Kyle Curtis Mason (born 3 June 1978 in Eastport, St. David's County, New Cambria) is a New Cambrian singer and actor. In his home country, he is best known as the winner of the 2004 New Cambria National Song Contest, and for playing Kevin Kelley on the NCT One sitcom Contessa from 2006 to 2010.
Mason lived in Eastport until age four, when his family moved to nearby Talbot. A lifelong hockey fan, Mason began playing in local junior leagues at age seven, and continued throughout most of his childhood and into junior and high school. A knee injury suffered in his senior year spelled the end of his hockey playing days, and Mason fell into a depression that lasted nearly a year. The depression affected his marks to such a degree that he nearly didn't graduate high school, but thanks to an intervention scheduled by his mother and subsequent counseling, Mason graduated on time in May 1996.
Mason's first experience in performing was at a karaoke bar near the campus of Institute of Technology-Talbot, while studying Spanish at the Institute and working part-time at a clothes shop. He soon became a regular and developed a local fan base, and was profiled in local newspapers and radio programmes. In 1998, he joined a community theatre (called "Amdrams" in New Cambria, short for "amateur dramatics") in Talbot, playing roles in about a dozen plays over the next two years. By 2002, however, Mason's creative interests drifted more toward songwriting, and he re-enrolled as a student at Talbot Institute, this time pursuing a certificate in music composition.
National Song Contest
In the summer of 2004, Mason submitted three entries to New Cambria Television for consideration in the inaugural edition of the National Song Contest. One of these entries, NightSong, was one of 24 songs selected to perform in the semi-final rounds of the competition. Mason performed NightSong in the third Semi-Final on 20 November in St. Saviour, placing first out of eight songs and qualifying for the Grand Final. At the Grand Final in Arvant on 4 December, Mason went on to win the contest outright with 167 points, 13 points ahead of runner-up Gretchen Carlson. NightSong went on to top the New Cambria Singles Chart, remaining at number one for three weeks. In May 2005, Mason released his self-titled debut album, which was certified gold by the New Cambria Recording Industry Association after just twenty-four days.
Due to his win, Mason became a New Cambria celebrity somewhat overnight, and New Cambria Television eager to capitalise on the success of the song contest, booked him to appear on nearly every chat and feature show on each of its channels. He also performed as the interval act during the 2005 New Cambria National Song Contest on 3 December, and presented the grand prize trophy to Sarah-Anne Kerrigan, that year's winner.
In 2006, Mason was offered the role of Kevin Kelley, the long-suffering son to disgraced ex-soap opera actress Contessa Kelly on the NCT One sitcom Contessa. James D. Rankin, Contessa's creator, director and principal writer has stated in interviews that he wrote the character of Kevin with Mason in mind, and was "surprised, but 100% pleased" when he accepted the role. Because Contessa is filmed mostly on location in Southport, Mason commuted between there and Talbot during it's first series. When the show became a hit and NCT commissioned a second season, Mason relocated to Southport. His work on the show has earned him a host of new fans, praise from critics, and a Neptune Award, the New Cambria equivalent of the Emmy Award in the United States.
In 2008, after Contessa's third season had finished production, there was much speculation over whether Mason would continue with the series. In an October 2008 interview with Spin magazine, Mason was quoted as saying, "It's been a great run, but if [Contessa] didn't come back next year, a part of me would be very relieved." In a June 2009 interview on NCT One's morning show Today Now, Mason confirmed that the fourth season of Contessa would be his last. James D. Rankin released a statement in August 2009 that Contessa would not go on without Kyle Mason as the leading character, and after 55 episodes, the show was indeed coming to an end. Production on the show wrapped on 15 November 2009, with the final episode set to air in February 2010.
Most of Mason's family still live in Talbot and the surrounding area. He is the second of four children born to Jacob and Erica (née Tyler) Mason, a primary school teacher and a restaurant chef, respectively. He has an older sister, a younger sister and a younger brother. He holds post-secondary certificates in Spanish and Music Composition, which he earned in 2001 and 2004.
In January 2010, Mason came out as gay in an interview published in Kaleidoscope magazine. He also confirmed that he was in a relationship with NCT One presenter Noah Kavanagh. Kavanagh and Mason ended their relationship in March 2011.