In a Marvel Universe

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Comic books, since their existence have always been the staple way of entertaining a diverse audience. Often stereotypically associated with geeky white boys, the surge of comic books turned TV/ films has encouraged a new audience to discover the magic of this pop-phenomenon. It’s an exciting time in the entertainment industry, as this genre is an avenue with endless possibility!

 

I have always had a love an admiration for comic books. Sneaking into my older brother’s room at the age of 8, I was obsessed at marveling at their Marvel collections (excuse the pun…lol) The fresh smell of those glossy covers entrenched in vivid, bright illustrations, it was exciting to cast my eyes on pages which stole my imagination and awkwardness from me and placed them into other worldly characters. The stories were always compelling and entertaining but also taught me to embrace my differences, my quirks and celebrate them.

 

Every child goes through a stage where they feel like they don’t belong, some more than others due to societal prejudices of race, class and financial means. There are people who don’t relate to a western ideal of ‘normal.’

 

Reading about the X-men, and learning about the constant inner turmoil’s the character’s experienced made me feel like I was a part of something.  It was interesting to try to understand why some ‘mutants’ chose to destroy the human race and why some chose to preserve it.  I mean, saving a species of people who don’t understand you nor care about you, yet fear you………..for a lot of readers hits home and for me it was not an escapism but a reflection of my reality.

 

These modern day fables hold a magnify glass to the flaws which make us humans. This is why I love the surge of comic book films and TV shows. It provides us with the reality check and an appreciation of our lives. Most importantly, the beauty of comic book dramas is that they give space and room for casting to be diverse and to go beyond stereotypes, woman can be seen as the protagonists rather than servants to to male story and ethnic actors are not the token sidekick!

 

On that note I cannot wait to see the Black Panther movie. This is the first time that there is a black male lead in a story which centres from his perspective. Not a slave story with a white messiah, not athlete story of overcoming racism but a story of a brilliant tactician, strategist, scientist, of royal African descendent. The name Black Panther holds so many meanings within history but to me as that awkward black girl, the odd tomboy all those years ago who hid my love for comic books it means a skilled warrior, the King of the most important country on the planet in a marvel universe. A man who despite his challenges and setbacks realised that his love for his heritage and his people is what gives him the power to live another day.

 

I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something.   @AnniwaaBuachie
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REANIMAR

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Darkness, heart beating,
Mirrors reflecting,
Rage burning.
RED
Broken glass,
Green eye monster
DANCING
Medusa kisses your lips.
RED
BLACK
And then
WHITE
It hurts.
A candle lit inside, smoke suffocates,
Black tar and …….out.
A unicorn,
BLACK
GOLD
Moving forward.
Heartbeat hops….skips….and jumps,
His hands- balloons.
RED
Over hill, over dale, BANG!
Darkness, heart beating, mirrors reflecting,
Pride glowing!
REANIMO, REANIMA, REANIMAMOS. 
(An abstract insight of overcoming obstacles, to start again )
I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something.   @AnniwaaBuachie

THE UNKNOWN

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Photographer: Abe Atri, Model: Anniwaa Buachie

 

I rarely ever discuss my work or personal life in public. My mother raised me with the concept of keeping things to yourself as a good thing. Maybe it’s an African superstition. She has always said to me to keep things to myself, as there are some wicked people out there. People who can’t stand the thought or sight of others successes. People out there who underestimate you because of the way you look, your sex, your intelligence, your culture or your economic background.

So when I recently auditioned for a couple of great productions, I didn’t tell anyone, like I normally do. I just went to the audition and hoped for the best. It was my little secret. I felt like my three year-old friend, Isla (my best friend’s daughter) I was excitable, bouncy and bursting to the seams with creativity!

The auditions went well, really well, so well that obviously I got a call back. I couldn’t contain myself so I told two people about the call back. Well not everything, just the fact that I got a call back…. (you know I still respect my mum’s words of advice.) My friends and I went into an elaborate discussion of why the “CALL BACK”, the unknown can be the most exhilarating moment of the process.

