We at An Actor Develops Studio are extremely excited about the next forum and workshop to take place this weekend- from the 6th to the 8th of May, 2016. I really don’t know how this idea first came about but it was definitely propelled by the feedback I got from the articles on this blog. I discovered that actors are willing to sharpen their craft, network and hope to leave this sector better than it was when they found it. Most actors can attest to the struggle to ‘join the club’. Up to the early 2000’s when I joined, it was not easy to have opportunities to work as a professional actor. Back then TV actors were gods (not that there was much happening on TV), theatre was still where the magic happened but the most available ones were set book plays. So do not get tired of listening to all this ‘old’ actors talk about how they started with doing set book plays.
It is therefore a delight to see presently that actors have more more choices of where to start from. I have met a few well known TV faces who confess to me that they have actually never been on stage even though they wish to. I believe different groups, companies and individuals have demystified the profession of acting and encouraged newbies to be optimistic about getting work. The growing demand by Kenyans to consume their own media products has also enabled TV stations to outsource more material from local producers hence create more work for actors. However these opportunities are still not enough to declare this an industry. Actors also feel locked –up in the rat-race instead of pursuing artistically gratifying projects.
It is therefore important that you as an actor contribute to the development of this sector. The era of assuming it is okay to let someone else fight for your battles is coming to an end. When you understand your contribution in the society and know your worth, you become more confident to demand for better treatment.
An Actor Develops Studio promotes an informal environment where actors meet as peers and challenge as well as motivate each other. This Friday forum is going to be fun simply because the presenters are known to be of hearty personalities. Gerald Langiri (who stopped food jokes by the way) is witty and always knows how to break it down and make one feel appreciated. John Karanja has been a producer from zile ma days za Waridi and is extremely passionate about film. Melvin Alusa is stylish, intriguing and always brings the house down. Of course we will have zile typical wasanii arguments that I’m not going to even touch on this blog.
Still we are glad to see so much support from fellow actors who have either applied for the workshops or promised to attend the forum. It makes a clear statement that we are ready to take charge of our destiny. So how about you turn up with your ideas, or just a listening ear and let’s help each other figure out this ‘thing’?
I’ll leave you with copies of two out of forty feedback comments that were given to us by participants after the previous event. See you on Friday!
“This was my workshop and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The topic on character development was an ideal area to begin.I know I am work in progress and I know I have left with items or point that I will apply to my work . More group work would have been useful.” – Muthoni Gathaecha
“ Felt at home with all the talented actors in attendance. Learnt alone in the three days that would have probably taken me five years to learn on my own. Hopefully if we have another workshop we could use mentor-ship from legendary actors like Ken Ambani” – Damaris Kaeche.