Young students of the performing arts were invited to Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center in North Philly to participate in a discussion about the realities of being an actor. All the panel participants are Philadelphia-based actors who have appeared in the popular HBO series “The Wire.” The actors described their struggles, triumphs and motivation for sticking with show business.
Nakia Dillard, Joilet Harris, Chris Mann, Kamal Bostic-Smith, and Brian Anthony Wilson are Philadelphia actors who can be seen in television and film productions and got their start in local theater. They conveyed to the young performers that not everyone is meant to be a star; there will be periods when roles are few and far between. They stressed the need to save for those times, stay positive, and don’t give up.
Dillard, whose company Aikan Performing Arts trains actors, organized the event, hoping that the information session would provide practical advice for the young performers. “Success is not an overnight thing,” said Dillard. “I wanted to show that these actors have been working at it for years.”
Students were able to ask questions that would help them strengthen their craft. Dillard adds that the actors on the panel teach classes for kids and adults twice a week at the MLK recreation center.