Now getting a call back is always a great thing…it gives you the re-assurance that you are on the right path, and that who and what you are is definitely appealing to others. However getting a call back , also provides actors with a lot of mixed feelings of happiness and dread. There is a 50% chance that your dreams may come true, that you no longer need to be eating ramen and counting your pennies!

I think a lot of artists get used to struggling. They get used to rejection, juggling 3-5 jobs at any given time and constantly being asked by their robot friends (nine to fivers) what they are working on next, which as an artist you will never really know! Also the average robot, assumes the answer to all performers problems is to go on X – Factor or Britain’s got talent! Yawn!

So when the callback…a possible life changing moment stares at you in the face, in the form of three male executive producers, it’s almost like a near death experience. Your life begins to flash in front of you.

You remember the times when:

Teachers in Drama school patronised you and assumed a particular stereotype on the basis of your appearance.

You worked 14 hours a day in a job where your employer treated you like a second class citizen.

“Friends” would ask you when you would be getting a real job or looked down on you because you are not a ‘cookie cutter’ a ‘Stepford wife.’

All those times when despite the odds you continued to keep standing, pushing and striving for greatness.

It is that tenacity and passion which all actors should remember and utilise at all callbacks. Do not be afraid of success, you have earnt it, you deserve it, but most importantly every hurdle, was worth the jump! Nothing is a waste of time, everything is relevant to your journey.

So I would like to say a big thank you to all the people who continue to support me and all those people who continue to under- estimate me. Either way you have contributed to my ever growing self belief, which has never and shall never falter.

So yeah….I had the call backs…and gave solid layered performances but now my fate is in someone else’s hands. Whether I get the parts or not, I know I gave fantastic performances.

I am humbled and grateful by the experience. I will continue to keep pushing, keep hustling and keeping it creative. I hope for those you reading this, you will do the same. Life is too special to spend it regretting or feeling sorry for yourself. KEEP IT MOVING!

Until the next installment of my passionate explosions of thoughts, SEE IT, BE IT, LET IT BE.

 

I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something.   @AnniwaaBuachie

Sky Before The Storm

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It’s so hard to be present. So hard to focus on what’s happening, not in the past or future but now!

Society encourages us to think about the future, with vices such as pensions, mortgages, marriage, and life insurance. There is an emphasis on the future and nostalgia with the past…..but rarely ever in society are we encouraged to be present. I suppose it’s a scary thing, it’s like jumping out of a plane with no parachute. You need to think fast and act fast. Being present, being in the moment makes the stakes higher. It is something I always try to do, being more present; dealing with current wants and needs….now, rather than spending so much time, worrying about the future.

Although as an impatient individual (I’m working on my patience skills) I want everything to happen NOW…on my time! It can be so disheartening to work so hard, dedicate yourself to a purpose, put the blood, sweat and tears…give everything, your all, only to look at your future goals and still feel like you are nowhere close to achieving them.

However in reality you are getting closer. Every second, minute, hour, day, week etc you are changing in mind, body and soul. However because these changes may not be colossal, we fail to see our achievements, because of our impatience and not being present.

For example, how many of you out there have met the “perfect person” for you after one date?! You meet someone go out with them ONCE and immediately you start planning the names of your future children…………ludicrous! Instead of enjoying the moment, the spontaneity you are already planning out an uncertain future. This impatient energy, the need for things to happen now…now…now…can be detrimental to any relationship, be it your relationship with you partner, friends, family and career.

One way to avoid disappointment, disillusion and discontent is to BE PRESENT.

 This is easier said than done, especially when modern day life is convoluted with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine etc. However now and then, we just need to keep things simple, experience life away from our black mirrors. 

