What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
As you saw above, I do quiet a few things having a background as a dancer and an actress I do see my self as an artist. I’m the Artistic director of O’Kody Arts which specialises in all things theatre and wellbeing. My purpose really is to continue finding excitement in helping others express themselves both creatively and emotionally.
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
As a child I always wanted to be a teacher and a dancer. The two merged pretty well in the end. I had always danced on and off from a young age. It was one of the only forms of what doctors thought was ‘light’ exercise and executable for my conditions Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Naturally being a wheelchair user growing up dance wasn’t always the easiest things but I still managed to go to theatre school (Italia Conti) and work as a professional dancer and actress. Anything is possible with the right mindset and learning to understand your needs using creativity!
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
Always do your research. This is something that I found drilled into me at theatre school particularly within acting and can be applied to everything. The more resourceful you are going into any situation the better you can perform. From going into an interview, working on a client based project or simply writing cold emails.
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
Being a freelancer and having various working environments as well as my home being one. I get to make my environment whatever I choose. From the projects I choose to be working on and the range of schools/youth clubs I work with.
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
In five years time I’d like to see myself settling down and starting a family. I could list all my career goals, but the bigger picture for me and why I have the work ethic I do is to be able to set up a foundation to have a family. I feel because women have always been put in the back seat career wise in society and having to fight so much for equality in the workplace the complete opposite shift has happened. There is a sense of “Oh. you just want to be a mum”. We are many things, and being a mum is just as important to many, as it is to me - as having a successful career. It’s my ‘why’ for everything I do.
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
I’m currently working on a scheme called @blackbooksmatteruk which gives access to racially diverse books that both inspire and educate young people of all backgrounds to accept and amplify diversity. Story times and writing workshops for young people up to 25. Go check out their Instagram to get involved and find out more.
What drives you?
Like I said above, doing well so I can have a big family and provide for them!
Any final comments?
No, just thanks for having me!
What does a normal day look like for you?
Every day is different as a freelancer! I’ll always make sure I write wether its for a blog, current play or book I’m writing or simply just a poem. I’ll get administrative tasks around my arts platform which facilitates outreach programmes in the arts and making new theatre. I also teach six days a week from Saturday schools, top London theatre schools and for the outreach programmes I deliver for charities.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
I would definitely say writing and self publishing my first book REFLECT: 30 Days of Self Love. Not only the book itself but the personal journey I’ve been through to obtain the tools and outlook to do so, without my struggles and then perseverance it would not have been possible - everything happens for a reason.
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
As cliche as it is, my mum. She’s always just had a get up and do it attitude no matter what she has had to face in life, as well as being such a generous soul. These are things I feel I have taken from her and try my upmost hardest to transpose into all areas of my life.
What was your biggest failure?
I truly believe failure is fabulous and the ‘failure’ only occurs out of fear. When we have ‘failed’ at something, t’s important to remember that what allowed that to happen was us only reacting to a challenge with the best resources we had available to us at the time. With that in mind I would say that I spent to long be fearful of putting myself forward enough, incase what I had to offer wasn’t good enough when promoting myself and my work- you have to be unapologetic. Own your strengths!
What do you like most about yourself?
My passion. I do what I love and I love what I do.
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
By having a great relationship with ourselves. Without understanding, love and accepting for ourselves it becomes impossible to communicate effectively to target all the other social issues that are so prominent in today’s society.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
I would say my health conditions have really shaped who I am. My disabilities have taught me to think creatively and always see the light in things. With that I feel a good foundation of ‘simple’ skills that allow me to take on any challenge.