“Everyone at school was picking universities on UCAS and I already knew I didn’t want to be an engineer or a dentist or do any of that stuff… I wanted to be an Actress”
Colette Dalal Tchantcho is a young Cameroonian/Kuwaiti actress and workshop leader currently based in Kuwait. She graduated from The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) in the United Kingdom. Colette discovered her love for acting at a young age, and when drama was introduced to the school curriculum in middle department at The British School of Kuwait it had only pushed her closer to her dreams. She started off by achieving high merits with the LAMDA examinations that were introduced to the school, and then began her journey at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.
“LIPA focused on individuality and heightened and refined what made you the best you”
We had the pleasure of interviewing Colette and learning a great deal about her experiences and struggles in the United Kingdom and how she got to where she is today, and we’ve got to say… she’s one inspirational lady!
What advice would you give someone if they told you they were joining drama school or a performing arts school?
All that people told me, I never really listened to and I don’t think anyone who is eager to go and do this will listen either. But I would tell them, it’s going to be extremely hard, because that warning/caution helps not to beat yourself up so much, when it does break you at times. I would also tell them not to get distracted… not to get caught up in the attention, the alcohol and drugs, because you’ll most likely fall off the wagon before it’s even actually started! Drama School is the test run and a safe place to some extent. Don’t get carried away with what people say or do in response to you or your work, it’s all subjective and you’ll receive criticism on a much larger scale in the industry, so look at it as prep and start learning what good you can get out of ‘constructive criticism’ instead of soaking it all up and letting it paralyse you. Accept that you are a student of acting, not a finished product, don’t be afraid to explore and don’t stick to what you think is your thing! Exercise your intuition and take ownership of your crafts, you get as much as you put in. Finally, You are going to miss home… and you might be gone for long stretches at a time, where you make so many discoveries within yourself… you might not even feel like yourself at times… but you need to accept that you’re on a mission, figure out what makes you feel grounded at the end of a rocky day and if being an Actor or Performer is still what you want by the end of it, understand it requires all of you.
What are you trying to achieve with acting and the arts in Kuwait?
With the workshops I’ve put together, I’m hoping to provide a space where actors can immerse themselves and explore different techniques, styles and methods, in hopes that they will find something in even one of those that really helps them in approaching their work, with truth and (effectiveness). I would like to create a space where they can explore all the different areas of their skill, their artistry; their craft. I don’t want to limit them, I want to offer them all sorts of exercises to let people discover for themselves what area they would like to expand upon, who they are as performers, and hopefully help in producing more well rounded actors here, or more insightful at least; it’s more of a discovery, and the opportunity to give someone a toolbox of skills that they could make use of before they hit the a stage. There are other exciting things in the works, but you’ll have to keep updated for that.
With a strong will and determination to encourage an artistic community, Colette is seeking to give people an opportunity for the amateur, aspiring and professional actor to discover their distinct styles and techniques. Acting workshops will take place on Saturday 21st February from 7pm – 9pm at ART SPACE on the basement floor of Galleria 2000 in Salmiyah- Kuwait. Please note that you have to book your places for this event by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The fee for the workshops is KD10, please be aware that these workshops are for ages 18 and older.
‘A Night in the West End’ @ The British Embassy, Kuwait – April 2014
Photography: Jack Wakim
One World Actors Centre CIC