We just need to reinvigorate our senses, breathe deeply, listen intently, watch with curiosity and taste gloriously. When you are in the moment, when you are present nothing else should matter. You might catch glimpse of your future, you might not, but like the sky before a storm, there is always a great beauty the moment before a clear sky gets engulfed by heavy clouds.

This blog was inspired by recent conversations with wonderful writer/actor Bianca Sams and  fantastic actor Stefan Adegbola. I give them special thanks for always being there as voices of reason and helping me to tame my impatient shadow.

I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something.   @AnniwaaBuachie

OUTSPOKEN

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A new season brings a new perspective. If you have been reading my blog post you will know that I constantly reflect on my actions….I am always questioning a lot of things that life throws at me, and as a way for me to sift through all the crap in my head I scribble everything down on a piece of paper and then type it on a computer and upload here.

During the recent months just passed, themes of boldness, courage and uniqueness have been a constant theme in my life in way or another.

I am currently rehearsing a play; OUTSPOKEN a play which focuses on a diverse range of outspoken characters. I will be playing the role of Joan of Arc the French revolutionary; exploring this character has been truly refreshing!

St. Joan of Arc, at 17 years old, had the courage, the boldness, and her spirits (she heard voices in her head…) to lead the French army against the English. The daughter of a Shepherd, from a tiny village in France, this simple girl, left her humble beginnings, and spoke out against the injustice her country was experiencing. Her words, carried conviction, sincerity and loyalty to her country.

A lot of things have changed since the days of St. Joan, people no longer get burned at the stake….. well at least to my knowledge. However there is still a negativity attached to a woman who is ‘outspoken.’

I, like Joan, come from very humble beginnings, and I am very passionate, dedicated and loyal individual. Like Joan, many a times I have been berated for not being a ‘good girl.’

But what does that even mean…a ‘good girl’?

Is a ‘good girl’ a woman who should just stay in the kitchen and wait to be told what to do?

A submissive individual who is obedient and always agrees with anything despite her morals or beliefs?

Why is it a bad thing for a woman to be ‘outspoken?’

Perhaps the term ‘outspoken’ is used as a shield/knife by insecure people who are unable to identify or accept a truth that they do not wish to hear, or a truth they are afraid to see. Although in my I believe every woman that has been labelled as outspoken, has made history. For no change can happen without an outspoken person, a bold mind.

If Joan of Arc, remained as a meek shepherd girl, what would have happened to France?

If Rosa Parks, a southern seamstress kept her mouth shut and gave up her seat, what would have happened? What would life be like now for the average African-American?

If Malala Yousafzai, did not speak up about the Taliban…what would have happened?

It is not a bad thing to be outspoken, far from it, it is an admirable quality which upholds the dignity and integrity of a person. Of course there are many infamous people who abused their outspokenness as a way to breed hate, without an injustice a revolution will not occur.

The main thing is, it takes bravery to stand up for what you believe, and at times, the only drum beat you should dance to is your own, if that makes you somewhat outspoken….then so be it, as long as you remain open to change and willing to listen to the opinion of others, but always stay to true to yourself.

As they say in Ghana:

An army of sheep lead by a lion can defeat an army of lions lead by a sheep!

Which one are you, sheep or lion……I think it obvious which one I am!

(You have got to love an African proverb!)

For more details of performances of OUTSPOKEN please click here

 

 I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something. @AnniwaaBuachie

I AM NOT A ROBOT

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Exhaustion is a plague. It is something that consumes your body and does not enable you to get up and get on with your life. It is an emotion which drains you of energy and makes you unable to think. It is an emotion which cripples you. It is an emotion that effects all human beings…apart from the Strong Black Woman (SBW).

Yes that’s right, I am a black woman, therefore I am not a human being, and I am not allowed to cry or to show any emotions besides one that express militancy and anger.

Encase you are not aware, the above statement is of course an expression of my sarcasm but also a reality that many black women face on a daily basis.

Some of you may be thinking that this is a statement which applies to all women, but sadly this is not the case. Believe me…it really is not!

