Singer and actor Nataylia Roni: ‘Once you are clear on what you want, the sky’s the limit’

Nataylia Roni Nataylia Roni

The performer has a varied CV that includes presenting for CBeebies, performing in the West End and working in commercials. She tells Giverny Masso about how her own music has inspired her to create a one-woman show…

Tell me about the one-woman show you are working on.

It’s based on my music. I write inspirational contemporary Christian music and I’ve released an EP called Tenacious Spirit. The show [as-yet unnamed] contains inspirational pieces, comedy and hope. It’s about how you can go to one point in life and turn things around. There’s nowhere to hide in a one-woman show, and I’m excited to experience that. It’s my first time doing this. On the back of the show there are workshops I’ve created. Through these I teach purpose. It’s something I have done in schools for disadvantaged children. Once you are clear on your purpose, you can go for it.

How did you get into performance?

I have always been into theatre and the performing arts since I was young. I was accepted into National Youth Theatre twice and I took part in National Music Youth Theatre. I was supposed to have gone to theatre school, but it’s that good old funding story anyone who is not from an affluent family will know. Training is so crucial, it’s ongoing and you never stop. I’ve done various courses at TVI Actors Studios in New York and the Actors’ Temple in London.

What have some of the highlights of your work been so far?

I have been fortunate to do the work that I’ve done. I recently played Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King in The Life and Death of Martin Luther King. I’ve worked on the BBC’s Boogie Beebies on CBeebies, and I was in Caroline, Or Change in the West End. Another highlight was being flown to Jamaica to do a commercial, it makes you think, ‘Wow, this really is exciting.’ I do have a very mixed CV and I’m grateful for the experiences I have had. I’ve tried everything I want, and my aim now is to do it on a higher level.

What work do you enjoy most?

I love to do a production where I can use my talents, where I can act and sing. I love doing TV, but it is a challenge [in the UK compared to] working in the States. It’s a different ball game, they are more willing to take a risk, they don’t mind if you sing and act, but [in the UK] it is more of a challenge for people who are diverse and multifaceted. I have family and friends in the US, and I have always been inspired by their level of work.

What advice would you give somebody starting out?

Consistency is a challenge, to always be working, to always stay at that level. I would advise them to train, to be clear on what they want. Once you are clear on what you want, then the sky’s the limit.

CV: Nataylia Roni

Training: Courses at TVI Actors Studios in New York and the Actors’ Temple, London (2002-06)
First professional role: Presenting on canal boats for Ragdoll Productions in Stratford-upon-Avon (2000)
Agent: BBA Management (UK), Dream Entertainment (Los Angeles, USA)

For details of Roni’s upcoming one-woman show, see nataylia.com