The Last King of Scotland – rehearsal photos and update

We’ve just finished week 5 of rehearsals and have moved out of the rehearsal room. Tomorrow we will be on the main stage at the Crucible Theatre for tech week.

So far, so good. In fact, so far, so amazing. The play is powerful and emotional with distinctive characters who are forced to endure very difficult circumstances.

I am enjoying playing Kay Amin, wife to former president Idi Amin, because she is courageous, loving and has a big heart. I get to challenge myself by exploring/playing dark and heavier emotions, as well as lighter, brighter moments of joy and comedy.

My fellow actors are incredible and everyone fits their role perfectly. Our director, Gbolahan, has a strong vision. The play is huge and emotionally charged, but Gbolahan has been thorough and thoughtful towards us as actors and all aspects of the play’s execution.

I’m excited to finally perform our show in front of an audience – honestly, I can’t stress enough how much of a blessing this opportunity is. We have all been working meticulously and patiently to contribute and create a powerful show. I hope that our audiences will walk out feeling reflective and different.

Below are pictures from the last few weeks of rehearsals. All pictures taken by Helen Murray.

CASTING NEWS

I’ve landed my first job post-drama school. Woohoo!

I’ll be playing Kay Amin in The Last King of Scotland by Steve Waters at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The play is based on the book by Giles Foden and will be directed by Gbolahan Obisesan.

Rehearsals start on August 19th so I’ll be moving up to Sheffield in less than 2 weeks and that’s where I’ll be based until late October-ish.

I’m looking forward to working with Gbolahan, whose work I love, and meeting the entire cast and crew. As the play is set in Ugandan the cast will be majority black so I’m extra excited for that. In the meantime, I shall get stuck into the prep and get my bags READY!

 

lastkingofscotland.bookcover.GilesFoden

BASED ON THE NOVEL BY GILES FODEN

ADAPTED FOR THE STAGE BY STEVE WATERS

‘He is the sickness and you maintain that sickness’

Idi Amin is the self-declared President of Uganda. When Scottish medic Nicholas Garrigan becomes his personal physician, he is catapulted into Amin’s inner circle. A useful asset for the British Secret Service, is Garrigan the man on the inside, or does he have blood on his hands too?

The first adaptation of the award-winning novel that inspired the Oscar-winning movie, The Last King of Scotland is an electrifying thriller about corruption and complicity.

25 books in

At the start of this year, I said I would read a book per week. I’ve read a total of 25 and I’m currently reading 2 at the same time. The goal is to go a little further by finishing at least 55 books before the year ends. And I think I can do it!

When I started this challenge I had so much drive and enthusiasm to learn and rapidly progress. But by week 5 things were already drying up. I looked to Youtube to research the benefits and effects of daily reading and what I found gave me the right impetus to come back stronger.

One Youtuber said that it can be a bit boring at the start of your journey, but if you hold firm, push yourself and do the dull part of taking more time out of your day to read, you’ll begin to experience a wonderful and unprecedented change in behaviour and mindset. You’ll get used to it and even begin to prioritise it. And now, having pushed past that hurdle, I totally agree with them.

I’m very proud of the commitment and dedication I’ve shown over the past few months and I’m excited to experience and enjoy the amazing books I have yet to read. In fact, I just joined a book club the other day and my first meeting is next month. Yaaaas. I’ll be surprised if I don’t burst in all direction from all the joy before then!

My favourite books I’ve experienced – because reading them really was an experience – are: Becoming by Michelle Obama and Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.

I’ll continue to predominately read works by POC authors because growing up my range was limited to white writers, unfortunately, as they dominated – and still dominate – the world of literature. For my identity, knowledge of self and for my culture, I’m understanding how necessary it is to connect with stories, facts and language that pertain to and celebrate the Afro-Caribbean diaspora.

 

Next up:

Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible by Yomi Adegoke & Elizabeth Uviebinené

Jazz by Toni Morrison

Book review #5: You^2 by Price Pritchett

You^2: A High-Velocity Formula for Multiplying Your Personal Effectiveness in Quantum Leaps by Price Pritchett is centred around the idea that you can increase the results in your life EXPONENTIALLY. In fact, Pritchett believes that our life doesn’t have to follow a step by step plan or a linear direction. Not Ever.

You^2 by Price Pritchett

Price Pritchett has a PhD in psychology and is an expert in the field of breakthrough performances. He is also the founder and CEO of a consulting firm in Dallas. He speaks with great authority on matters of personal growth whilst maintaining an unlimited supply of optimism and hope for his readers.

I came across the idea of quantum leaps through one of my coaches at the start of 2019. But, because it was a very unfamiliar concept, I didn’t think much about applying it to my study of personal development. You^2, despite being only 36 pages long, helped me to understand and explore what it really means to take a quantum leap.

Pritchett says that “Quantum physics is described as the most powerful science ever conceived by human beings. It requires a major rethinking of such concepts as time and space and how human consciousness operates.” (And please don’t worry. This isn’t going to be a theoretical breakdown of the history of this science, so stay with me.)

The author says that “You^2 implies an explosive jump in your personal performance that puts you far beyond the next logical step.” Now, what a minute? “Far beyond the next logical steps”? Tell me more, Pritchett.

Rather than accepting what has already been done, what people typically do or even our present circumstances, we should opt to bypass all of that and go for a breakthrough. But how does that actually happen? Simple. Stop trying harder. Choose the path that is the most efficient, effective and which allows for better alignment.

It’s about giving yourself permission and the opportunity to dream, soar and explore. What is it that you truly what to have, do or be? If you were to visualise your future, without any limits or restraints, what do you see? Who are you? Where are you? Once you’re able to get clear about what you want, you can start the pursuit.

My favourite chapter of You^2 is called ‘Trust in the Power of Pursuit’. For me, what this really means is action, but I like the way Pritchett’s phrasing triggers my imagination. “Dreams begin to crystallize into reality when they are pursued.” Sure, that does sound pretty straightforward and maybe a little idealistic. But, it is the absolute truth.

When we are clear about our vision and pursue it with what I like to call “positive aggression”, we remove the element of safety and of fear, unleashing something within – a little bit of magic, perhaps – that propels us forwards and upwards.

Important aspects of the pursuit are suspending disbelief and seeking failure. When you suspend disbelief, you “act as if your success is for certain”. You find the faith you need and you release the limits you have long attached yourself to. In order words, you strive to break free from what has held you back in the past. On the point of failure, Pritchett underlines that it is part of the journey. In fact, failure shows that change is happening and we must realise that if we don’t experience any problems, pain or difficulties, we are not growing and we’re likely aiming too low.

Just because things aren’t in order right now, it doesn’t mean that it will stay that way. For example, it’s basically impossible to bake something without getting the kitchen in a hot mess. You know that once you’ve finished you’ll have a delicious cake to eat and enjoy. Or halfway through surgery it always looks like there’s been a murder in the operating room. But that’s no reason for any doctor to call it quits. So you, too, shouldn’t give up before you’ve reached the finishing line.

Though You^2 is very, very short, there are many examples and quotes that filled me with inspiration and perspective. I think I’ve read the book at least 40 times already, and I’ll keep coming back to it for extra motivation and guidance, whether I read all 18 chapters or just a mix-and-match selection.

Overall, I would describe You^2 as a no-nonsense, straight-talking, proven guide to expansion in all areas of your life. Highly recommended!

 

 

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!

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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