I’m a graduate

Last week I finally graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as a trained actor. I’m certified, baby!

Akuc RCS graduation

It’s been a really impactful journey these last three years of drama school and I’m so happy that I decided to train up north in Glasgow. I feel like I’ve grown a lot and absorbed so much in terms of acting and in terms of just living life on my terms.

So, what are my plans as a graduate? Enjoy the freedom, that’s for sure. I have my sights set on going on holiday in September or October. I’m thinking somewhere warm and sunny. Wherever the world will take me, I’ll be ready.

I’m back on the blogging wave now that I’m not so busy with school, so that will take some of my time, too. I’ll be continuing to read a book per week and since I’m in London I can go back to my Dinka classes.

I’m not too sure what the rest of my year will look like – I’ll have to take a moment next week to really visualise and decide on how things should go – but what I do know is that I need to prepare myself (mentally and physically) for something big, something extraordinary!

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A sense of urgency

An important thing to consider when pursuing your goals is your level of urgency.

A sense of urgency comes from having the drive and determination to see things through, and I believe it can only come when your goal is: a) challenging enough that you need to take a leap of faith, and b) exciting enough to keep you feeling stimulated along the way.

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Why I blog

For many over 10 years now, I have been studying personal development and it has impacted my life in many, many ways. For example, I was able to overcome my insecurities about having dark skin,  commit to my dream of becoming an international actor, learn how to open up to life by focussing on the good that life has to offer – though I’m still learning to do this last one.

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Are you committed?

I heard the legendary entrepreneur John Assaraf talk about commitment and so I’m sharing my take on his lesson.

What does commitment mean in relation to a goal? I think of it as total dedication towards achieving a goal and constantly reaffirming your investment in it as well as your belief that you can achieve it. I see it as having an unstoppable desire to get things done and to see through on all of your actions.

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Start with the end in mind

I was recently having a conversation with a friend about this principle and because it is such a powerful one, I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

Starting with the end in mind is all about developing and specifying what your destination and your objective look like. The more precise you are with this vision, the easier it is to achieve it.

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Maintaining a higher vibration

Quite recently I’ve made the commitment to keep my vibration high. But what does that really mean? I would define that as maintaining a positive attitude, believing in myself and not allowing negativity to hold me back.

In the mornings I do my visualisations, affirmations and I also write in my journal. However, some days I can’t be bothered and I don’t really want to do it. But my morning routine makes me feel present, positive and excited about the day. And because of the commitment that I made to myself, I know in my heart that I can’t forgo it. Therefore, every day I make sure I get it done, instantly raising my vibration.

Whenever something bad happens or if things don’t go according to plan, I let it go and do not dwell on it.

For example, a few weeks ago I wanted to put some cash into my bank account. But on my way to the bank, the money must have fallen out of my pocket. I can’t lie I was shocked and annoyed. I was like “God, really?! You know I was just about to pay a bit of my rent with that money. What am I gonna do now? Nahhhh, in fact, what are YOU gonna do now?”

I took some deep breaths and reminded myself not to internalise my circumstances; I took that angry energy and threw it away. Far, far, far away. I said to myself someone who needed that money more would find it and put it to good use. I could work a little harder during the week and make double what I lost. Everything will work in my favour in the end.

I flipped the situation and turned it into a positive. I stayed in control of my emotions and the situation by keeping my vibration high.

This technique becomes easier over time because it’s all about habitual thinking.  The more I work at it, the more it becomes my default way of being and perceiving the world around me.

Acting as if

Acting As If is a powerful technique for manifesting things into your life. It involves giving yourself the experience of what you want to have, do or be. Acting As If tells the mind that what you desire is possible to attain and that your dreams can exist right now.

For example, you could go for a ride in the car you want to purchase, visit apartments in the area in which you desire to live or even eat at restaurants you’d love to frequent one day.

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As an actor, I have to do it all the time. I have to play different people and create a new world for each character I want to embody. I change the outside world so that my mind and body believe that I’m someone different on the inside.

In my personal life I do a lot of travelling, and to be able to afford it all I do what I call “basic travel”. That means budget airlines (where you bring a packed lunch onboard), walking long distances pulling my luggage to avoid taxi costs and travelling overnight when tickets are much cheaper.

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent in the last few years on a smelly coach only to get off with my neck dislocated in about 12 places!

That’s not what I really want for myself. I want to travel often for work and pleasure, and I want to do so comfortably. And why not, right? Why not love the travelling part as much as I love being at the destination? And why not make the experience more exciting and peaceful?

So, in order to create the belief that I could do it, I booked myself a first class train ticket from Glasgow to London last weekend. The journey was easy, stress-free, comfortable and it gave me a taste of the future. And this experience is a vision I can hold onto to strengthen my belief and desire for luxury travel.

Henceforth, I’m going to travel in style as often as I can. If that means saving up for a bit longer or working a little harder, so be it. I’m worth the effort.

Reading a book per week

It’s week 15 of the year and I’m about to start my 13th book. I’m really proud of myself for taking the time to find new books and for making reading a priority each day.

I started off quite slow in January, completing only 2 books. Well, technically 2.7 but I gave up on the last one as it was thicker than the Bible… Last month I read 5 books and I’m on track to finish 6 by the end of this month.

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I had an audition last week and it didn’t go well.

I had an audition last week and it didn’t go well.

Yesterday I received feedback from the casting director who said my performance was underprepared. I was disappointed when I heard this, not because I was offended but because it was absolutely true.

Let me take you through my audition prep: receives the script, waits 4 days before reading it, reads it once, look at my lines a few times. Job done. I left the audition room looking and feeling pathetic.

The role was for a lead part at a big theatre in London and the way I treated the audition was not on par with the quality of work produced there.

It’s embarrassing to think that a big casting director thought I wasn’t very good, and it’s not what I want people to say about me as an actor. Though this obviously isn’t the end of the world, I will not allow myself to repeat this again. I take full responsibility.

In order to move forward, I’m flipping this experience into a positive.

*Opens window, exhales negative energy and inhales gratitude.*

What I can do now is reevaluate my game plan. I want to finish drama school very strong. I want to feel proud of myself knowing that I worked my ass off and did the best I could, so I’ve got to prepare for that.

That means showing up with the right attitude – a professional attitude. That means doing all the prep and research before I get to the rehearsal room. And above all, it means enjoying the process. The same principles apply to all future auditions as well.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic walking away from auditions or meetings or the rehearsal room knowing that I performed at my best and left a great impression?

This lesson has come at a good time where I need to be consistent with what I’m offering as an actor and in my efforts, ensuring that my identity and self-image are in total alignment with my actions.