By: Oveshnie Pillay
No two actors are alike and as such, each must find the concepts and skill sets best suited to their individual artistry.
This interview was set with Farrell Drew to help us improve our hidden talents, to introduce ideas and techniques to ones developing personal approach to artistic skill.
1. Describe yourself to me and what you do?
Always such a tough question. How does one define themselves in a matter of sentences? But, to say the least, I am a charismatic, spontaneous and passion-driven man who has begun to find his footing in the entertainment industry. I have recently completed my studies in Drama and Production at the Durban University of Technology and relocated to Johannesburg to make the most of what the industry has to offer me.
2. What is your favourite part about acting?
When a student is finally recognized as someone who is able to master their craft, acting no longer becomes an art form but a lifestyle. I am continuously fascinated by the craft. I suppose the ability to continually transform into another human form and be handed the freedom to express those stories in a way that is indigenous to you, is a gift that was bestowed to all actors.
3. Being on Top Actor Africa, tell us what were the challenges that you were faced with?
Perhaps the biggest challenge was facing being on set. Bare in mind that I was two days fresh out of University when I arrived in JHB for Top Actor Africa. Specializing in theatre, TV and film sets were particularly daunting for me, so I had to quickly adjust and learn as we went along. In retrospect, it was the best hands on training I could have gotten. The entire experience was like a priceless masterclass with the best in the business. Sometimes, it’s best to let your challenges and fears work for you, rather than having them hold you against your will.
4. Who has inspired you the most? Why?
You’re killing me here! So many to mention! So many who have unknowingly pushed me toward greatness! But, since I HAVE to choose one. It’d have to be Tyler Perry. What a brilliant man! He had the audasity to believe in himself when the world told him he was weird. The courage to believe in his work when people laughed it out the room. That’s the artist I’ve chosen to be. To stand unmoved with passion, belief and integrity. Also, he’s a triple threat, just like I aspire to be. Actor, Writer, Director.
5. What was your worst audition story?
Funnily enough, I don’t have any, just yet. There will always be an audition that you look back on and think, “What’s wrong with me? What am I even doing?”, but that comes with the territory. I’ve been blessed enough to almost always get a casting and that could be owed to my selective choices. I’m very conscious of what I want to do and which projects I whole heatedly want to be involved in, and so usually, it works in my favour.
6. Which of your performances has left a lasting mark on you?
I’ve been fortunate to have had many memorable encounters, but the pantomime performance challenege by Jesse Suntele and I on Top Actor Africa at an orphanage in JHB, undoubtedly left a lasting imprint on my heart. The kids shook the room with an energetic standing ovation and filled our ears with jubilee, choosing us as the challenge winners. One of the Top 5 moments in my life.
7. If you could trade places with anyone in this world for one day, who would it be and why?
Great question. Not so sure I have such a great response. I’d have to settle with Steven Spielberg. I’d get to have 24 hours of insider insight into one of the most beautiful brains on the planet. Also, I’d most probably make his networking list mine. Just for the heck of it.
8. In the alternate universe in which you are not an actor, what would you be doing?
Photography. Hands down. I love scenery, observation, whether people or inanimate objects, and I love taking pictures, as my Facebook account will justify. In fact, nothing stops me from doing it in this universe either.
9. Where to from here for Farrell?
Only on to bigger and better things. The doors of opportunity have been opened and I’m eagerly awaiting take off. I haven’t limited myself to doing anything specific, I’ve decided to be broad minded and branch into things that are less predictable. The public have been amazing thus far and to them I owe it all. I hope to release a Debut Single in the near future. Also, look out for my written works and of course, me on your TV screens. It’s only just begun.
10. Your message to aspiring Actors out there.
Know Your Truth – If you cannot confidently say who you are, knowing your flaws and all, if you can’t sell that to someone, then how dare you try to honestly portray someone else’s truth.
Know Your Worth – Do not settle. If you have trained as an actor, spent your time learning and honing your craft, then you can only tolerate exposure for so long. Afterward, you need to understand that you’re more than just an actor, you are also your own brand and a businessman and the only way to put bread on your table is to start operating as all three.
Tame Your Passion – As actors, in a small industry such as ours, we are always hungry to work. Work is limited and the industry is continuously evolving. However, you have to take the passion you have for your talent, and channel it in a way that serves multiple purposes. If there isn’t work. Create it. If there are roles being offered to you, that you cannot identify with or cannot connect to but your taking it on because you’ve run out of options, don’t do it. Be wise and be careful what you involve yourself in. You are a brand. Once you taint your reputation, its tough to bounce back.
1. What’s the girl fashion trend that confuses the heck out of you?
Platform shoes! I’m sorry. I just don’t get it.
2. Watching TV or Reading?
Netflix and chill! I love watching actors perform, in all different genres with various characters to observe. Its a learning tool for me. And, I get to have fun doing it.
3. McDonald’s or Mum’s food?
I have an Indian Mom! So, I’m gonna have to go with the latter.
4. What’s your worst habit?
I sometimes have this uncontrollable urge to correct people when they use a word in the wrong context, or even mistype something via social networking. Its a disgusting habit. But I like to see it as partial OCD.
5. If you won R100 , but could only keep half of it, what would you do with the rest?
Invest it. I mean, there isn’t much you can do with R50 these days. I suppose an investment would show greater return! Hypothetically speaking, of course.
There is no doubt that both South Africa and the entire world would be behind this young, inspiring and dedicated man through his journey of success.
On behalf of #TheBokemLegacy team, well wishes goes out to Farrell Drew in his future endeavours.
Follow Farrell on:
Twitter: @FW Drew
Facebook: Farrell Drew