The Mono Box

mono box

THE MONO BOX is a collaborative, not-for-profit project that provides actors and directors  with affordable access to a unique, ever-growing collection of plays donated by industry professionals.

They provide actors and directors access to an extensive collection of plays donated entirely by industry professionals. They support actors to find suitable monologues/scenes for auditions and showcases in a relaxed, informal environment and deliver affordable workshops, direction and Q&A sessions to support actors’ development.

They invite professional actors, directors and playwrights to be in their a collective which fosters and nurtures creative relationships.

Speech Surgeries are monthly events that inspire, nurture and inform actors of the parts and playwrights available to them. Whether you’re looking for a new audition speech or want some advice, Speech Surgeries give actors and directors alike an opportunity to discover plays and ask searching questions in an open, relaxed environment.

NEXT SPEECH SURGERY:  Sunday 10th April  @ 10am – 2.30pm LOCATION: Old Vic New Voices Workrooms, 16 Drummond Road, Bermondsey, SE16 4EE

Or you can have one on one session. They can offer new speech ideas if you’re in need, re-direction, audition technique, advice or just the experience of doing your speeches in front of someone other than your Mum before an audition. Email hello@themonobox.co.uk for more details or to book a session

Check out MonoBox events at  www.monobox.co.uk/#!events/cv9l. They have so many affordable workshops and events by leading industry professionals.

Interview with Jaime Eastlake at Theatre N16

n16

Jaime is a producer, performer, artistic director and executive director of Theatre N16 in Balham. The theatre has moved from Stoke Newington and is becoming a prominent fringe venue for new writing and quality work. Jaime has worked hard and knows the industry well having produced many plays at Edinburgh, as well as up North, he also understands the struggles actors face as he was one once himself. Theatre N16 is a fringe venue that has just signed with Equity @EquityLPNP and in the last 6 months and has paid all his staff a wage, that’s a really positive step forward for fringe theatre. Here Jaime answers my questions.

jaime eastlake

Jamie growing up how did you decide that you wanted to be an actor?

I always knew I was an entertainer, I needed a medium to express myself from a young age and that’s how acting came about. I would however say now I definitely don’t consider myself as an actor and I’ve gave that side up. As a producer and artistic director I see myself as a storyteller now. 

Who inspires you?

So many things and people inspire me. My real love is football and where I’m from, that always inspires me. I’m from the North East where passion comes in abundance. Heart on your sleeve types are the norm. That’s definitely what inspires me most. I just want to tell stories with real fight and against the norm. The individual that inspires me most at the minute would be Michael Harrison who’s one of the producers of Gypsy and The Bodyguard on the West End. We have ties to the same small town theatre where I’m from so to know somebody from home has done so well makes me know I can do the same.

What attracts you to theatre especially ?

I found it the easiest medium to get into so that’s what sort of hooked me. I have a background in filmmaking also, but with filmmaking it always takes meticulous planning and an excessive amount of time micromanaging. With theatre I’ve always had a knack of getting shit done with no money and just real graft so that’s the attraction really. I think i’d be making films if I had loads of cash. Probably because I enjoy watching films more than watching theatre If I’m honest. 

What advise as an actor would you give to other actors 

As a theatre maker I’d advise to mingle lots. Don’t ‘Network’ that words a load of shite, just mingle and see things and do things and meet people and just be nice and not businesey and just nice. Does that make sense? I cast someone on 1/3 talent, 1/3 suiting the part and 1/3 a nice human being who wants to talk about lots of nice things. And is nice. Also work hard, work damn hard. Nobody owes you anything, yes we all complain sometimes about how “difficult it is to break in to the industry” but stay grounded and remember you live in the UK, you’ve most likely got food on your table and your chasing a dream

You have produced many of your own plays at the fringe, how has this developed you as a producer, artist?

I started as a producer on the fringe to basically give myself parts and help people around me so as a producer it helped massively. The best thing is to make a load of mistakes and learn in the worst possible situation. I’ve learned so much from these mistakes and seeing mistakes and how not to do things around me.

What advise do you give companies going to the fringe?

