So You Want To Be An Actor/Actress - Munene Mutuma & Cleopatra Koheirwe....

Monday, February 7, 2011

My friends & fellow actors, Nick Munene Mutuma and Cleopatra Koheirwe (UG), inspired me to take time and put this on the blog. If you want to get into acting, they give some pretty great pointers.

Over and over again, I have received emails and texts and met people who tell me they too are interested in acting. This is great but the funny thing is that they think I can make their dreams come true. The fact is that I can not. IT STARTS WITH YOU! .

  • It is not easy and it is not a by-the-way. It is a profession, a job in which you have to put your time, effort and commitment.  In a feature film, documentary or TV series, there are timelines which are things in the script that determine time of day, date and weather. There are day scenes, night scenes, rainy scenes and so on depending on what is in the script and this cannot all be shot after 5pm like a young woman Cleo once met at an audition hoped. That is why actors/actresses spend more time on the set, working! 
  • Acting takes patience! It can be monotonous and strenuous because you act for hours and hours and repeat the same scene more than twice in order for the Director of Photography-D.O.P.(locally known to many as the camera man, but in film, this is his title which comes with a lot of professionalism and experience) to take shots of the scene in different angles. 
  • Acting requires discipline. Know your lines and the story of your character so you are on cue while acting and in sync with your co-actor. Keep time. Respect your fellow cast and the crew. Respect yourself too. Avoid alcohol or partying if you know you are to be on set the next day because this will show on camera, and it might affect your performance and professionalism.
  • Acting opportunities are not plenty so the projects are seasonal but the industry is slowly growing. The filmmakers we have invest a lot into a project and sometimes are lucky if they are funded by a sponsor production house abroad or a local company. You as an actor should make your payment negotiations with the people concerned before you take up a role. If you are not comfortable doing it, then don't because you will waste everyone's (cast & crew) time including yours. 
  • Acting is a talent, it should come naturally and if you really feel that you can do it, watch a lot of films, documentaries and biographies to learn more about the actors/actresses' experiences, acting and anything to do with this field.
  • Maintain a good working relationship with directors, co-actors and everyone on cast and crew team once u are an actor/actress because our East African film industry is small and word goes around fast if you are a real pain in everyone's a**. I am not saying suck up, No! Let your voice be heard but do it in a professional manner. What goes around comes around.
  • Auditions should be free, if you go somewhere and you are being charged a fee to audition, then that is strange.
  • Research: Read Newspapers, magazines and watch film programmes that host actors and film makers. Look out for anything that talks about film as you could find some useful information. There’s a lot you can get off the internet too but be careful because the sources may not be so credible. Research the acting techniques {Meisner, method acting etc}, watch clips of how to do them on You tube. Also take part in plays & have people who will be honest with you assess your performance.
  • Notice boards: Always check the notice boards especially at the Kenya National Theatre and Alliance Francaise for any info to do with film or theatre auditions. The more acting experience you have on your CV, the better for a film career.
  • Attend film premieres and film festivals: Here you will get to mix and mingle with film makers, actors/actresses and you might get an opportunity to hear of a new project that you could audition for. Film festivals are usually free. Make an effort to attend. 
  • Auditions: Go for auditions. Every actor/actress should go through this before attaining any role. Don't worry, being nervous is normal. I can never get used to it. :) But give it your BEST! Ask where you do not understand. Sometimes though, an established actor/actress will be called upon and given an offer of a role in a certain production but this happens after most of his/her work has been seen by filmmakers and they know his/her potential.
  • Take acting classes: This is a little tricky because acting classes aren’t available in East Africa but Acting For Film Training School at the Godown Arts Centre is one film company I know that helps nurture acting skills, camera, script writing and so on. You can go there and find out more or google them. 
  • Modelling agencies: These days, most production companies contact modelling agencies when they are looking for models/ actors. Unfortunately a few individuals have identified this as the new get rich quick scheme so be careful, some of them are scams or use only a handful their ‘best’ models.
  • Stay in shape or get into shape: Most of our local celebrities in East Africa gain weight after they start making bank. Nobody invests in their body, be one of the few & you will have an edge over the competition.
  • Facebook: Where would we be without it, huh? Make use of facebook too. There are many film groups but u need to search them up and see if any info suits you.
I wish you all the best!
Cheers! :) 


  1. nick inspired you?!! atleast he inspired one perason in this world... they alwys say do what i tell u not what i do.
    From my experience nick is a man whore if there is such a thing....he cheated on my grlfrnd so many times ans beat her when she asked him about it. This guy is so cruel he forced his girlfrnd Winner Joram who is in USIU to abort their child only because it would ruin his career. i wish some one would investigate him and tell the whole world about him...he is a devil

  2. Thats old news now evryone knows that storoo...its nothing wierd ppl abort evryday. Chalii alisha move on anamdate Noni these days.

  3. i love cleopatra koheirwe

  4. nick munene is just a preety talent

  5. i have posted this info from you to my account on another blog...Nice piece of work!!

  6. anyone saying crazy stuff about nick should watch it, if you cant prove it, then suck it...ooops! am sorry, you guys get a life. why do people always look for the worst in others? nktest

  7. Wow! some of u above really have a bone to pick with Nick Munene but I think all that is personal. This is definitely not the right avenue to address it.Remember that nobody is perfect! We try to be the best that we can. We all have our flaws but what matters is what we do to make ammends. All that u r talking about, seems it is one side of the story but there are always two sides of a coin so donot be to quick to point fingers. If the girl aborted, how sure r u that she did no lie to him about it and lie to u?? Wat if she got rid of it without telling him? Or wat if she told him she was pregnant then later changed and told him she was lying about it in the 1st place?? We can neva know the full story, only the two know and my advice is u stay out of it and let them resolve it. We all learn from our mistakes. That said, we must give credit where it is due and Nick Munene as an actor, he is amazing and an inspiration. That is wat this post is about.

  8. Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. How to Get Verified on Twitter

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