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Actor Adele Oni: my first job taught me to ‘celebrate every audition, not be crippled by them’

Adele Oni in Picasso review at the Playground Theatre. Photo: Tristram Kenton

My first job was playing Barbara in an international theatre tour of the farce No Sex Please, We’re British. We toured Singapore and Malaysia for about three months. I think being prepped was the key to securing the role. I was constantly going to acting classes and keeping up my training because, as I didn’t go to drama school, I knew I was going to be up against a lot of graduates who did.

I remember thinking when I left the audition room that I had a really good shot at getting the job. It’s funny, but that’s a feeling I have continued to have whenever a job is for me (although sometimes the feeling simply means I nailed my audition, not that I will necessarily get the part). Everything in the room that day just flowed, from entering feeling confident and loving the play, to having the chat with the director and producer, to the reading, to my thoughts on the show.

What I learned for that first audition and the job that followed was that knowing where you are emotionally can help you take a scene to that next level. Start with how you are feeling and then tell the story. Just be present. As my career has progressed I have never really thought of auditions as nerve-wracking. I always think of it as another chance to perform, which is why I became an actress in the first place. How many people even get the chance to be in that room at all? I definitely choose to celebrate every audition as opposed to being crippled by them.

As for anyone considering whether to go down the drama school route, if you feel  like you don’t need it, you might not, but – whether you go to drama school or not – you need to be constantly training. As a working actor, you have to keep your instrument sensitive and sharp.

CV: Adele Oni

Age: Undisclosed
Training: The Actors Class, Actor in Session
Theatre includes: Picasso (Playground Theatre), Sublime (Tristan Bates Theatre),  Girl-Dem (Criterion Theatre), No Sex Please, We’re British (international tour)
Film includes: Housefull 3, voice-over for My Mother’s Stew (Rotterdam Film  Festival Selection)
Agent: International Artists Management

Adele Oni was talking to John Byrne

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