If it’s your first time? I’d say don’t listen to what most people say. Most people will say don’t get pissed and whatnot. I’d say do it, drink every night, go to parties, meet loads of people, see loads of stuff. Chances are you’re not gonna get picked up in your first year, so just really be in the moment and enjoy it. Your part of the biggest arts festival in the world. It’s such a special feeling. Especially the first time you do it, it’s electric. And you just never know who you’re going to speak to a 4 in the morning after your eleventh cinzano and lemonade.

You have a theatre company based at The Bedford in Balham, what made you set up Theatre N16? What is N16 ethos?

I’ve always talked about having a pub theatre for years. I worked for a golf club for years and used to produce theatre in it’s clubhouse so I’ve always known the restrictions and the skillset you need to manage a building that might not necessarily ‘get’ theatre. I worked for another theatre on their management team for a year and decided I’d picked up enough skills and ideas and could do it myself, so that’s where N16 came about. Myself and a few other creatives opened it up for a short time in Stoke Newington (where the N16 comes from) and the idea was to provide a space that kept overheads as low as possible and that’s basically what it’s about. We believe in everyone being paid fairly, all of our staff are paid, we don’t run on volunteers like other places and we signed Equity’s fringe agreement too recently. Again reiterating what I said before, I’ve always had a knack of finding money and making work through hard work. N16 is an accumulation of that.

You promote allot of new writing, what about new writing excites you?

I like text and you just know when you read something that could be brilliant. As a producer on the hunt for the next big thing is an exciting prospect. I want to find the next Luke Barnes or Alistair Mcdowell. (Both Northern lads may I add)

You just signed a agreement with payment for fringe artists , kudos, what other issues do you think are most prevalent in the industry at the moment?

Issues is a tough word isn’t it. I think there’s many problems in the industry at the minute that lots of people are working extremely hard to solve, gender equality being a massive one but that’s obviously not just this industry. If anything I’d say our industry is at the forefront of trying to change things with loud voices speaking out and doing so much to make a difference.

You have been supporting Actor Awareness, firstly thank you and secondly why do you think it is important to offer your support? How do you feel about diversity especially working class actors?

I’m from a real working class area and it’s blindingly obvious that the people currently in power don’t give a flying fuck about any of us plebians. I think pushing working class people and trying to get them on a level playing field is something that has to be done. Diversity across all platforms of storytelling is a must for proper balanced work to breakout. I’m a massive fighter for this idea and will continue to be so. However sometimes if you just step back, see what you are trying to do, realise you’re white, male, live in the UK and look at what’s happening all over the world- it makes you push a little harder and continuously appreciate what you have, over what you don’t have.

Thank you Jaime for your time.

Readers DO go visit Theatre N16, they have fab new writing and plays being produced as well a literacy department for budding writers, where you can get feedback on your play. Jaime is the very essence of Actor Awareness, a northern working class lad pushing for a diverse theatre forefront.

Events

Scratch Night

The LGBT scratch was a great success. A review was written up by @Londontheatre1 here http://www.londontheatre1.com/news/133679/actor-awareness-lgbt-scratch-night/

Big thanks to everyone in the LGBT for making it a success to all the writers, directors, actors, tech team and theatre involved. Time to make it happen again, this time at fab fringe venue in Balham, under the theme of health.

HEALTH NIGHT! Jeremy Hunt, George Osborne and David Cameron are casting a huge shadow on our health system, with ludicrous cuts the NHS, the junior doctors walkout and of course the recent disability cuts in the budget. In light of this, the next Actor Awareness scratch night theme is Health Night. The interpretation of the theme is down to you and an interesting subject to explore, all shows must be no more than 15 mins and the submission deadline is 30th of April.

This will take place at Theatre N16 on the 30th of May. All shows selected for the scratch night will then have the opportunity to develop the show into a full length piece and have a 2 night slot in Theatre N16 in August! So if your an actor, director or writer come get involved and send all submissions to Steph at tanheartssteph@gmail.com please read the rules and regulations before submitting here http://www.actorawareness.co.uk/p/scratch-nights.html

nhs

ACTOR AWARENESS LAUNCH PARTY

LAUNCH

AUDITIONS! So Actor Awareness will be holding the official launch party/ fundraiser and we are looking for a variety of acts to perform in the night. Singers, dancers, comedians, magicians, sketch peices, any sort of act to take part in what promises to be an incredible night. Auditions will be held at The Canal Cafe on May 1st, if you would like to audition and be involved email tomstocks0805@gmail.com

We also have a great competition coming up with CCP so keep your eyes peeled.