I recently sent a close friend of mine a message which was detailing how exhausted I have been feeling lately. My friend of course gave me an inspirational spiel which I am grateful for but she also ended it with something along the lines of me being a Strong Black Woman, and I need to just push through. It occurred to me that all my life I have had that phrase thrown in my face, that ‘I am a Strong Black Woman.’ Almost like I am not allowed to show vulnerability or to have a moment when I can bawl my eyes out. However I have lost count of the amount of times friends of mine who are non-black have cried on my shoulders, or openly expressed their sadness only to be given a hug or a pat on the back and a kiss on their forehead. But this is never the case for the Strong Black Woman. Hahaha heaven forbid if a black woman cries openly about the shit the world puts on her…oh no no no…. when that happens the sky must be falling down!

It is almost as though there is a secret manual, dictating how a Strong Black Woman should be treated and how she should behave.

So, my question to myself and to whoever wishes to answer is what does it means to be a Strong Black Woman?

Does it mean that:

  1. A SBW can handle cheating husband / boyfriend, without feeling worthless?
  2. A SBW cannot have a moment of sadness or complain about the hardships of the world?
  3. A SBW is able to raise a child single handily without being exhausted?
  4. A SBW  listens to all people’s problems but never share her own?
  5. A SBW is an independent woman for eternity?
  6. A SBW never asks for help?

Maybe the media and the entertainment industry play a big part in shaping the tale of the SBW. I mean you only have to look at the black actresses who have won Oscars and the  roles that they have played in order to be acknowledged for their talents. None of these actress were in Romcom movies!

However with writers like Shonda Rhimes and Jenji Kohan churning out great dramas such as Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder and Orange Is The New Black, a new vulnerable light is being shed on the trials, celebrations and plight of the Strong Black Woman.

Vulnerability = Strength!

And with strength comes discovery! Feel free to contact me and let me know what you think it means to be a Strong Black Woman.

IG & TWITTER: @AnniwaaBuachie

 I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something.

Just Trying…….

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With the death of winter comes the life of Spring.  In the last couple of weeks I have lost a dear friend and gained a new god daughter. I have woken up from a deep slumber.

LIFE. IS. TOO. SHORT. PERIOD.

I’ve never been much of a writer. Never been much of a poet. But I don’t care. LIFE. IS. TOO. SHORT to not be yourself. So I am just trying, trying to be the woman I am and the woman I want to be. I’m just trying…..

Just trying to be me.

Trying to gravitate

Elevate to be me.

 

Trying to overcome, who I used to be,

And embrace my destiny.

 

Like how a Phoenix rises from the ashes……

Well I guess I best  light some matches.

 

YES!

 

Spread my wings to glide,

No longer do I need to hide.

I have begun to push through,

Simply by staying true.

 

I don’t know which direction to follow,

But I do know my expectations bowl is not looking hollow.

 

I’m just trying to be me,

Coz that’s all I will ever be

 

Just trying to be me.

Trying to be me.

To be me.

Be me.

ME. Breathe.

I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something.

Oh Ben…………

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Happy New Year, yes I realise I am 29 days late….but I like to identify my years by the Chinese Calendar …so technically the New Year has not started yet!  January has been very eventful, award season is in full swing and British actors are bringing a couple of awards back to old blighty!

As we end the first month of 2015 on a Brit high, the golden man of the moment: Benedict Cumberbatch seems to have found himself in a middle of a predicament.

‘Benedict Cumberbatch under fire for ‘coloured actors’ remark’

How ironic that the golden boy of the moment has fallen a little after speaking about the lack of opportunities black actors have in the UK.

Firstly thank you Ben for being the person to confirm what all black actors (established and up and coming) from the UK already know. I am grateful, that you have spoken out.  Despite black British actors such as David Harewood, Idris Alba, Sophie Okonedo making a  similar account of the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK, I am sure UK industry folk may of assumed that black actors were/are just complaining for the sake of complaining. However it is always great to have a ‘savior’ with the aesthetics of Ben come to the rescue….you get the package right and people will start to listen to your story right?

