At least 80 Kenyan actors have benefited from a two-day acting masterclass at the Business and Students’ Centre, Kenyatta University, from
American actor, producer, screen writer and director, Morocco Omari.
The program, which started yesterday and ends today, has Omari sharing tips and a free actor Director Training for budding young actors and film directors.
Omari, who plays Tariq Cousins, an FBI agent in the series ‘Empire’, has also featured in various TV series including Prison Break, Chicago Fire and Homeland.
“The stories in Africa are so rich and there are so many stories that need to be told. In America, we kind of live in a bubble, so many hospital shows, police shows, and we get bored,” he said.
“When I come to Africa, I hear all these stories and I’m like, ‘That should be a movie’ or, ‘That should be a show’. I’m inspired as an artiste because I am learning something new.”
Omari asked Kenyan actors to focus on releasing material back at home than strive to do it in Hollywood. At home, he said, they stand a better chance of telling their stories without any interference.
“Tell your stories. You are going to tell the story of Kenya better than Hollywood. Hollywood is going to probably hire African Americans who don’t speak the language and the key role is not going to look like you.’ We have to tell our own stories, that’s the best way to do it and then be so good so they can’t deny it.” he said.
“Life has taught me that you can dream big. That dreams can come true and keep coming true, and that anything is possible. To always be open to learn and grow and to never say never. To experience life and to travel because travel has enriched my life so much and educated me so much that when I go home, I will be sorry for people who don’t even do it because they will never see the beauty of Kenya.”
His parting shot is a word to those who want to make it big in the film industry.
“I would tell them to never let success go to your head and never let failures go to your heart. To keep walking forward, don’t enjoy the journey because you want to enjoy the destination. To be open. To continue to learn and work hard. To be human. To be open. Always be curious. To travel, as it helps you with your art. To never give up and to never let anyone tell you that your dream can’t come true. To give back, to pay forward and take some time to yourself to relax.” he said.
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