Writer’s Nights

These will continue monthly. To be added to the mailing list for notification of time and place please email tanheartssteph@gmail.com. An informal sharing of ideas, plays (stage,film, tv , sketch or radio). Hosted by a guest writer each month. £8 for a session which runs 7-9.30pm. April TBC. Please follow @steffieegg12 for updates or join Actor Awareness group on Facebook.

The Hustle

hustle logo

The Hustle now have launched their online community website!! After maintaining  a strong following on Facebook over the years The Hustle has become an invaluable tool to many performers and artists in the industry.

The community website is there to pool resources, for people to log on and inform others of workshops, events, photographers, anything and everything that artists need and require to get by. It is aimed at being a portal, hub and supportive aid. As individuals we are strong but coming together we are stronger, so join up to Hustle community and continue your journey within a community of supportive creatives.

I attended the launch party last night and heard about the fantastic site for the creators themselves (free wine courtesy of RSVP! can’t go wrong). They are passionate individuals aiming to provide people with a solid online community in our fast paced lives. Hustle thanked LuLulemon their sponsors for making this website possible.

Join at http://www.thehustlecommunity.com

Interview with Simon Nader

 

simon nader face

So you are a actor/director, when did you realise acting was something you wanted to do? How did you come to direct?

“Well… I was on stage as a little fat kid aged 10 or 11 and hammed the hell out of my role in Rumble wats it name as The King. Thank Christ is was comedy, I learned how much fun it could be hearing other people have fun and that was it! Actor. Job. Done. As for directing, I had trained at drama school in my twenties, done quite a bit of theatre and film work and assisted a few friends before I was offered the chance to direct a play called My Boy Jack by David Haig. As I had studied scenography as part of my degree pre-drama school, I felt it was a good chance to put my skill set  to the test and basically got the gig by being seen on stage as Timon of Athens by the producers. They liked my characterisation so thought “hmm, give him a go as a director!” So I did, and I loved it!


What do you love about theatre?

Well, if you mean creating it, I love the storytelling element, cliched as that maybe! Not necessarily just through the words either as I work quite visually, I am interested in the imagery you can create as a company with movement and the sound and light for me is integral to creating beautiful moments of atmosphere and tension. As an audience member as well as theatre maker, the best bit is always the same though – transporting characters and the audience to other worlds and making them care.


You also work allot in television, what do you like about filming?

Actually, the very thing I hated when I first started – stopping and starting! I love the fact that screen acting has just as much, if not more, technical craft involved to create work that not only is believable, but looks as good as possible on screen at each moment. I’ve been fortunate to work on a lot of big US TV productions and you really learn a lot from American actors and experienced directors as so much dedication goes into the craft to make it look as good as possible. I also love stepping into a huge set and there being just an army of people working together. It’s awesome! Just as in theatre, it’s a collaborative process with a lot of attention to detail involved by a lot of people.

You direct a youth company in peterborough, tell us bit about your role there?

Ok, so I work with The Young Actors Company in Peterborough and Cambridge, we have been going nearly 50 years and I absolutely love it. I treat the students the same way as adult actors, which they not only appreciate, but benefit from. Yes, we have a lot of fun, but we devise work that says “something” and essentially I try and give them a taste of drama school training as we create theatre and practice the various acting techniques to build confidence and hone craft. 

You are currently taking 2 plays to the Edinburgh fringe 2016, a man with many jobs! Can you tell us bit about the plays?

The show I am directing is very exciting – The Monologues of a Tired Nurse, written by an actual nurse who is now also training as a professional actress, will be at The Space. It’s a two hander with very talented actresses playing the nurses and it’s moving and funny, and very raw. We want people to not have a stereotypical view of nursing, but really think about the human condition. The human condition in all its facets – we literally examine it! 
 
