I began rehearsals for the 94-95 season just months after graduating from RADA. I played various parts in Peer Gynt, Mariana in Measure For Measure and Valeria in Coriolanus. I was also in a devised poetry show which was curated and directed by Cis Berry. We performed it at The Other Place, as well as in Jersey. I experienced that season as a deepening of my technical and professional training as an artist.
The facilities and expertise on offer within the RSC are second to none. To be able to attend workshops with John Barton, and voice warm ups with Cis Berry, Barbara Houseman and Andrew Wade was an extraordinary treasure. I still apply what I learned from them to this day. Also, just working alongside and watching established and respected actors was invaluable.
I learned to humble myself and that, at the end of the day, neither fame nor fortune replaces hours of graft and experience at the coalface. I also had the great opportunity to understudy Volumnia in Coriolanus. An enormous role for a young actor just starting out. Understudying is an irreplaceable training opportunity. That began my ongoing love for that play. I hope to play Volumnia one day as well as Cleopatra, of course.
The advice I would give to a young actor starting out is to take every opportunity for professional development you can. Go to every voice warm-up. Participate in Education Department workshops. This will lay the foundations of your working life and technique ad infinitum. Also, I have noticed a trend with young actors to mess about backstage during performance. A lot of chit chat and not enough consideration for the focus that professionalism demands. The RSC is the ideal training ground for discipline.
Black History Month - October 2016
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