How Yemi Oladele is encouraging young people to take centre stage - Out The Box: Inspiring Greatness

How Yemi Oladele is encouraging young people to take centre stage

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Now more than ever, young go-getters are perfecting their craft by any means necessary. Whether it's through locking into webinars or attending workshops, aspiring creatives are quickly realising the importance of tapping into the resources around them. One of those is Imey Arts - a platform which specialises in drama workshops for aspiring actors, drama enthusiasts and those who want to build their confidence. At their last drama workshop in September, Imey Arts called on the expertise of  two of London's brightest stars Tom Moutchi and Kayode Ewumi.

So how did such an awesome project come to be? We caught up with Imey Arts founder Yemi Oladele who, like a boss, is balancing a career as a Compliance Analyst while providing the best for aspiring actors.

Growing up, what were your goals/ambitions?  

I was always quite a creative person, at one point I wanted to be a TV presenter or a fashion designer and I always imagined I would have my own acting school. But as I got older I really enjoyed law and so I wanted to be a lawyer.  

How did your interest in drama begin? 

From the age of 8, I always loved acting and playing prominent roles in plays at school and church. 

When I was a teenager I attended John Robert Powers drama classes and I was part of Rhodes Agency. I did lots of extra work in college, and was an extra in The Bill and Harry Potter. But I did all that purely as a hobby, I didn't want to be an actress unless a fantastic role flew in my lap of course.


How did Imey Arts come to be?

I always dreamed of having my own drama school. So this year I decided to just give it a go and start with workshops. I started with a 6 week Saturday workshop for teenagers. Setting it up was not difficult I just had to make sure I had the basic legal requirements in place such as public liability insurance, making sure my teacher was DBS checked. Then I just looked for a venue and created the flyer.

The hardest thing is definitely promoting the workshop and reaching my target audience. Sometimes you get audiences that are harder to reach as they are less independent. My first workshop didn't have many people and it was tough, but I realised that whether the numbers are small or big for the one person that is genuinely interested, you have to offer them the best service you can. The best thing is seeing the smiles on people's faces when they participate in the drama workshop. Currently, Imey Arts runs workshops for teenagers and young adults. We are also looking to expand it to younger audiences.The workshops run throughout the year and can range from general drama techniques to one off creative days featuring guest actors. We are also looking to expand with a network of drama facilitators and run the workshops more frequently and reach more people.

Drama school can often be very expensive. What advice do you have for people who can't afford to take the extra steps needed to perfect their craft?

I think forming your own drama group with friends is always a great way to keep ensuring you are always working on your craft. With social media, putting videos of monologues on the internet can also help you connect to other people with similar interests. 

What tips do you have for creatives who have a passion/goal and are struggling to make it happen?

Keep pushing and keep trying inventive ways to get yourself out there. Also don't be afraid to take risks, the results may not be immediate but when you're doing what you're passionate about it will eventually pay off.



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