I’m also in, and the co-creator of, a ridiculous, spectacular B-Movie homage called (it’s a catchy title): Escape From The Planet of the Day That Time Forgot! Myself, actor/director Katherine Hurst and actor/director Gavin Robertson, both renowned particularly for their physical theatre work, have designed a show that we unashamedly want people to just sit back and enjoy. We are at Assembly Roxy for the whole of the Edinburgh Fringe and it’s our first collaboration since the acclaimed The Other Side in 2009. We’re also touring internationally. Both Katherine and Gavin are award winning creatives so it is always fun and inspiring to work with them.

You have been to Edinburgh numerous times over the years, what advise would you give to people heading there this year?

Save your money in advance, it can get VERY expensive… Also, don’t underestimate the power of marketing and getting the reviewers in early if you can sway people. Be nice to everyone as word of mouth really is hugely important and for God’s sake, don’t take any shows up there you don’t put the appropriate effort into. It can get pretty harsh, pretty quickly and you get out what you put in… don’t just do it to “do the festival.”

What do you like about the roles of actor and director, do you prefer one over the other?

They both have their attractions and in all honesty, it varies job to job. I love the challenge of acting in terms of the characterisation and making people believe what they are seeing and very importantly, to connect with the other actors in a company on stage as if you are really there. It’s beautiful to create emotion and art and I like to play even during a long run, and go with my feelings, instincts and reactions and have that from the others too and see what happens! I love that no two performances or on screen, takes are the same and I love that little choices can alter the fabric of meaning hugely. As a director, I’d say stress levels are much higher, but the payoffs are huge! You get to see other people work up close and to gain inspiration from everyone’s gifts to create great art. I also love seeing someone progress in confidence as we work together and try to tell a story the way we feel it should be done. 

What would you tell your younger self?

Don’t be such a doubter. Don’t try to overcompensate for your lack of self belief by trying to prove yourself. Trying too hard usually results in bad results.

You also coach people on monologues and have sat on drama school panels. What advise do you give those people auditioning for drama school?

Trust that the people there on panels want you to do well. At the end of the day, you have no idea what panels or directors, casting directors for that matter are really looking for from you. If you are worrying about what they are thinking you’re not being yourself and that is your biggest selling point. If you can eliminate that and then work the monologues a little with some outside advice to help make bold choices then you will feel better and have a better chance of doing well. Generally I don’t care how well someone can learn lines. I do care about whether they have connected with the emotion of it and can adapt to direction. You do not need to be PERFECT. It doesn’t exist and you are going to drama school to learn the technical skills as much as anything else. Panels are not looking for a finished article. What would be the point?! I also care about how you come across as a person. Be lovely, just be yourself and make mistakes then recover confidently, don’t be arrogant and defensive.

Who inspires you?

Artists who care about the work, not just the adulation or the money. That goes for people who make great music and other art forms, as well as actors. My students also inspire me. The way young people can be unaware of their instinctual gifts and come up with something that is more honest and clever than the most experienced professional is always an inspiration.

What issues to feel you face most int he industry?

I think it takes time to take your ego out of it for a lot of people. I’ll use myself as an example as for a while, I wanted to be seen a certain way, hard man types and such and such. Sometimes we can be afraid to look weak, even if that is character but of course, that is ridiculous! If that is your type, embrace it. I got hung up on knowing martial arts, being bald so therefore looking a certain way but physically, I’m quite slight and short so I’ll never be in constant work that way! What I have learned to love is playing weakness, weaselly types, even taciturn outcasts or nice guys. So I’d say my challenge was accepting my type!

Do feel the industry is inclusive and diverse? your thoughts?

I do not feel it is as diverse as it should be at all. I have worked in casting and as an agent as well as my work on stage and screen and one thing I’m certain about is that unless roles are specifically detailed as “other” the establishment which is largely white and middle or upper middle class in England see all roles through those eyes unless they are specifically labelled “disabled”, “gay,” “black” or “Arab” etc. I feel that Hollywood does not get off scot-free either because of the very specificity of identity and perception of type. Bad guys are Middle Eastern or Upper Class English! Heroes in blockbusters are all supermodels or body builders. Now this is not necessarily all the fault of the production companies and the industry – there is an element to humanity and we see it reflected in the media all the time, where people want to see the ideal, see what they are not, as that seems to be shiny perfection. So the industry reflects that as much as the industry creates it! So diversity in the industry is an interview in itself…

Do you feel it is important for an actor to do many roles as yourself and be the creator of their own work? 

