Who: Mikayla Khramov
Stopped: Outside the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway
What are you doing in the city today?
MK: I’m actually leaving New York today. I came here with my family last week; we traveled all the way from La Palma in Southern California to see The Merchant of Venice at Lincoln Center Festival because we’re really big fans of Jonathan Pryce—especially me, I’d been looking forward to the show a lot.
What makes you such a big Jonathan Pryce fan?
MK: I’ve been a fan for a long time. I think he brings a lot of vulnerability to his characters—especially as a villain—and I just find that captivating. I’d never seen him live, so to see him onstage was the coolest thing.
What did you think of the show?
MK: It was spectacular. We were right in the front, so I could see everything. I’d never seen The Merchant of Venice performed; I’d only read it. The show was really haunting, and it left me with a lot of questions about social issues. I think the director Jonathan Munby did a very interesting job.
How did the production make you think about social issues?
MK: It deals with anti-Semitism, and there’s racial conflict in the play—that has a lot to do with what’s going on right now, with the Black Lives Matter movement and issues over religion. A lot of my sympathy was for Jonathan Pryce’s Shylock. He’s the antagonist, but he’s also his own hero and enemy at the same time.
Are you a performer yourself?
MK: I've done a lot of acting, and I’m a musician as well, but I also like the business side of film and theatre. Right now I’m a student studying creative media and film at Northern Arizona University.
Is there a dream role you’d like to play?
MK: I’d love to perform in a Shakespeare play; I’ve never done that. I’d like a strong, dominant female role, kind of like Portia in The Merchant of Venice. She provides comic relief, but she’s powerful onstage, and you fall in love with her.
What about a dream job?
MK: If I don’t make it as a working musician and actor, I’d love to still be involved in the creative side. And I want to travel! If I can be in New York every so often for work, I’d be okay with that. This is my second time in New York, and I’m already in love with it and feel like I belong here.
Aside from The Merchant of Venice, what’s been another NYC highlight?
MK: We’ve done so much traveling while here so I have to say the subway! We’ve gone from the Bronx to Brooklyn and knowing how to work the subway has been really important.