Thanks Ben!

To be honest, I can’t say that I am surprised by his ‘coloured’ comment. As a man who was formerly educated at Harrow School for Boys, I assume he may have people within his circles that  still use the word ‘coloured’ when referencing a  black person. Despite  actor David Oyelowo jumping to Benedict’s defense and Ben being terribly sorry about the whole ordeal, I can’t help but think that Mr. Sherlock should have know better. I mean the race relations in America past and present are not exactly rosy and with all that has happened in the latter part of the 2014 (Ferguson, – Sony Leaks) people are definitely watching what they say and do!  An actor like Mr. Cumberbatch who has played a range of complicated characters, strikes me to be a very intelligent man, so for Ben…to make a careless choice of a word such as ‘coloured’ ….I can’t help but feel a little disappointed by his Freudian slip but needless to say not really surprised.

It is a similar feeling of disappointment I have when I hear black people referring to one another by using the word N – Word. I recently expressed my opinion on the use of  words such as ‘Coloured’ and  the N-word with a  stranger who was rudely looking over my shoulder whilst I was reading a news article about Benedict’s Freudian slip.

This stranger, was arguing that Ben should not be penalised for his mistake as black people call each other the N-Word as a sign of comradery.

I find it sad that in 2015, people still have this mentality that all black people share the same beliefs.

I mean really?!

I cannot speak for the black people who use that vulgar word, but I can speak for myself – a Ghanaian- British Woman. I do not condone using the N -word or the word ‘colored.’ Those words do not describe the many intelligent, ambitious, and driven black/ mixed race people I know or any black person I don’t know!

Those raw words reflect a time when a race of people were treated horrifically…and any individual who are tries to turn that N -word into everyday slang does not  realise that by using that vulgar word in that manner DOES NOT soften the blow of past and present…..far from it….it rubs salt in the wound. A wound still yet to be fully acknowledged!

Despite the views of many well meaning liberals who believe they understand the plight of a black person in a western environment, I always find it  interesting to see where they stand when they are presented with a situation  like Benedict’s:  a intelligent, talented , well- educated, upper class man who made a racist comment regardless if he meant it or not, regardless if David Oyelowo has jumped to his defense…..his comment was racist all the same. In my experience the same liberals who would cuss out a working class white person in a heartbeat  for making  a racist comment , always seem to find an excuse for  the ignorance of a white upper class man.  Funny how class changes everything!

If someone is very upper-class, you have a stereotype of him which is probably true. If someone has a working-class accent, you have no idea who you’re talking to.

Michael Caine

I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something.

I may not be a lady……BUT I’m all woman

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It has been a while since I have jotted down some of my thoughts about how I currently feel about life. I have been caught up in a whirlwind of events…..not in a bad sense, far from it! But with my mind constantly racing and me running around all over the place, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and watch the dust settle.

Yesterday I attended the birthday party of my best friend’s daughter; Isla. My little angel has recently turned two  and continues to know what she wants and sticks to her guns, which besides her cute cheeky face, is what I love the most about Isla.  I look at Isla with a lot of admiration, I mean at two years old she is already a girl who knows what she wants and does not allow Mummy, Daddy or any Aunties get in her way! Yet she is caring, playful and vibrant….a real gem. Watching Isla play with her friends, made me begin to think about the transition from a girl to woman and what it means to me to be a woman.

I mean some may say that being a woman is closely linked with motherhood or marriage. But then there are lot of women I know who have children or are married. However if you take off the rose tinted glasses, those women appear to be like little girls walking in their mummy’s high heeled shoes with smeared lipstick. (For the afro haired girls out there, I know that you added the skirt hair – touch  to this illusion)

Other people may say that being a woman comes hand in hand with being in charge, not depending on any man – an ‘independent’ woman.  But I know some women who lead an independent life not necessarily out of choice but life has just handed them this this path, and not all of them are happy being an ‘independent woman.’

