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My First Audition: Chizzy Akudolu – ‘I had no idea what they were looking for, but knew I had to be funny’

Chizzy Akudolu. Photo: Meet the Masons Chizzy Akudolu. Photo: Meet the Masons
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My first audition came through an ad in The Stage. The BBC was looking for comedy performers to write and perform in a show called The BBC Talent Urban Sketch Show. It was an open audition so I popped along. There turned out to be so many people who had done the same thing that they had to postpone the majority of us to another day.

When I finally got my chance, it was nerve-racking. It was my first time in front of professionals. I had no idea what they were looking for, but knew I had to be funny. Luckily, I was, although looking back now I wish I had relaxed my face more. Being part of a live show was awesome but when I watched it back, I could see that I was mugging for England. Since then, I have come to understand that it is not always the lines that make a piece funny. A facial expression, or a pause in the right place can bring down the house. With comedy, timing is everything.

My advice for performing comedy (and performing in general) is always to know your audience, know the script and have fun. Be prepared for anything and trust in your team. That trust element is worth remembering when you go into auditions too. Be confident but not cocky. Try to relax and remember the people you are auditioning for want to see the real you.

Whether you see the director or the producer you see, of course they want to know that you’re right for the part, but they are also trying to work out how you’re likely to be on set. That’s especially true for bigger projects and continuing roles. No one wants a miserable actor on a 12-week shoot.

CV: Chizzy Akudolu

Age: 43
Training: none
Theatre includes: The Vagina Monologues Tour, Monologue Slam Host
TV includes: Holby City, Dead Set, Jinx, Tracey Breaks the News
Other credits: National Lottery commercial; writer/director of short films
Agent: Cole Kitchenn 

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