Wesam Keesh picked for role in ABC legal drama pilot

Theatre alumnus chosen for Shondaland TV pilot

Wesam Keesh (BA ’09) has been selected to join the cast of a legal drama television pilot produced by Shondaland company and ABC Studios. Shondaland is led by critically acclaimed producer and writer Shonda Rimes who created the hit series Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.

Keesh moved to Hollywood immediately after graduating from The University of Tulsa with a degree in theatre. He is a Tulsa native who became interested in acting as an eighth grader at Union Public Schools.

Wesam Keesh“I was naturally pulled toward it in Ms. Gardner’s class, and my high school drama teacher, Troy Powell, helped build the foundation of my career by sparking my interest in acting,” he said.

Keesh’s résumé of television, films and other independent projects includes a recurring role on MTV’s five seasons of the teenage comedy Awkward. He is scheduled to appear in an upcoming episode of Chicago Justice and has hosted more than 100 episodes of his podcast, Actors Anonymous.

Knowledge acquired from mentors such as Professor Lisa Wilson in the TU Department of Theatre along with lessons learned in the television and film industry have shaped Keesh’s budding career. He also credits support from family and friends for helping establish himself in Hollywood. Keesh’s younger brother and parents continue to reside in Tulsa and have owned the city’s iconic Hero’s Subs & Burgers for the past 20 years.

“There’s no guidebook on what this business is like all of the time,” he said. “Emulating good character of successful people is critical, but you have to stay true to yourself and build upon who you are.”

Keesh’s upcoming role in the untitled Paul William Davies pilot marks a new chapter in his career as daily dedication to his artistic craft pays off with higher profile roles. The pilot will be shot within the next couple of months and will feature Keesh as “Jay,” a recent law school graduate launching his career as a public defender in the prestigious Southern District of New York Federal Court. The drama follows a group of young lawyers whose personal lives intersect while working high-stakes cases. Keesh is preparing for the series by shadowing a top district attorney at trial.

“I love that part about my job – I love the research,” he said. “I’m completely honored and blessed to work with such high-caliber producers and storytellers.”