Meet Kayden Koshelev

[NoHo Arts District, CA] – We are all so used to hearing about actors and how they got their careers started, but I have often wondered how the amazing child actors we see on TV and film got cast in their breakout roles or how they decided to become an actor in the first place when most of us were watching cartoons and playing tag at their age!

Kayden is a local boy, born in Burbank, CA and then raised in the Chicagoland area, he fell in love with acting and performing at a very young age bringing him back to Los Angeles at age 10. He spent a few years on a competitive dance and musical theatre troupe and loved being part of Second City’s Youth Troupe (Chicago) and Groundlings Summer Program (LA).

Kayden discovered his passion for acting at a very young age, debuting in his first television show at the age of 7, acting alongside Terry O’Quinn in Amazon’s Patriot. Following that role, Kayden took a very emotional turn as a sick child with an unstable father in Chicago Med before appearing alongside William H. Macy in Shameless. In 2020, he worked with Director Joel Coen in “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” appearing as one of the apparitions who haunt Denzel Washington’s “Macbeth.” After landing a role in “Diary of a Future President” for Disney+, Kayden landed his first recurring role as Aspen on “Search Party” for HBO Max. You can hear Kayden’s pipes in Netflix’s “Me Time,” as he sings a stirring rendition of “Hallelujah” in a scene alongside Kevin Hart. Kayden’s first horror film, “Grimcutty,” streams on HULU. Other recent guest Sstar roles include “Bunk’d,” “How I Met Your Father,” “Night Court,” and “911: Lone Star.” Kayden also worked on “Rebel Moon” part 1 and 2, directed by Zack Snyder.

He’s a very busy actor! We wondered how he manages a busy career as an actor and balances it with just being a kid!

Meet the rising new star Kayden Koshelev.

How do you prepare for diverse roles in plays like “Drag the Musical,” “A Christmas Story,” and “Oliver Twist”? Which was the most challenging?

I love working with new characters, but in musical theatre, the characters have usually been around for a long time. For instance, Oliver is a very well-known character and musical, so I have to make the character my own while staying true to the original script. I always bring my own unique spin to every character I play. I see Oliver as sweet and vulnerable, so I play the character with heart and try to connect with the audience. When I sing “Where Is Love,” I want people to cry, even if it sounds funny to say that. On the other hand, Schwartz in A Christmas Story is meant to be funny and an instigator, making playing with his character fun. Brendan in Drag: The Musical was fun and challenging because he was a new character, so I had to bring him to life. I played the character true to my instincts and tried to make the audience fall in love with him. Ultimately, every character depends on the type of production and how much flexibility I have with the character.

What was your experience in “Drag the Musical” like, and how has it influenced your view on performing arts?

It was an incredible experience working with Spencer Liff, the writers, creators, musicians, and the entire crew. Every Queen was brilliant and so nice. Joey and I always had a blast backstage. Watching Nick Adams perform was like attending a master class in musical theatre. It actually boosted my confidence a lot. At the time I was doing a lot of TV and film acting, which is very different from singing, dancing, and acting in front of a live audience. I was very nervous, but working with such exceptional people gave me a lot of confidence. Everyone was so supportive and positive and made me feel like I could do anything! I’m sad DRAG has wrapped up but I get to take all the amazing memories I made with me!

Meet the rising new star Kayden Koshelev.

How did you adapt your acting for the different settings of “A Christmas Story” and “Oliver Twist”? What did you learn?

Musical theatre is a process, and it only allows for 2-4 weeks of rehearsal days to bring the show together. It’s during this period that you learn more about your character and the show as you rehearse every day. As you add in the songs, choreography, scene work, costumes, lighting, and stage props, that’s when everything comes together. You are able to immerse yourself in your character every time you get ready to go on stage. You adapt to the characters and the show style and then repeat it all day after day, learning from what works and what doesn’t along the way.

Theater often involves live feedback from the audience. Can you share a moment when audience reaction profoundly impacted your performance or understanding of a role?

Every stage actor loves a reaction! Whether it’s laughter, tears, or applause, the audience response is what we sometimes use to gauge our performance. The most memorable moment on stage was during Drag: the Musical. As a new production, I wasn’t sure how people would react to me or my character. During my first performance with Nick Adams in the number “It’s So Pretty,” we finished the song and the audience went crazy! There was loud applause and cheering that went on for what felt like forever. We maintained our ending positions for a while, and I struggled to hold back my tears. It was so intense but in the best of ways. They really loved what we had done, and I was able to be a part of that.

From your experiences in plays, what has been your most memorable moment or lesson learned so far in your acting career?

Every theatre and musical is so different in its own way, which forces me to constantly learn something new every day. I learn a lot from adult actors, especially those who have been on Broadway. The biggest lesson I have learned is to observe everything, take it all in, and learn everything I can from the people I am with. Working with talented and experienced actors makes me a better actor.

Reflecting on your roles in both classic and contemporary theatre, how do you feel these experiences have shaped your approach to character development and storytelling on stage?

I approach each new role with more confidence than the last. Every show I participate in shapes me, and I take everything I learn to the next character. In order to explore a character fully, I need to feel confident and safe. It’s important for me to have a clear understanding of who the character is and who I want the character to be, even if it’s a classical character. I was taught long ago to always give a piece of myself into every character, so that’s exactly what I do!

Thanks, Kayden! We wish you the very best of luck with your future projects, you really are a standout in every project you are in!

If you would like to know more about Kayden and what he’s up to you can follow him on his social media and check out his website:

IG: KaydenKoshelev_Official

Tiktok: Thekaydenshow

Twitter: Kayden_Koshelev