I was 10 years old when I was chosen to be one of the navy base kids in Carmen Jones at London’s Old Vic. It was an amazing experience, but I was a kid playing a kid.
Over time, I was asked to play the odd character here and there, but they were one-off appearances: TV shows with my family group the Jordan Family, the odd radio interview – but nothing long lasting and nothing I would call ‘acting’. I was simply being me, just with a different name.
I have been on numerous stages as a singer, as a bass guitarist and even as part of a choir, but I have also always had a full-time job, along with the odd hobby.
As well as having a nine-to-five job, I am a radio presenter and one day I invited comedian Angie Le Mar on my show. Angie mentioned that she had written a gospel musical. The gospel singer in me jumped at the chance of being a part of it. It didn’t matter how small the part, this was an opportunity I was not going to let pass me by. I went to the audition and ended up getting one of the lead roles. Me – a musician. I was terrified. It was such a position to hold – such a responsibility, but I had a choice to make. Fight or flight.
I became so involved in Take Me Back, as a singer, actress and then eventually musical director, that I resigned my position as a special constable with the Metropolitan Police – a position I had held for four and a half years. I was no longer police officer. I was an actor, and it was time to accept it.
If I could pass on one piece of advice, it would be to not put yourself in a box. Let go of the limitations you have set on yourself. Sometimes – in fact, often – others can see in you what you cannot. Trust them and go with it. There is most likely more in you than you think. I am an actor and you could be too.
Theatre includes: Take Me Back (Stockwell Playhouse), Christmas the Musical (Battersea Mess and Music Hall), Carmen Jones (Old Vic)
TV includes: The Big Breakfast, Everyone’s Got One (both as a singer), The Jordan Family gospel group
Other credits: Bass guitarist and radio presenter (Premier Gospel and Premier Praise); former member of the London Community Gospel Choir
Selene C Jordan is in Take Me Back at Stockwell Playhouse until December 15. She was talking to John Byrne