Tuesday, December 12, 2017


One of my mentors, Tezya Jackson ignited the idea in me to write about and share what it’s like being a Black male actor in the United Kingdom. I had the idea of sharing my experience out here as well so I’m combining the “What’s it like living in the U.K.” and “are you enjoying it?” questions, so here goes: 

It took me two tries to get into a school. Blood sweat and tears but I ended up where I am at the desired time God told me to go. I just want to start this blog by saying what’s meant for you is meant for you. Everything happens for a reason that’s beyond our explanation. The first year I tried for Graduate school and didn’t make it, I took pretty hard. However, I learned later that instead of me graduating from Prairie View A&M University in May of 2016, I graduated in August. Everything made sense to me after that. The following year I received double the amount of callbacks from schools and optional offers. When I received the message of me moving to England to study Acting in late March my dreams, my prayers, my goals and wishes were met and it’s everything I asked for and more.

I want to now start this blog by saying; I’m not in Birmingham, Alabama! I’m not in London! I have to start this yelling at my friends and family reading. I love you all. I just want you all to know where I really am. I started telling folk that I’m living in Birmingham and they assume Alabama knowing that I’m not even in the United States so I started just telling people London. I’m actually 2 hours and 30 minutes away from London. It’s lovely there. It looks just like how it looks on television. I’ve been there a couple of times.

As soon as I came to England I discovered that I had to learn a new version of my primary language. (Yes, It’s English I know) The English spoken here is very different from American English. The lingo, the phrases, the names of food, greetings, salutations, it’s all used differently. One week I spent days trying to get McDonald’s to give me jelly for my breakfast but I soon found that they only know the term Jam. When I’m walking to class people walk in a horizontal line on the sidewalk when they’re in groups. Just picture people moving like turtles and there’s no space for you to pass them on the sidewalk. I spend my time running to class like Will Smith in the pursuit of Happiness movie. England is lovely. The history, the historic cathedrals and buildings and the culture are all magnificent in sight. It’s surreal for a Black boy from the slumps of Arlington/Dallas Texas to even be here.

Fish and chips are kind of overrated to me. I haven’t eaten any that has made me fall in love yet. Birmingham, England is a beautiful city. It’s filled with Canals, buildings that are fine in architecture. It’s very easy to get around, though I haven’t completely figured out the bus system yet. I’m getting used to the military time. I always have to double check when I am scheduled to be somewhere. I look at a time like 17:30 and tilt my head like a German Shepard. The trick is to subtract 12 and I’d get the time I understand. Speaking of time, I’m still getting used to how Brits tell time out here. I’m not stupid and I know what the phrases mean, it’s just sometimes if it’s 5:30pm I wish someone would just say 5:30pm. When I ask for time I either get “Half past” or “Quarter till.” My response is always “Sooooo… __insert time here_?” If you look up in the sky you will usually see a grey sky. I think I can still count on 1 hand how many times I’ve seen a blue sky or maybe I’m exaggerating.

Being a Black Actor in the U.K. is fun, interesting and challenging. I’m grateful to have graduated from PVAMU, an HBCU (Historically Black College University) because it taught me so much about myself and my culture. I think If I came to any Predominantly white institution before my undergrad I would be unknowingly lost. My HBCU taught me how to be a H.O.T.T. (Humble, Open, Teachable, Tenacious) artist who knows that I have to work twice as hard as anyone not of color in this field just because I’m Black. It sucks being in a society where as 45 (Trump) says "They should be grateful for their success." Why must I be grateful for something I earned through hard work? I'm at the point as an actor where things are becoming second nature so I don't have to kill myself to accomplish certain things like I did in my undergrad. Dr. Cristal Chanelle Truscott, my acting coach/stage mom/mentor at PVAMU pushed my classmates to strive and be our best selves because of this.

I’m also the only Black American male in the whole drama school, let alone in my class. Drama school is amazing! My classmates are all dope and from different backgrounds with many stories to tell. We’re all from America too! So many unique individuals that I get to build wonderful relations with. We are usually in class from “Half past 8 till 18:00.” I have good and bad days. Some days I’m bouncing off the walls feeling like my child self and somedays I feel like no one really understands where I’m coming from. I’m speaking about the U.K. in general. I feel like only a couple of people have taken the time to get to know me, and I’m so far away from home so when I do talk to people that do know me I feel relieved. This is a temporary feeling though and I have 2 years here so I'm sure I'll leave with a new family. I spend most of my time living as other people (Which I love of course.)

I’m excited at where I am now as an actor and how much more I will learn just at this program. I’m excited at what I will bring to the program. I’m so happy to learn and grow every day. These are the steps that God has given me so that I can be what my heart seeks. Someone that the whole world will soon know.

Someone that will help as many people as I can find themselves.

Someone that will inspire the youth, hell and even adults to seek what the heart desires, to follow dreams. I pray about what I want to do and it happens.
I’m an athlete of the imagination. I’m a student of the human condition. I’m standing on my ancestors shoulders. I will be a star.

And like the late great playwright August Wilson said in his play The Piano Lesson
If the train stays on the track… it’s going to get where it’s going.”

Till next time family! I'm gonna try to release a blog on my life in the U.K. every month (Or every other month). 


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