“Fun Fact, I was born with a missing part of my ear so my friends call me chip from Beauty and the Beast.”
What kind of actor do you aspire to be?
I aspire to be the type of actor I believe young Kudzai would have loved to have seen in movies. Movies were my mothers and I way of spending quality time together and I still take the people I love for a movie date. However, I didn’t see a lot of actors who looked like me or portrayed an expression of my reality. Years later, this has become the very drive that makes me want to be not only a physical representation but also a storyteller for those whose stories don’t get told. I am drawn to stories that I believe are missing in the movies or in theatre, I don’t want to limit myself to just what I can do as a ‘black’ actor but instead, I want to be an actor young Kudzai would be proud of but also others who are similar in class, race and gender.
What performance piece did you choose for the showcase and why?
I chose a monologue that myself and Nick Bagnall edited from 4.48 Psychosis. I performed and played Sarah in 4.48 in my last show at Drama school. My reasoning for choosing this monologue is because of my new found love for Sarah Kane as a writer. YES it was hard wrapping my mouth around the big words, but it was so rewarding. I was forced to dig deep with the character and I was challenged as an actor especially as I was playing a lead (which I never saw coming). However, by the end, I knew what I was capable of and how much more I am capable of. This monologue taught me to trust my instincts as an actor, to find the truth in everything I do not just in what I say and to be brave enough to speak. There is power in the words that are spoken and those unspoken.
What book, theatre, film or TV production has most inspired you?
This is hard… I would say Narnia, because it’s my favourite film and I love the fact it’s fantasy which means there are no rules apart from the ones set in the film… But I am going to say… Beautiful Boy Directed by Felix Van Groeningen. I loved the story telling, the authenticity of the harsh reality that is called life. And I am a huge fan of Steve Carell and the Office, so seeing him transform from Comedy to drama in a way I felt was effortless, is something I want to do. Beautiful Boy is the type work I hope to be part of. It was just so beautiful (no pun intend).
How have you been keeping creative during lockdown?
I created an Youtube Acting Channel, where I upload any monologues I have always wanted to do. I did this to get used to filming myself in the form of a self-tapes and also to get outside opinions on my acting. I also hosted two BlackBall Showcase Lockdown events 2020 and 2021. BlackBall Showcase was an event I created at drama school to celebrate black Artist during Black History month. The events normally take place in person and are always the event to be at.
What advice would you give for anyone else preparing for a showcase?
Be 100 percent yourself, no one can do you the way you do you. And without you there wouldn’t be someone who thinks and acts like you. Pick a piece that you connect with, not just because it makes you look or sound good but because it makes you excited every time you rehearse it or go over it. Be honest with yourself, in terms of what are your strengths and what is your weakness, out of those thing what do you want to showcase (since it is a showcase). I would say find someone who can help you iron out any blindspots you may have when performing. Let the piece you have chosen sit and breath naturally within you, because it makes my last point so much easier. Have FUN with it.
What do you hope to be doing this time next year?
I HOPE to be acting. I envision myself doing exactly that, being in movies and continuing with theatre as well as creating acting opportunities for those who may not have any. I believe my drive and passion for movies and theatre will keep me going until only God knows when. I hope and believe that with every project I get involved in I am telling stories that reflect a society that I can be proud to be part of, but also spark conversations that lead to change, whether it be in one person or in 10 people. I have also said instead of complaining about it why not do something about it, and acting is my way of doing something. I know I sound extremely optimistic, but I have to be or else who will be on my behalf?