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Alphabet Acting founder Ketorah Williams: ‘Watching Sophie Okonedo on stage was an acting masterclass’

Ketorah Williams. Photo: Eliza Perraine Ketorah Williams. Photo: Eliza Perraine
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How did you start off in theatre?

My first role was the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz at primary school. We had a female director who had the ability to inspire and empower us. She saw something in me – it was like she had more confidence in my ability than I had within myself at that time. Looking back, that performance was a milestone.

What is the best piece of advice you have for students today?

Get a flexible side-job that you enjoy and pays enough to afford ongoing training, marketing materials, casting subscriptions and living expenses. This is an expensive industry.

What would you change about UK training?

It’s the best in the world, but I would reduce the cost of courses to allow for greater inclusivity.

What is the best part of your job?

It’s such an amazing feeling when audiences express that they were affected by your work or had their values challenged as a result of it.

And your least favourite?

When you’re not getting many auditions. During these times, I take pride in creating my own work, which is why I founded the Alphabet Acting channel on YouTube.

Who are the practitioners you admire the most/who should students look up to?

Sophie Okonedo is respected within the profession and internationally successful. I identify with her as she is black British and has experienced similar, humble beginnings to myself. When I look at her career trajectory, I feel inspired. Last year, I went to see her perform at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in The Goat, Or Who is Sylvia?. It was like being at an acting masterclass. Every student should follow practitioners they can relate to.

What is the one skill every theatre practitioner should have?

Effective communication with casting directors, agents, cast, crew and the audience. It can be the difference between success and disappointment.

Ketorah Williams hosts Alphabet Acting, a YouTube channel focusing on acting industry and training matters. She was talking to John Byrne

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