To celebrate Black History Month, we caught up with Stagecoach Sheffield and stagecoachathome teacher Tash Moore, to get her thoughts on diversity within the performing arts industry. Tash is a professional actor and studied at the Guildford School of Acting. Her career highlights include Miranda in Return to the Forbidden Planet, Columbia in The Rocky Horror Show and Brooke in Noises Off.
She loves teaching young people to sing and believes that performance is a vital part of a child's education and development. It boosts their confidence, encourages creativity and enhances their communication capabilities, giving them Creative Courage for Life.
Since graduating in 2004, Tash believes there are more opportunities now, for black actors in leading/prominent roles compared to a few years ago. However, she believes there is still progress to be made. “It’s not just about changing guidelines, it's about changing people's mindsets and attitudes”
In recent years, productions and films such as Hamilton have had a positive impact on diversity throughout the performing arts, inspiring whole new generations of diverse performers. Modern productions are demonstrating that diversity is easily achievable and Tash has high hopes for the future, “I would love to see less type-casting in the industry and this doesn't just apply to ethnicity, it applies to any physical or verbal attribute. How a person looks or sounds does not affect their ability to act. To be truly inclusive, all auditions should be open to anyone, regardless of the colour of their skin, their accent, or their gender.”
A large part of being a professional actor is attending auditions. “I've faced terrible challenges in terms of diversity as an actor, and that has been upsetting.” Tash says. Regardless of the role for which you are auditioning, it is vital to prepare thoroughly and approach it with confidence. “Setbacks are often part of the job.” says Tash. “It’s important not to feel disheartened if you don’t get the part after an audition as long as you’ve done your best. If you feel that you are being challenged by non-inclusive attitudes or approaches, please speak out! There are so many fantastic support groups out there to help you, including your Stagecoach teachers!”