I think it depends on each person and what they prefer for themselves. Personally, I like creating through devising and writing as much as I like getting work from other sources too, the collaborations are really interesting. But, as I get older I realise that the important things is to enjoy what you do. If you aren’t having fun, you’re doing it wrong!

Ed Eales-White

ed eales
Growing up did you always want to perform?
Yes.  Although it wasn’t overt, I didn’t perform in the school plays or have any drama classes. I used to perform impressions for family and friends, and generally act as a source of light entetainment. I also loved the glory moments of sport. In football I was always searching for that moment I dribbled past everyman on the pitch and scored. So egotistical and ambitious from an early age.
How did acting come about?
I guess as I grew up, it became increasingly inevitable. Drama was the subject that captured my imagination at school and I followed that onwards into A-Levels. I then studied Drama at University, without actually contemplating Drama school. It most definitely took a little while post university to consider myself a fully fledged Actor. I did a short acting class at New York Film Academy, various short courses in London, a bunch of low budget short and feature films, fringe productions and eventually I started to gain confidence in what being an actor meant. Although that hasn’t stopped and I’m not sure it will! I’m continually learning on the job, from rejection, from success and trying to challenge myself.
You also write, when did you decide to start writing your own stuff? 
University. Myself and three others (Ed, Rich & Joe) decided to write and perform our own fortnightly comedy sketch show. It was a great outlet to try things out as a performer and writer. From there I went on to create, write & perform in sketch group Clever Peter (with Will, Rich & Dom) it took us to the Edinburgh Fringe on multiple occasions, critical acclaim and a BBC Radio 4 series (2012).
What do you enjoy about the writing process?
My writing has tended to be on my feet or rather that’s my preferred writing style, as I love the collaboration with other people and find it easier to express ideas by showing rather than writing it out. To date I have not found great enjoyment and enlightenment in sitting down and writing alone, but I’m not discounting the future, who knows.
You have Sketch show ‘Bucket’ Can you tell our readers about your sketch show. When did you start and how did the idea come about? When did you start working with Jon?
Yes. Bucket is a double act sketch comedy show, myself and Jon play stage versions of ourselves intertwined with sketches. We did our debut fringe show at Edinburgh 2015 and have recently finished a run of our show at the Soho Theatre. I’ve worked with Jon on and off since 2009, but this was are first full collaboration together. It’s best described as a very performance led sketch show, both in how it was made and the sketches themselves which tend to be things we have an interest or experience in performing.
bucket
What attracts you to the medium of theatre?
I love the immediacy of theatre. It’s live. There is no escaping what is about to happen, it’s very exciting. I also love the depth of characters that plays explore. Getting the opportunity to play Josh in a brilliant piece of new writing by Jon Brittain called ‘Rotterdam’ was great. I hope to be involved in more theatre in the future.
Actor Awareness is about creating a diverse culture in the arts, how do you feel about the talk of ‘not enough working class actors’. 
Well there’s not enough. It’s fundamentally about opportunity. People just want fairness, to feel like they have the same chance as the next person. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. I’m not sure some people even register acting as a possibility or understand how they would go about getting into it.  So it can only be a good thing that people are talking and hopefully it will lead to an increase in opportunity, education of those opportunities and support for those that need it.
You have been to the fringe with your show, what advise to you give to newbies venturing to the fringe this year?
Take risks. Listen to your own voice. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get big crowds, if you believe in what you’re doing then keep pushing and perhaps you will meet someone that lights up a new path.
What piece of advise do you give to any performer? or your younger self even?
Well everyone I’ve worked with is different, so don’t have blanket advice.  To my younger self I would say ‘No one knows what you want unless you tell them. If you’ve got something to show, show it.’

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Theatre on The Cheap

n16

Theatre N16 have Loads of plays that will be worth a trip.

Monday 18th April – Thursday 5th May (No Fir or Sat) £8-£14

Theatre N16 produce the premiere of Martin McNamara’s play.

1974

IRA bomb London Pubs. Paul Hill arrested. Miscarriage of justice. 

