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NewVIc Star: Joseph Adelakun

Joseph Adelakun

Joseph Adelakun a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company is currently performing in the new RSC productions of Julius Ceasar, Titus Andronicus and Antony and Cleopatra.  Originally a NewVIc student Joseph studied a range of subjects and courses: A levels in Drama, English Literature and  Music, AS Level Philosophy, Film Studies and a BTEC National Award in Music Composing.

NewVIc would firstly like to congratulate you on all your achievements to date.  Can you start by telling me a little more about yourself, before you came to NewVIc? Have you always studied in Newham? 
"I went to primary school, Kingsford Community secondary school, sixth form in Newham and I still live in Newham now, so I've lived in Newham for most of my life."

When did you decide you wanted to be an actor? 
"To be honest I don't remember a concrete moment deciding to become an actor, I just remember enjoying the performing arts and wanting to do more of it. By the end of primary school I knew the performing arts were my favourite subjects, and in secondary school, I remember thinking acting was incredible because it allowed me to be other people and do and say the things that normally I wouldn't or couldn't."

Could you briefly tell me your journey since you left NewVIc to where you are now?
"Whilst I was at NewVic, I went to a place called Weekend Arts College on Sundays, and there I found out more about drama schools (they provide full-time practical courses, and they have a large number of industry professionals visit their final year performances).  Once I left NewVic I studied drama at Rose Bruford College and since graduating I've had plenty of work as an actor since. I suppose the more shows I've been in, the more people in the industry have seen my work and called me in for my auditions, and eventually I got an audition for the Royal Shakespeare Company!

"Sometimes there are long gaps where I've not done an acting job, so I've done non-acting jobs to keep busy - I've even worked with Solid Harmony Choir which was fun because I used to be a member of the choir when I was back at NewVic.

"It may interest you to know my first paid theatre job was before I went to drama school, with the people behind Ramira Arts who I met through going to an extra-curricular drama club at NewVic. When I was with Ramira Arts I actually performed at NewVic a number of times so you never know where your next job is going to come from or where it will take you."

Do you have any fond memories of NewVIc? 
"The performance opportunities at NewVIc were highlights of my time, it was always great to have a performance to work towards and look forward to, and it felt like there was a real performing arts community within NewVIc and we'd all support each other. I also remember having a good time at NewVIc because the people who were there wanted to be there, they picked the subjects they wanted and the people in your classes were like-minded."

What made you come to NewVIc?
"I'm a great music lover and I was told NewVIc was one of the best places for music; so actually, it was the music department that brought me to NewVIc."

How did you find the teaching at NewVIc? Did it prepare you for your next educational step?
"Yes it did, I found the teachers at NewVIc were very supportive and it was the performance opportunities and practical elements they provided that were most useful when it came to progressing onto drama school, as I did such a practical course."

How would you describe yourself before you came to NewVIc? and how would you describe yourself when you left? 
"Before I came to NewVIc I think I was very excited, enthusiastic and confident about going to sixth form, and I left even more confident and ready for new challenges."

Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to go in to acting? 
"Firstly, really ask yourself why you want to go into acting and what you hope to achieve, it's not an easy industry to get into and sustain yourself in, so you really need something to hold onto during the hard times. It also might be that you want to learn skills from acting to help you do something else that isn't acting, like being more confident in interviews or having better social skills when meeting new people... or you could use acting skills as a platform to lead you into working within the arts in a different capacity, maybe as a writer, director, producer, cinematographer, movement director, dramaturgy etc.

"I'd then say go to as many acting/drama clubs and classes as you possibly can, and once you've found out about many places, get picky and go to the places that make you feel comfortable to challenge yourself the most. I'd say you want to concentrate on becoming the best actor you can be (this is a life-long-journey by the way) and connecting with as many organisations (I did projects at Stratford Circus, Stratford Theatre Royal East, WAC - but there are also places like NYT and NYMT), to not only learn more, but to meet more people in the industry. I'd also say talk to as many people as you can for advice, particularly people who have more experience, like other young people who may have been doing it a bit longer than you or tutors with experience in the industry."

Do you have a favourite quote?
"Oooh I can't think of a favourite quote, but something I like to keep reminding myself is that human beings have this amazing capacity to learn. No matter how bad I am at something, whether it's an artistic skill or a social skill, I can always get better. "

What motivates you? 
"That's a big question. I don't know how to respond without writing an essay, so I'll say... the wonder and beauty of love and life motivates me."

Read more about Joseph on his Twitter account