“I love staying creative in ways outside of acting. I read a book recently that has inspired me to keep reading and discovering stories in this medium. I love to write poetry as I’m a spoken word artist/rapper, so I love creating music with my friends but I also love writing plays, sketches and web series. This year I’m also hoping to take up pottery classes and after my training is completed I want to get some more stage combat and motion capture training too. I also like to keep fit by running, going to the gym and playing football.”
What kind of actor do you aspire to be?
I want to be the kind of actor that is known for doing a good job. I want people to know that if they decide to work with me, they know that I will turn up to rehearsals/on set and I’ll have done the work and give 110% effort. I don’t want to just be seen as talented, I want to be seen as consistent.
What performance piece did you choose for the showcase and why?
For my stage performance, I chose a speech from ‘Les Blancs’ by Lorraine Hansberry. It’s always been one of my favourite plays and the speech just has such a wonderful journey from start to end. Explosive and raw at the start but as the speech progresses it becomes much more tender.
For screen, I chose the opening monologue from a play I wrote last year. The character is a nasty piece of work, but in a way that subverts your expectations and throughout the play it almost seems like what he’s saying isn’t wrong – even though it definitely is. I find people like this fascinating and that’s why I like writing about them and performing as them too.
What book, theatre, film or TV production has most inspired you?
Caleb Azumah Nelson’s book Open Water is just phenomenal. I loved reading until I was about 14 and then I sort of lost the love for it – I hadn’t finished a book in years. However, Open Water is beyond brilliant and I finished it within a couple of days and I’m back to it for a second read. I’ve never read a book where I saw myself represented so clearly in a character and their struggle. It has echoes of Sally Rooney’s Normal People but is told in the 2nd person from the perspective of a young black artist and how he falls in love with another young black artist.
How do you keep creative?
I am the founder of INCEPT COLLECTIVE. We are a collective with the aim of changing the way that people create and consume art on a daily basis. In the same way that you would do exercise to stay physically healthy, we want to promote creating art to stay mentally and emotionally healthy. We produce theatre, short films, web-series, music, podcasts and more. We also use our social media to promote other artists work in various ways. The artistic world can feel lonely sometimes and we hope we can create a platform, brand and community that changes that.
What is the dream role you’d love to play?
On one hand, my dream role is to play characters akin to Denzel Washington’s Alonzo Harris in ‘Training Day’ – a character study that would allow me to bury myself in the work so that I could have as close an understanding to this character’s world and lived experiences as possible. But I will be honest. I grew up reading comics and watching Marvel/DC movies. My real dream role is to play a character that has superpowers and I have no shame in that. People with superpowers are cool.
What do you hope to be doing this time next year?
This time next year I obviously want to be working on stage or screen as much as possible – but I’m aware that this career is a marathon not a sprint. Therefore, I also want my collective to be producing work consistently too – this has been really hard to balance whilst studying full time and working weekends, so post-drama school this is definitely something I will focus on outside of auditions and self tapes.