manu narayan

Look down the rabbit hole with Manu

Category: film

Shooting Fox’s “The Following” with Kevin Bacon, James McDaniel, Shawn Ashmore, and more


Kevin Bacon – The Following (image credit: Michael Lavine/ FOX)

I finally have one degree of separation between me and Kevin Bacon. Kevin and I are both alumni of The Pennsylvania Governors School of the Arts, the PA state sponsored summer professional training school for gifted high school arts students.  But even though there has always been that connection, I had never met Kevin in person, only seeing him in passing at the opening night party of Broadway’s Life  x 3 a few years ago. I have always enjoyed Kevin’s work. He was incredible in Footloose, Stir of Echoes, JFK, and a favorite of mine A Few Good Men.   I am really excited to have spent time with him this past Wednesday on the set of Fox’s The Following.   Kevin is so gracious and so kind to his fellow actors.  In preparation for my role as FBI analyst Reece in the first episode of season 2, I watched a few episodes of The Following. What impresses me most about Kevin, both as Ryan Hardy on the show and in his other roles in film, is that he so easily straddles the line between a believable leading man and a character actor of varied depth.  I admire him greatly for his skill onscreen.   That he was so gracious and came out of his way to introduce himself to me was the icing on the cake

James McDaniel in ABC’s “Detroit 1-8-7” (image credit: Mark H. Preston-ABC,2010)

James McDaniel, another favorite actor of mine who was nominated for two EMMY awards for his work on NYPD Blue as Lt. Arthur Fancy, is on season 2 of The Following playing our FBI boss Ken Phillips.  As I learned recently, he is friends with Peter Jay Fernandez, a colleague of mine in the Actors Center Workshop Company.  James and I quickly made the Peter Jay connection and had a couple of wonderful conversations between takes. I am currently deep in rehearsals for the new musical Gettin’ The Band Back Together at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ.  So traveling and transitioning from the world of Broadway to a television set in Brooklyn was a good challenge.

Valerie Cruz in "The Following"

Valerie Cruz in “The Following” (image credit: The WB)

Going from acting as a singing/ dancing Dermatologist in a musical comedy under TONY award winning director John Rando, to playing an FBI crime analyst with a lot of dry technical text under executive producer/director Marcos Siega was what we actors live for. Thankfully, even though TV is much faster paced than theatre, Marcos and the entire cast and crew including Kevin, James, Canadian Shawn Ashmore (Iceman on X-Men and a great guy), and Valerie Cruz (Nip/TuckDexter, True Blood) were incredibly helpful and the shoot seemed to turn out well.

Kyle Barisich

Kyle Barisich (image credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images North America)

Kyle Barisich, who recently left the Broadway company of  Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera starring as Raoul, was my crime analyst partner in the scene. Kyle is a true pro, smart and talented. It is easy to see why he is a Broadway Star.  TV and film stardom is sure to follow.


VIDEO: Manu Narayan sings “MUSTT, MUSTT” in Klezmer /Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

This is one of the famous and very difficult Urdu / Sufi / Qawwali songs from the great Master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He recorded a famous non traditional version with Peter Gabriel.

While I was offstage, I was touched that Frank introduced me as …”having taken the Yiddish theatre world by storm”

Thanks to you, Frank for giving me the opportunities and the introductions!

Read the rest of this entry »

VIDEO: Manu Narayan sings “Venkatachala Nilayam” in Klezmer/Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

“Venkatachala” is a special song for me.

I grew up listening to my parents singing with their friends.

It is also one of the first songs I learned while studying with my Carnatic classical  Saxophone Guru- ji Sri Kadri Gopalnath in Mangalore, India

It was a pleasure to sing it with Frank , Deep, and the band who picked it up effortlessly.

I hope that you enjoy it!

Read the rest of this entry »

VIDEO: Sarah Gordon and Manu Narayan sing “Mo Asapro, Ma Adabro” Klezmer /Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.


MO ASAPRO, MA ADABRO… (in Yiddish)

w/ special guests Manu Narayan, Sarah Gordon, and Jeremiah Lockwood
LIVE at 2013 Washington Jewish Music Festival
16th street JCC, Washington, DC

Photos: Klezmer/Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

Frank London, Bandleader, Trumpet, Arranger, Composer
Deep Singh – Dhol, Percussion
Manu Narayan – Vocalist
Sarah Gordon – Vocalist
Jeremiah Lockwood – Guitar, Vocalist

The Frank London Klezmer Brass All-Stars Include:
–Aaron Alexander. Drum Set
–Ron Caswell, Tuba
–Brian Drye, Trombone
–Patrick Farrell, Accordion
–Michael Winograd, Clarinet

NBC’s “Deception” premieres Monday 1/7/2013 @10PM

I will be guest starring on the premiere episode of Deception on NBC, Monday, 1/07/2013 at 10PM.

Deception was a blast to work on and stars my friend Meagan Good (Think Like a Man) as Detective Joanna Padget Locasto. A few years ago in Toronto, we spent a lot of time together on the set of Mike Myers’ The Love Guru. In addition to Meagan, Deception also stars Victor Garber (Alias), Tate Donovan (Damages), Wes Brown (True Blood) and Laz Alonso (Avatar). Law and Order’s S. Epatha Merkerson, with whom I did the Public Theatre’s production of Fucking A, plays Beverly Paget, Detective Locasto’s mother.

Meagan, pictured with me (below) at The Love Guru premiere in Los Angeles in 2008, is getting rave reviews for her performance in NBC’s new drama. Besides being talented and beautiful, she is the nicest person. The show is going to be a huge hit, definitely check it out if you can.


NBC’s synopsis of its new series Deception premiering Monday, January 7th, 2013 at 10PM:

When wealthy socialite and notorious party girl Vivian Bowers is found dead of an overdose, no one is really surprised. The heiress to the Bowers pharmaceutical empire has been tabloid fodder for years: wild, pretty, privileged … and now dead at the age of 32. But for FBI agent Will Moreno (Laz Alonso), things don’t add up with this suspicious dynasty. Convinced the troubled girl’s death was a homicide, he has a clever plan to get to the truth. Her name is Detective Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good).

Twenty years ago Detective Joanna was Vivian’s best friend and practically grew up inside the Bowers’ home. And when she appears at Vivian’s funeral, the family re-embraces her, and no one is the wiser. Joanna quickly begins to uncover dark secrets and clues about why Vivian’s life was very much in danger. At the same time, she rekindles an old romantic relationship and rediscovers the allure of the luxurious lifestyle she once knew. She’s about to see once again just how the other half lives … and dies.

TV Rage Deception Pilot