Whenever I think of myself as a talent somehow the sentiment expressed by original Jamaican rapper Big Youth in “Every Nigger is a Star” comes to mind. Discarding the “nigger” part of the sentiment, I’ve always felt I could act, sing, perform or entertain if only I put my mind to it but I always had other things to keep me focussed.
At school when I wasn’t beating books and trying to be the best I can in the classroom, I excelled at table tennis and cricket.
Occasionally I would act in films, both independent and mainstream, but I really couldn’t say I was an actor. I was more a chancer because I only acted when the chance came. Thus I found myself acting as an American GI in John Schlesinger’s Yanks starring Richard Gere back in the day.
Last year, however, I got the chance to be a comedian courtesy of an IT contract I was doing at the BBC which ran a comedy course for staff. Technically speaking I wasn”t staff (I was a contractor!) but I managed to persuade the organiser to let me on the course.
The condition was I had to subsequently be a media mentor for any other Black and/or ethnic people wanting to enter the media profession. It was a no brainer really! I took my chance and got some training as a stand up comedian.
I then had to give a performance at the BBC Club in White City, London, in front of a live audience. It was both agony and ecstasy rolled into one. The upshot is I now possess an additional skill which I only wanted for fun.
Did I mention I was blessed? 😉