His story.

Thanks to London Metropolitan University  ‘Archive of the Irish in Britain’, from the Irish Studies Centre.

Directed by Jamie Eastlake

Don’t Miss THIS!!!!

‘Danny and The Deep Blue Sea’ 3rd April – 14th April @7.15pm, £12/£10

From the writer of the Tony award and Pulitzer Prize winning play Doubt. A fierce dance of the displaced, Theatrum Veritatus brings an explosive, deeply affecting study of alienation and the redemptive power of love.  Two castaways fight their way to each other and cling violently in a sea of hardship for a chance at the happiness afforded to most but denied to them.

Hampstead Theatre

‘Reasons to be Happy’ 17th March – 23rd April, £10-£35

written by Neil Labute, Directed by Michael Attenborough

reasons to be happy

Three years after a difficult breakup, Steph and Greg are wondering if they can start over again. The trouble is, she’s now married to someone else and he’s started a relationship with Carly – her best friend. Meanwhile, Carly’s ex-husband, Kent, wants her back, even more so when he hears about her new romance with Greg – his best friend.

With emotions running high, all four soon find themselves entangled in a web of hidden agendas, half-truths and confusion as they desperately search for that most elusive goal in life: happiness.

Grab a £10 ticket and watch Neil Labute’s tribute to ‘Reasons to be Pretty” Collaborating with the reknowned Attenborough again, it’ll be worth the trip.

The Bush

right now bush

“Right Now’ 30th March-16th April, £15-£30, Saturday Matinees (2,9,16th) £15

As Alice and Ben settle into their beautiful new flat they realise that the family across the hall hope to be more than just good neighbours. 

Soon, Juliette, Gilles, and their son François are wearing out the welcome mat; suggesting drinks, hors d’oeuvres and dancing. Things begin to heat up as innocent invitations lead to passionate encounters and unsettling revelations.

Written by award-winning Quebecois playwright Catherine-Anne Toupin, Right Now is a play with a dark heart, a disquieting exploration of one woman’s crisis and darkest desires. It walks a delicate line between playful laughter and deep trauma, teasing and thrilling audiences from beginning to end.

Directed by Michael Boyd, former Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

nothing

‘Nothing’  14-17th April, £10/£6

When teenager Pierre Anthon cheerfully announces that nothing in life has meaning, his friends decide to prove him wrong. Fearful he might in fact be right, their desperate actions spiral out of control and lead to terrifying consequences.

Following the sell-out success of BRINK, the Royal Exchange Theatre Young Company returns in collaboration with director Bryony Shanahan and writer Amanda Dalton. Powerful and unsettling, this brand new adaptation of Janne Teller’s novel is a UK stage premiere.

Written in 2000 and translated in 2010, NOTHING caused widespread controversy in its native Denmark, receiving great critical acclaim, winning numerous awards, and simultaneously being banned in many schools and libraries.

BOOK TICKETS: Box Office 0161 833 9833

theatre4thought

Last but not least, I thought I’d tell you about a play that I have written and will be producing with my partner in crime Emelia Marshall Lovsey. We formed our theatre company at the beginning of the year and our first play will be shown at Theatre N16 in Balham for 2 nights (3,4th August) as Edinburgh previews. We then take the play to Edinburgh 21-27th to be performed at The Space UK, Surgeons hall.

Theatre4thought’s aim is to produce thought provoking provocative theatre, we aim to not shy away from the things that people feel they shouldn’t say and look to examine people and relationships at a raw human level. When you leave we hope you leave thinking.

‘The Monologues of a Tired Nurse’ is a play based around 2 nurses at polar opposites in their careers. It links the nurses stories together around an event that changes their lives forever. A true honest look at the NHS from the inside out showing, how cuts run deep.

Please support our new theatre and come see our play!

Tickets available here :   http://www.theatren16.co.uk/#!Monologues of a Tired Nurse/zoom/cpax/dataItem-imnnjs60

Rosemary Akinola

 

rosemary

South Londoner. Will work for food. Favourite colour red. Loves dogs more than cats. Kinda funny.

