Actor Vauxhall Jermaine: ‘My first job taught me the value of taking risks’
I started acting in 2011. My first role was on an independent film called Weekend, starring Tom Cullen. It was filmed in Nottingham and went on to win loads of awards. I had just one line in it, but after chatting to Tom on set I thought, I’d like to do this as a career. I’d only done extras work before then.
I’d heard about the role from a friend who was also reading for it. I emailed the producers and asked if I could audition too. To be honest, I wasn’t nervous at the reading. I was just focused on getting the lines right and playing the character as best as I could. I have been a professional soccer player, which is a job in which you learn to cope with pressure. I applied all that I learned from that role into this new situation, and since I landed the job, I assume that was the right approach.
What I learned from that audition, and from many since, is that it’s important to take risks when you’re in the room and make sure that when you leave they don’t forget who you are. Being unique is a beautiful trait to have. If you hold on to that, the jobs you’re supposed to land will come to you. Your choices in the room have to be based on a real conviction inside you, then the truth of the character will show.
Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. Remove all doubt about yourself from your mind. Cancel out all negativity and meditate on being great at what you do. Sit outside the room and tell yourself that when you walk out of that room 10 minutes later, you will have done the best you could. If you genuinely love the idea of being an actor and performing, you will be fine.
CV: Vauxhall Jermaine
TV and film include: The Virtues, This Is England ’90, The Five, Will, Peter Rabbit, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Theatre includes: Old Man and Princess (Soho Theatre)
Agent: Conway van Gelder Grant
Vauxhall Jermaine was talking to John Byrne