With these thoughts in my head, I began to look at the women; colleagues, strangers and friends that have made an impact on me this year, the ones who made me think even more about what I can bring to the table and what I believe it means to be a woman.

Here are some of the women, that I have had the pleasure to hang out with this year and their prominent attributes:

Diana Nneka Atuona (Writer)  A women who always looks forward never backwards and absorbs life and documents it so accurately!

Anna Ageykum  (Clothes Designer) – A women who is grounded and never fails to push the boundaries and set the pace.

Terese Jordan (Journalist/ Producer) –  A woman who never apologies for being different, and standing for her beliefs.

Bianca Sams ( Actress/ Writer) – A women who continually seeks new challenges, new ways of growing and refining skills

 AFRORETRO – Lilly and Anna  (jewellery and clothes designers)  Lead by women that are proud of their heritage and allow this to influence their journeys

Sophia  Jackson (Founder and Editor of Afridiziak) A  woman who is a leader not a follower

Innercity Shakepspeare – Dr. Melanie Andrews (actress/ director/ lecturer) and Katy Haber, (producer)-   Lead by women who selflessly encourage young people to push themselves to the limit.

Elizabeth Lynch (Producer/ Director/ Mentor) – A woman who continues to grow, learn and help others realise their true potential.

Squeamish Kate and Squeamish Nicola (bloggers) Women, who always keep it real!

All these women and many, many, many, many more, have made me understand that being a woman is not about sugar and spice and all things nice. It’s about your achievements, being brave and stepping out of the mould and working hard to achieve what you truly desire, it’s about being happy and grateful with what you have and realising your true potential and not apologising for being different.  Not being bullied into a role that does not agree with your ideals. Yes, women have a hard time in this world, but from my experiences I know that letting society define what you are is not as important as what you see yourself to be.

So, in reference to the title of this blog and Lisa Stansfield…….I am a Lady and I AM DEFINITELY ALL WOMEN. 🙂

I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something.

Liberty

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I recently performed a rehearsed reading for an excellent writer; *Alice Baker,  who I have worked with previously many years ago. Alice is an excellent writer with tremendous talent and insight.  I believe she is a writer at the forefront of British contemporary drama. She is a modest writer so would never admit her brilliance, but the most talented people are also the most humble!  

Anyway after the performance reading, we offloaded what was going on each other’s lives over large glasses of red wine.

“I recently had to take a step away from a great writing job” said Alice.

“Why?” – I protested

“Because it was so cringing ……the way in which the writers in the room perceived – Amber (a black female character in the drama.) I am in a room filled with white, middle-upper class writers who believe that their perception of Amber is right; no one took into consideration my view…….which is ridiculous, as I am as close to the character of Amber as they will ever get. I mean, I am black and from a working class background, just like the Amber.” Said Alice.

“People want to see what they want to see……………the ignorance of this industry, never fails to surprise me.” I said.

This conversation is one of many that I have been having with people for the past 7 years.  

Today I read an article in the Evening Standard (page 29) which had the headline

Lack of diversity on TV turns off younger viewers, says campaigner.

The article represents some of the views of what many ethnic performers believe. It inspired me to reflect on my own journey as a Ghanaian-British actress:

Before I went to drama school, I rarely had discussions with other young actors about the lack ethnic representation on British TV. I suppose I was blinded by the ‘Real McCoy,’  ‘Desmond’s’ and ‘Goodness Gracious Me’. Great COMEDY dramas fortunate enough to have a long run on national TV. However there weren’t many dramas that had a mixed cast of actors from all backgrounds.  As an actress who aspired to do ‘kitchen sink’ drama’s I took inspiration from ‘Band of Gold’, ‘This Life’ and ‘As If.’ TV dramas which featured a mixed cast of actors; different races, different accents, different classes. I thought this calibre of drama would expand and that there would be a lot of TV dramas that embodied these characteristics.  With that positive perspective, I was even more determined to become an actress, and so I enrolled into drama school.