I first met Rosemary in the halls of Rada, while we were paying our extortionate fee to stand in front of 2 people for about 10 minutes, we bonded over perspiration and sheer love of our craft and also a determination that drama school wouldn’t stop us doing what we love. I’ve been following her and recently saw her face adorning Tricycle theatre. Here Rosemary answer some questions.

When did you first realise you wanted to be an actor ?


Probably when I was around 7 when I did a school play. But I didn’t really take it seriously until I was around 19. Then I was like OK this is the career I want to pursue.

What inspired you ?

That’s such a big question. Urm lots of different things. I guess the main thing that inspires is the love for what I do. I think people, experiences and stories inspire me. There isn’t just one thing.

What excites you and attracts you to theatre?

The story. The performers. The set. I think I’m always interested to see bits of theatre that have a provocative story or if the direction is innovative.

As an actor what qualities do you think are imperative ?


A Peaceful Mind – because this business of acting can be stressful. Keep Calm.

Courage – because it requires you to WORK, FAIL, LEARN and REPEAT.

Entrepreneurship – because being an actor is being self-employed so know your damn business and know what you are selling!

Self Awareness – check your wellbeing: mentally, spiritually, emotionally and financially. Take care of yourself. Your journey and is your own and no one else’s so be kind to you.

You were recently at the Tricycle theatre performing can you tell us more about that? 

Yes so it was an immersive show called Switch. The story is about a post-apocalyptic world where people can no longer thrive on earth so they are choosing to be plugged into a virtual world. I think the development show was somewhat difficult at the beginning because it was a devised as well as immersive with a cast of about 22 people. The process literally was something like: Devise it. Write it. Create it. Play with it. Rehearse. Cut. Edit. Rehearse. Rehearse with audience. Cut. Change. Rehearse.  Create. Rehearse. Rehearse. (Panic – that was me). Perform!

The ending changed every night because it was based on the decision of the audience. It was an incredible experience because the audience where so engaged in what was going on and the feedback was brilliant. We learnt a lot during those audience runs. We were so happy that our audience felt encouraged to participate. It sold out so fast so we’re putting it on again in the summer!


As a black actor what challenges do you face? 


I feel that Black women are constantly in a fight to be seen for roles where the colour of the character is unspecified but don’t get the chance to audition, or go up for those roles because the default race to any unspecified character is always white. I probably don’t get as many opportunities for jobs and auditions as my white counterparts. I think Colorism is another issue I guess. Sometimes they would cast a mixed or lighter skinned black actress who has more European features because they fit the “beauty ideal”. Also having to play stereotypes that are perpetuate a negative image of black women grinds my gears – like I don’t mind playing a bad character but the story has to be there. I don’t want caricatures.

What are your views on drama school training? It is a expensive and competitive avenue, what is your advise and opinion for those who don’t get in? 

I did a year course at Rose Bruford but I haven’t done a three year degree and I was only able to go on a full bursary. I think it is expensive and it is competitive but I wouldn’t rule it out. I think make sure you know why you’re going, what you plan to attain, and understand that it is work like anything else. It’s a good way to learn and grow as a professional but it’s not the only way. There are so many places to train that have courses that are part time, full time and seasonal. There are masterclasses, workshops, seminars, talks, events. I mean there are opportunities to development outside of “drama school” if you look for them. There are teachers at drama schools who work freelance so they are probably teaching in other places as well. I think once you’ve done your research and spoken to a lot of people you will find that there are a ton of resources out there especially in a city like London.

More and more actors are writing and producing their own work, do you think this is the way forward?

I think that’s the way it going – creating your own content. It’s the way to be heard, seen and not bored to death. As an actor you don’t really get that much creative control and a lot of it is waiting around but when you write or produce, well, then you get to tell your own story which is very empowering as a performer and keeps you proactive. Yeah, do it! Make it!


What work would you love to create? Or projects your have at the moment ? 


Possibly a one woman show at some point. I wanted to make a short film about a piece of bacon and an egg on the run from being eaten, but then I realised I was hungry and hadn’t had breakfast!! but wouldn’t that be an awesome debut?!

Actor awareness is about Diversity, with the media and our ethos empathising ‘not enough working class representation’ what are your thoughts?

I think the initiative is great. Acting, like any art, is not about class. It’s for everyone.