5 Questions with Shan AkoShare with friends
Even before her performing career led her to leading roles in Whitney: Queen of the Night and Les Miserables, Shan Ako was always involved in music, whether singing, writing songs or playing the guitar.
Offstage she’s active in her community and says if she hadn’t become a professional performer she would have become either a psychologist, make-up artist or stylist.
You can catch Shan in the Monday Night at the Apollo musical theatre concert, live and livestreamed on 14th Jun.
Why did you decide to work in theatre?
I've always loved theatre and always sought any opportunity to be a part of a production. So once the opportunity to be in the West End with Les Mis (came along), I was extremely grateful.
I've been to many auditions in the past, from receiving no's to touring theatres in the UK and Europe. It's taken time but been such a great journey so far!
Engage as much as possible in the arts—creativity can be a therapeutic outlet.
What’s something that you've learned along the way that you use often?
I've learnt how important it is to lead with kindness. Also, the importance of a healthy/disciplined lifestyle, as this can reflect in how you deliver on and off stage.
What experiences have shaped who you are and how you work?
I'd say most are the performance-based experiences I've had. From my time at The BRIT School, to touring, to being on TV, to being in the West End, to living through a pandemic. Not forgetting my faith in God and close-knit family. These are where I hold my core values and foundation.
What advice do you have for people wanting to engage with the arts right now?
I definitely encourage them to engage as much as possible in it—creativity can be a therapeutic outlet.
Also, there are so many platforms to now engage or share your artistic side. The world needs the arts so much right now and there's so much talent out there.
There are so many platforms to now engage or share your artistic side. The world needs the arts so much right now and there's so much talent out there.
What kind of theatre would you love to see more of?
I think theatre is in a great place and there's a large variation to choose from/already showcased! Creatives are thinking more and more out of the box.
I also think it's important for ethnic minorities to be cast in more shows/popular roles. There is some amazing talent out there. Some just need the opportunity to be seen, for example through open calls.