Film, Personalities, Podcast

Tandy Culpepper Talks to Filmmaker Vishavjit Singh about His New Short Animated Film, American Sikh

In the Republic, the philosopher Plato notably penned that “Our need will be the real creator.” A rephrasing of those words survives to this day: Necessity is the mother of invention. And so it is. Just ask filmmaker Vishavjit Singh, a cartoonist, performance artist, and public speaker. 

Singh is a member of the religious sect Sikhism, a worldwide spiritual movement that has its roots in India. Singh was born in Washington, DC, where one of his parents was a member of the delegation at the Indian embassy. In his teens, his family moved back to India where Singh completed his secondary education. Following graduation Singh returned to the United States – just in time for the tragic events of 9/11.

Sikh males can be recognized by their long beards and turban hair coverings. Unfortunately, terrorist Osama bin Laden, though a Muslim, was also known for his beard and head-covered turban.  Sikhs became the object of suspicion, harassment – even violence.

Tired of being stared at, Singh ditched his turban, cut his hair, and shaved his beard. But after a while, he felt a spiritual void. So he grew his beard and donned his turban again. And then he hit upon an idea. Singh bought a Captain America costume and began walking the streets of New York dressed in the garb of a superhero.

Now, Singh has become very much in demand as a public speaker. He’s  launched a company – – and he’s chronicled his story in an award-winning animated short film, American Sikh. Tandy Culpepper talks to Singh about the entrepreneur’s transformation from zero to hero.


Published by Tandy Culpepper

I am a veteran broadcast journalist. I was an Army brat before my father retired and moved us to the deep South. I'm talkin' Lower Alabama and Northwest Florida, I graduated from Tate High School and got botha Bachelor's degree and Master's in Teaching English from the University of West Florida, I taught English at Escambia County High School for two years before getting my m's in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Auburn University. Following graduation, I did a 180 degree turn and moved to Birmingham where I began ny broadcasting career at WBIQ, Channel 10. There I was host of a weekly primetime half-hour TV program called Alabama Lifestyles. A year later, I began a stint as a television weathercaster and public affairs host. A year later, I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida and became bureau chief at WPTV, the CBS affiliate. Two years later, I moved to Greensboro, North Carolina where I became co-host of a morng show called AM Carolina. The next year, I moved cross-country and became co-host and story producer at KTVN-TV in Reno, Nevada. I also became the medical reporter for the news department. Three years later, I moved to Louisville, Kentucky and became host and producer of a morning show called today in WAVE Country at WAVE-TV, Channel 3, the NBC affiliate. Following three years there, I moved to Los Angeles and became senior correspondent at the Turner Entertainment Reportn, an internationally-syndicated entertainment entertainment news service owned by CNN. I went back to school afterwards and got an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore. Oh, yes. I won a hundred thousand dollars on the 100 Thousand Dollar Pyramid, then hosted by Dick Clark.

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