Friday, 28 December 2012

Cynthia Erivo | Interview

Cynthia Erivo trained at RADA and she is currently playing the role of Deloris Van Carter in the UK Tour of the West End hit, Sister Act. Before that she played Madeleine in the Umbrellas of Cherbourg at the Gielgud Theatre. Her other credits include Ellie Jackson in Marine Parade, Leila in I was Looking at the Ceiling and then I saw the Sky and Constance in The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain. Cynthia also was a support act for American Idol winner Fantasia Burrino and was nominated for a BEFFTA for best female act 2010. I caught up with Cynthia on her busy tour schedule to talk about her...

How and when did you realise you wanted to perform?
As cliché as it sounds, I knew I was going to be a performer when I was five, it's actually one of my clearest memories..... I was asked to sing silent night on my own in the nativity play that year, and I remember that after I ?nished singing there was applause, I remember loving how it felt to hear that and see people happy..... I was hooked.

Were your family and friends supportive about your career decision?
They always have they always will be, they've been with me every step of the way.

Was there anyone in particular that inspired you to be a performer?
Not when I first started but as time has gone on there has been loads of inspiration and not just from other actors and singers but from the closest people around me.

RADA is one of the most established drama schools in the UK, how did you find your training?
My training was extremely intense but well worth the work! I wouldn't change a thing!!

Have you learnt anything in your career that you wish you could have been taught at RADA?
Every day I learn something new! If RADA were to have taught me everything my job wouldn't be as interesting as it is, the discoveries I make about myself and what I do are half the fun!

Deloris Van Carter must be a dream role to be able to perform so early in your career, so how did you prepare yourself for it?
Vocal lessons, a small change in diet, vitamins, rehearsal and as much rest as I could get and a holiday before I started! But I had to cover all bases before I left. I still don't think I was fully prepared for everything but I'm ?ne now I'm getting there.

How do you think your other credits have contributed to your experience you've brought to Deloris?
Well I guess each character I play, draws out a small facet of me that you might not otherwise see and I guess once they've been pulled out it's easy to access them again and this role pulls all of those bits out whether it be vulnerability or a little ?re I use it.

Obviously the current situation in the west end is that a lot of new shows aren't doing as well as they should, and you have experienced this from being in the recent production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg but how was that from an actress's point of view?
Well I suppose though sad it wasn't so bad for me because I was going straight on to Sister act so I guess I had a lack of burden knowing I was going on to another show, however I loved Umbrellas so I couldn't help feeling disappointed that something so different and new hadn't been able to survive.

What has been your personal career highlight?
SISTER ACT! Oh and being able to meet Whoopi Goldberg and Patina Miller!

So Sister Act is touring the UK and Ireland into 2012 so why should people come and see it?
Because its about joy, it's about music, it's about love and it's quite frankly a fabulous time to be had by all!

What do you think you'd like to do after Sister Act?
I'm not sure yet, whatever comes my way if it's right for me I'll have it!
Follow Cynthia on Twitter: @CynthiaEriVo

 Left to right: as Leila (I was Looking at the Ceiling, Stratford East), as Deloris (Sister Act, UK Tour), As Madeleine (Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Gielgud)
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