act and produce?
I think it first started out when my parents would watch Hindi films at home and I would try to copy the dancing in them. From there, my mother put me in ballet classes as those were the only dance classes available in our town at the time. As I was growing up, I began stuttering and slurring my speech, so I suppose dancing was a way for me to express myself when I couldn’t do so verbally. When it came to speech, it was very frustrating for me. Interestingly enough, that’s when I started excelling at dancing. I started to take singing lessons around the age of 15 because a speech therapist I visited recommended them, saying that singing and the breathing associated to it might help me find fluidity in my speech. So I guess you could almost say that these ‘talents’ happened by accident! The acting kind of just happened by accident too. I was asked to understudy the lead role in the musical Bombay Dreams on Broadway. The first time I ever “acted” professionally was when I went on stage to play that role. It was the scariest day of my life up to that point.
In regards to producing, as much as I love helping another artist or production’s vision come to life, it is equally as gratifying to have your own vision and execute that. Producing/writing/directing has given me renewed insight and understanding into my work, life and what drives it. I founded the House of Kiran in 2009 which was started by producing events for the Speech and Stuttering Institute in Toronto. Since then, we have essentially morphed into what has now become a non-profit performing arts and production company. Thy Beauty’s Doom for Bravo!FACT is the first film production from the House of Kiran and is another fundraising project for the memorial fund of a young South Asian woman who was recently murdered at her university campus. Her name was Maple Batalia.
5. Is there a popular food you find disagreeable?
Ice cream. Makes me shudder!
6. What advice would you give to a student with a passion for dancing and singing, but little confidence because of discouraging feedback?
Be honest with yourself about your motivations, why you’re doing what you’re doing and make your decision to pursue this industry from there. It’s not easy and you have to have really thick skin. Don’t let yourself fall victim to other people’s perceptions and opinions. This goes in whatever you decide to pursue, no matter what the field is. If you want to do something, do it. Pursue your passion and learn to enjoy both the ups and the downs. You can’t have the former without the latter, and vice versa. And always remember to keep yourself inspired!! No one can take that away from you. Inspiration can come from the happiest of times or the saddest of times. Although it may be hiding, it’s always in there somewhere! As artists it’s our duty and gift to be able to tune into that.
7. Who in your life makes you laugh like none other?
My family and friends! Usually we laugh at each other expenses… but ain’t that the best?!