BLEU: How exactly did you get your start in the entertainment business?
Xosha: I was kind of born into it. My mom and dad both worked in the arts and then I ended up going to NYU Tisch School of Arts majoring in acting. I graduated and started auditioning. I booked “Precious” and that was like my first job. Then after that, I’ve just been auditioning and working ever since.
Was there ever any pressure to join the family business of the arts?
No, not really. My dad was kind of a natural performer. He was a director and a writer. My mom was on the administrative and producing side of theater so it was never any pressure to join, but I was just exposed to plays and stuff at a very young age. I was backstage and just always around it. I knew a lot of actors. I’m from L.A. originally so it wasn’t foreign, but there wasn’t any pressure to do anything like that.
Do any of those special moments behind the scenes come to mind?
There are some things I don’t remember because I was too young, but I hear my mom talk about it which is pretty cool. When she was at Yale School of Drama for their producing program, I was there while August Wilson was premiering all of his famous plays – the ones that are classics now. I was backstage with Lloyd Richards, August Wilson, Rocky Carroll and Rob Beltmon and all of those brilliant actors who were getting the roles there.
My dad also did this play called “Lotto” and I was in the fourth or fifth grade running the props. I had to dress in all black and run out on the stage to change the sets. Doing stuff like that was kind of fun to be working as a stagehand when I was like ten.
Tell us a little about your role on The Mindy Project as Tamra Webb. What kind of girl is she?
She’s fun, zany, crazy, fashionable and just would rather be doing anything other than working. She’s hilarious. Sorry for the canned response. (laughs)
How much of yourself do you actually see in the character you play?
Umm…I see like my face and the totality of myself, but I don’t think we’re that much alike personality wise.