'Major Crimes' Vet Ransford Doherty Guest Stars on 'Touch'
February 8th, 2013 10:40am EST
Tonight's Touch premiere features a guest appearance by Ransford Doherty, best known as Kendall on TNT's Major Crimes. BFTV caught up with Ransford before tonight's premiere to chat about his acting roles - and his other commitment to children as a substitute teacher.
"Coming from a Sierra Leone, West African family, being an actor is not the typical career path one chooses," Ransford said. "In fact, my initial major at Longwood College was Political Science, but my heart wasn’t in it. My counselor then suggested that I pick something that I would actually enjoy learning, so I decided to major in Theatre Performance.
"My college acting professor, Pam Arkin, was the one who convinced me that I should pursue acting as a career," he continued. "After two weeks of taking acting classes and hearing the pitfalls of the acting business from a fellow theatre student, I went to Professor Arkin and told her I wanted to quit. She, of course, was not having that and told me stick with it. She then told me about all the acting opportunities for African Americans. Her advice made sense, so I took it and haven’t looked back ever since!"
He's since played Coroner's Investigator Kendall in both The Closer and its spin-off series Major Crimes. Asked what draws him to a role, "The flow of the story is what I look for," he explained. "The better the writing, the easier it is for me to connect to the character, know the scene and bring the character's action to life. In fact, it makes playing the role enjoyable."
"It’s surreal," he said of continuing his recurring role across two different TV series. "I pinch myself every time I'm on set and count my blessings! I just show up and enjoy the ride."
Touch isn't the only acting project that Ransford has been working on recently; he's part of an online series that's close to his heart. "I also am working opposite Hector Luis Bustamante, who I met on the set of Hostage, in a web series called Caribe Road," he said. "It follows the story of U.S. Special Forces commander Mark Caribe, who is hell bent on starting a new life away from the military after a covert mission goes terribly wrong. But first, under the orders of the President, Caribe must accept the command of a new elite combat unit called SFT1. Caribe hopes this move will lead him to the terrorist who kidnapped his daughter. I play the role of James Crews, a team member and sidekick to Mark Caribe.
"I'm really proud that I am working on Caribe Road," Ransford continued. "Having served in the US Army Reserve and having two family members currently serving overseas - [my] fraternal twin brother Major Beresford Doherty [and] sister Captain Hileen Mallory) - it's a way for us to say thank you, to show appreciation for all the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect our freedom." You can check out Caribe Road by visiting the official website.
Ransford - pictured above in Caribe Road - is contributing in his own way. When he's not acting, he works as a substitute teacher, and is involved with several charitable organizations. "I maintain the teaching career because it’s a flexible job for working actors and it pays the bills when the acting work is slow. It's also my way of giving back," he said. "How I manage the two is with the help of a supportive team."
"I want to thank the faculty and staff at Alexandria Elementary, Vine Street Elementary, Holmes Elementary and Manual Arts High. For over eleven years, those schools kept me gainfully employed a majority of the time as a substitute teacher. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be where I am today," he continued. "There were many times the office managers - like Suzette Brown, Catherine Brown, Auraluz Lopez, Norma Duran Munguia and Marta - forgave me for having to cancel a teaching assignment at the last minute due to an last minute audition. Or the assistant principal at Manual Arts High, Mr. Todd Engle, who always finds a way to cover my classes when I'm off on an audition or when I'm working on any show I booked.
"I also can't forget the kids at these schools!" he added. "They even help me run lines for some of my auditions. In fact, when I auditioned for my role on Touch, I ran the lines with Mr. Rivera's seventh-period class. I then made a wager. I told them that since they helped me, I would buy the whole class pizza and Kool-Aid if I got the part. Not only did I get the part, and have their football team deliver the seven boxes of pizza with Kool-Aid to Mr. Rivera's class, but the students of that class got to see how they had an impact on my making my dream come true. They were more excited that I got the part than [about] getting the pizza!"
Some of the groups that Ransford is involved with include Sunshine Kids, LACER Afterschool Programs, After-School All-Stars, Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, and Dream Center.
When he's not acting or teaching, what are some of the shows Ransford's tuned into? "I'm a fan of all the actors and writers on Major Crimes," he said, "The Closer, Breaking Bad, Luther, The Wire, Modern Family, Person of Interest, everything on HGTV - and any TV show or film that hires me!"
Ransford's guest appearance on Touch airs as part of tonight's two-hour season premiere, beginning at 8 PM ET/PT on FOX.
For more from Brittany Frederick, visit my official website and follow me on Twitter (@tvbrittanyf).
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.
Photo Credits: TNT