Talented Nigerian actor, Victor Owa, who has been featured in various movies like Aiyetoro Town, Dorothy, Relatives, Before Dawn, Ten Virgins and many more, in this interview with ROSEMARY NWOSU, talks about the struggle of being an actor. Excerpts…
Describe the struggles involved in becoming an actor.
The acting industry is the toughest industry in the world. The industry is saturated. We have more actors than roles. Every actor’s journey in the industry is completely different. Some will train for years perfecting their craft, then struggle like hell to find a job while some do very little training and find constant work. As an actor/actress, we often come across more struggles than we anticipate.
What are some of these struggles and how do they affect careers of actors on the long stretch?
Some of the struggles are; uncertainty, not knowing when or if you will ever find your big break. Rejection; there are times when you get rejected for some roles you auditioned for. The green eyed monster is seeing other people doing well when you have been working so hard and getting nothing. Not being proactive; expecting the work to come to you; it really won’t. Competition is another problem. The industry is saturated. There are far more actors than there are roles. False promises; being told over and over again that this is the project that will get your name out there or being promised a role on a TV show, in a big film and it falls through. Then comparing yourself to other people’s talent/looks/success.
In all honesty, which works best for an actor who is new in the industry, the talent or the connection?
Well, for me it has to be your talent.
Which of the films you’ve featured in gave you the level of prominence you currently enjoy?
My major work so far is ‘Coat of Arms’. So I’ll say this project.
You seem to be multi-talented. What else can you do beyond acting?
Aside acting, I sing and also play the western drums.
One of the recent films you not just featured in but also played a lead role in is ‘Coat of Arms’. How was that experience of carrying the weight of the film on your shoulder?
It was a sweet experience for me. After I got the script, I had to make my research about the character I’m playing, studied the actions of the character and why he makes or made some the decisions he made. I prayed about it and told God to lead and guide me through it.
How did you bag the role?
Sometime in November last year I made a monologue about ‘unemployment’, I uploaded it on my Instagram page. I got some lovely comments but on the December 9, which was my birthday, the producer of the film, Mrs. Blessing Egbe, saw the monologue and she was pleased with my performance. She gave me an opportunity to audition for the character, I did and God made it work out well.
Online monologues are becoming a thing now. How is that helping actors to keep their talent in practice in the casting process and more importantly amid this pandemic?
As an actor you just have to keep improving, and creating different monologues helps in polishing you as an actor. It’s good to also take up monologue challenges because it pushes you to go out of your comfort zone.
How do you draw inspiration for the roles that you play?
First of all, I read the script to understand the character and make my research about the role I’m taking.
Where do you see yourself in the next three years in the film industry?
In the next three years, I see myself doing so well. I can’t say what the future holds but I’m taking steps to make great achievements happen. I could just be holding the AMAA or AMVCA for Best actor in a movie.
What is the ultimate secret of staying motivated as an up and coming actor considering the several ‘nos’ that you’re bound to get while starting out?
Have a picture of the kind of actor you want to become and work towards it. Some doors will be shut by God for the right ones to open. So don’t dwell on the ‘no’. Work hard and improve yourself for a “yes”.
What will you say to actors who are on the verge of giving up on striving to showcase their talent?
Never give up. Just keep working on yourself and keep improving. There’s someone out there watching you. I always say this: ‘no late comer for success, aeroplane sef dey trek before e flying’. Take every disappointment as a motivation. Think of where you’re coming from and where you are going.