The Michelle Danner Acting School in Los Angeles Sits Down with Actress Roxy Ashiru
I’m Roxy Ashiru and I was born and raised in Nigeria, but I recently decided to take that huge leap and move to Los Angeles.
What first drew you to acting?
I can’t pinpoint when exactly it was because it’s been something that I’ve been wanting to do my whole life. I just remember my parents would buy me all these Disney films and musicals on VHS. And I would watch them over and over again, sing along and make believe that I was one of the characters. Then I was older, I started imagining myself in multiple scenarios, creating different characters and talking to imaginary people. After a while, it became a desire to embody an actual character and telling a story creatively. So I then started to research acting as a career and what the process of becoming a Film or TV actor. It just became this thing that I gradually became attached to and I just fell in love with the idea of acting for a living.
Which actors do you draw inspiration from?
There are so many but definitely the ones at the top of my list are Charlie Chaplin, Jack Nicholson, Emma Stone, Mindy Kaling and most recently Dustin Hoffman. In terms of Dustin Hoffman, I think it had to do with the fact that I spent a day watching Tootsie, The Graduate and Rain Man and I was just in awe of how versatile he was as an actor.
Where do you study acting?
Well, in the past few months that I’ve been at Michelle Danner Los Angeles Acting School at the Edgemar Center for the Arts. I’ve learned so much. From taking Improv classes to Scene Study to Script Analysis. And what’s so great about the program is that you’re given the chance to figure out what techniques work best for you and eventually discover your niche. You even get to learn the Business of the Entertainment Industry and how to network/market yourself the right way. The students at the Edgemar are also so friendly, humble and there to support each other. It’s really like a family. I’ve grown so much these past six months just from taking acting classes. I’ve been given the chance to take risks and challenge myself through my performances.
Which of your roles have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
When I was in high school, I got to work in Theater for the first time and I got to play this character, Amaria, who had gone through so much in her early life. It was challenging and I had to go to a very emotional place that I had never been before. It was emotionally draining but it was so worth it in the end.
Do you have any future projects planned?
I’m currently working on a few short films. I’m also writing my own web series at the moment, which has been such a fun process. I also started rehearsals for an upcoming show.
If you could co-star with anyone, who would you chose? Why?
Women in particular are often written and depicted in Film and TV a certain way. Like how they can’t be funny and/or sexy; or how they have to look a certain way or be a certain size/skin tone? But for sure, I feel like Emma Stone and Mindy Kaling would be great people to work with because they play relatable characters. They often break the mold of the stereotypical representation of women in Film and TV. I’d also love to be in a Shondaland show. Shonda Rhimes, in my opinion, is one of the best writers in Television and she knows how to create characters that are relatable, flawed and human. I just want to be in Films or TV shows where the characters in general are not stereotyped.
What are your goals for the future?
The ultimate goal would be to book a job for a show or film that is critically acclaimed, empowering and unique in it’s own way. But as an actress, I would love to become more versatile, challenged and learn to take more risks. I would also love to perfect the art of writing and create characters that are relatable for myself and for others.
Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?
The number one thing I would say is to be patient; and that is a hard thing to do. It’s definitely something that I still struggle with. However, I think it is an essential trait to have because this industry is so unpredictable. You also need to always work hard, believe in yourself and try not to be discouraged. Surround yourself with people that support and encourage you. Do not compare your success/failures to others. But most importantly stay humble and be nice!
And for our readers, please look forward to more interviews with aspiring actors and dreamers as we share what stories our students bring from their homes and journeys. More to come from Michelle Danner’s acting school !