KSM: Making of a legend






If one survives the often difficult entertainment business for 10 years, that one qualifies to be tagged as “remarkable. Fifteen years that is “fantastic, 20 years that is “excellent”.
Thirty years and over that must be legendary. That is how to describe KSM who marks his 38th year as a professional on the entertainment scene this year. He started at age 20 and 38 years later; he is still going strong and getting ready for his latest show: KSM @ 58 – Still Got Swag.

KSM’s very first appearance on stage as a mature performer was in the summer of 1976 when he wowed audiences at the British Council Hall and the Arts Centre with an original one-man-play titled Mellow Madness. KSM played seven different characters in that two-hour non-stop performance.

He looks back on that show and insists it is one of his greatest performances to date.

Mellow Madness was later performed at the then United States Information Service Auditorium. KSM told Showbiz that the Cultural Attaché at the time, Mr. Richard Overturf, was so impressed by the show that he encouraged him to go to the US to polish his craft.

“When I finally gained admission to study Theatre Arts at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut”, KSM said, “I didn’t even go for an interview for a visa. Mr. Overturf arranged to enable me get a visa”.

On his arrival in the US, KSM said, he did not disappoint his mentors. In 1980, he put up his first one-man show written in America at the auditorium of the Austin Arts Center in Hartford.

The title of the play was Sketches and Stuff. He received a spontaneous standing ovation and very positive media reviews. The Hartford Tripod (an arts newspaper) carried the headline “Ghanaian freshman astounds audience.”

KSM had the opportunity to work with some powerful icons in the theatre notably Joe Papp of the Public Theatre, Lloyd Richards at the Yale Repertory, George Nichols 111 and Roger Shoemaker at the Austin Arts Center.

He hit a new high in 1995, when he became the first African to perform an original one-man-play off Broadway at the Mazur Theatre. The play was Thoughts of a Confused Black Man.

This show was described by Alan Friedman, writing for the influential Village Voice, as a “Riveting masterpiece and Broadway material”. KSM returned to Ghana in 1996. His stage play, The Saga of the Returnee, was an instant hit and ran for an unprecedented 13 shows and sold out on every occasion.

Saga was followed by a string of one-man plays at the National Theatre; notable among the hits were: Politically Incorrect, Afia Siriboe, Sgt Lasisi, Pure Madness, Castle or Sucide, Colonial Independence and Chemical Interrogation.

KSM extended his footprints from the stage and stepped into television. The result was Thank God It’s Friday (TGIF) which he co-created with Talal Fattal of Metro TV. TGIF, now The KSM Show, has been one of the most watched shows on television for the last 12 years. It is an amazing hybrid between an exciting talk show and a variety of humorous segments.

The climax of his 38 years of entertainment is on the 25th of December at the National Theatre with KSM @ 58 Still Got Swag, a hilarious compilation of observations of Ghana. “It will be more than just a show, it will be a memorable event”, he says.

source : Graphic Online