Drama Teacher Cast in TV Show






It’s unlikely that students see their teachers outside of school, and they are enjoying their free time, but many of our students will being seeing Cedric West every Thursday night on ABC.

After a previous audition, West’s agent contacted him saying that ABC wanted him to audition for characters in their new Primetime Show, American Crime. The show premiered Thursday March 5th at 9 pm.

For his initial role as a substantial character in a TV series, he was not totally surprised.

“The producers informed my agent, based on a previous audition, that I was probably going to be cast,” he said. “I am thankful. It’s not every day that you can say ‘hey I’m in a TV show’.”

This is not the first production West has been in, however it is the biggest. He was in several shows like Seinfield, Dexter, America’s Most Wanted, and The Young and Restless. In those shows, he was just a “day player” in a small part of an episode, but in American Crime, he will be in eight of the 11 episodes in the first season.

“I would say that is substantial,” West said. “It’s the next best thing to the star of the show.”

The character West plays is an attorney by the name of Timothy, who is part of the Nation of Islam. He has a strong passion for social justice and he loves to stand up for what’s right. He is also very analytical and compassionate. On top of all of that, Timothy has a mysterious side to him.

“I was not portraying this character, I would like to know more about him,” West said.

West is similar to his character. He said likes to have “core similarities” with his character to help him understand the point of view he is trying to convince the audience he is coming from. A couple of similarities between West and Timothy, is they both serve all kinds of men, and they are just everyday people. As a teacher, West teaches all kinds of people and his character, as an attorney, has to serve all different kinds of people too. They also both live everyday like ordinary people.

“We are basically public servants. We both work to help the people.”

Although they are similar, West does have some differences with his character. Since Timothy is part of a different faith, he had to get past that, and embrace the differences.

“With my maturity level now, I was able to embrace it, and not feel like I was abandoning my own beliefs.”

The biggest jump for West was the “potential of being a public personality.” He said he doesn’t like a lot of attention, but if it does come down to that, then he could handle it.

He isn’t worried about any of his students watching him on TV since he has already performed for most of them during class or rehearsals.

“They hear that I’ve been in a film production and they have seen me on those shows,” he said. “They’ve looked me up.”

“It comes with the territory,” he said.

One thing West said is quite a few actors can’t handle being a public figure, because they aren’t ready, but he feels he could handle it.

“They’re not ready for the scrutiny. They’re not ready for the pressure. They’re not ready for the criticism.”

West won’t let the criticism of others completely bring him down, but he will take their thoughts into consideration since the people you are trying to please are the audience and the people watching.

“I have an objective with them. They are my customers, so to an extent, it matters what they think.”