Drama school…..what can I say, I found the experience quite stressful. Believe me the early starts, the long hours and the constant ‘personal dramas’ of my peers were not an issue, I actually enjoyed that part and of the course performing. What was the stressful part was the fact that the majority of my peers made a lot of ignorant comments regarding my race. At the time, I was frustrated with the stupidity of some my peers and chose to keep my distance rather than educate them.  I couldn’t understand how young people of the 21st century could be so clueless!!! In hindsight I see that I was surrounded by a lot of people who had never interacted with a black person on a social level. Not only was I bombarded with questions, which made me feel like I was part of a Victorian circus, but I was greeted with some disdain from my peers when I chose not to go to the local pub with them after class, a pub which happened to be the BNP (British National Party ) headquarters!  On one occasion I was called a ‘black bitch’ by a peer of mine, after a minor disagreement. Oh those times were FUN!  I learnt a lot! But what put the cherry on the cake was when a tutor of mine at my drama school made the following remark to me on the day of my showcase.

“You have come a long way, and you have a bright future…….why is it, that the black students always have poor diction and speech?”

If looks could kill, if I could unleash the South London rude girl I once was……

I could not believe my ears! It is that level of ignorance I had to endure for three years, and naively I thought it would end when I left drama school. But much to my surprise, it was….is even worse.

So to hear Alice talk about her anguished attempts of providing a more interesting perspective Amber (the black female character in the drama ) only to the dismay of her colleagues, this does not surprise me. However this does re-light the fire in me and my belief that SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE!

Drama’s school are admitting more ethnic people each year ( when I went to drama school, I was one of two black people and one mixed race person, the year above me there was only one black person and the year below me, I lost count when I saw more than three!) But the question is, are they accommodating ethnic actors? Or are ethnic actors still being confronted by the level of ignorance that I once endured from a past drama tutor?

There needs to be more work created for ethnic people that goes beyond the stereotypes. Because guess what, not all black people in Britain are poor and live on council estates, selling drugs. Oh and guess what, not all South Asian people are oppressed by Islam, terrorist or unhappy with arranged marriage. OMG you never guess what, not all East Asian people are submissive and just work in finance or just sell DVD’s. Oh and not all mixed race people  have a black dad  that is absent and a white mum….some of them have a black mum and a white dad that is absent….or…..this is so unbelievable some mixed race people are mixed with Asian and black or Asian and white….. shock horror! But most importantly……..ETHNIC PEOPLE PAY TV LICENCE AS WELL! SO DO HOMOSEXUALS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITES!

SO why am I not seeing more TV dramas that reflect everyone regardless of race, gender, class , sexuality and disability!

Is it because the majority of the people producing the dramas, writing the dramas, commissioning the dramas are not of a minority?

Or do people still believe the myth that there are not enough ethnic writers, directors and actors out there in the vast island of the British Isles?

There is so much ethnic talent out there, and it is time that the British public are given the chance to see it!

For most people, TV and the internet are ways to have an insight into different lives therefore we need more dramas that reflect the real, diverse nature of our society on these platforms.

Campaigns such as The Act For Change Project and What Next? are opening up the forum and now is a chance for everyone’s voice to be heard!

“England is known for (being a) predominately white society, but the more and more it gets diverse the more diversity must be recognised, otherwise it doesn’t make sense.” – Samuell Benta, producer and director of sitcom ‘The Mckenzies,’ as seen in the Evening Standard Newspaper.

 

More information:

The Act For Change Project –  Click here

What Next?Click here

London LiveClick here 

*Pseudonym name

For a taste of light hearted drama which features ethnic actors, click here

 

 

I am not a writer, just a blabber, a girl that asks many questions but never knows how to collate the answers. Just a normal girl with nothing more to say, than words that mean nothing but say something.