We were lucky enough to sit down for a quick cup of over-Zoom tea with Actor Syrus Lowe to find out a little bit about his life in lockdown and how he found sitting on the RADA audition panels from the comfort of his own home.
It has been a busy few years for Syrus, from finishing his West End run of The Inheritance, Matthew Lopez's groundbreaking play on the 80's AIDS epidemic, appearing in Channel 4 series 'Home' to playing the iconic Jacob in Simon Callow's play version of La Cage Aux Folles which came to an abrupt end at the Park Theatre due to the COVID Outbreak, to sitting on the RADA Audition panels, he never seems to rest. Here we ask him a few questions about how he has been doing..
Hi Syrus, how are you?
I am really great thank you.
What are you up to at the moment?
At the moment I am mainly writing a TV Show with a close friend and fellow Actor over Zoom. I am focusing on that mainly and as many creative projects as possible. I think this is a strange time and focusing on creating my own work as much as possible is important. This time has opened the door to finding other ways for us as Artists to create. This is the time to think about what we want to do once this period has passed.
How have you been keeping creative?
By watching as many things as possible online and TV. But mainly, by giving myself a break and not giving myself a hard time. There is so much pressure to feel that we need to write the next Lear during this pandemic but we need to give ourselves a rest and a chance to re-charge and possibly just enjoy finding some hobbies. I've just become obsessed with vinyls, which I've always been interested in so FINALLY I am doing that!
What positives do you hope will come from this difficult and uncertain period?
There has been such an inspiring uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement and a vital conversation has started to happen around all aspects of diversity so I hope when our industry kicks off fully again, we start telling even more diverse stories for even more diverse audiences around race, gender & disability.
The Inheritance, which transferred to the West End after a sell out run at the Young Vic, was a huge success. The Evening Standard said 'it is the play of this year, next year and quite possibly the year after that'. How important was it for you to be part of telling that story?
It was so important to tell the AIDS story properly to a generation that did not live through it. The Inheritance has a new resonance now we are living in an age of COVID. For me doing the play was such an important time in my career with it being such a vital story to tell, and getting to be in it with such an incredible cast and seeing the audiences immensely powerful responses was amazing.
How did it feel sitting on the RADA audition panels via Zoom?
It was a little strange but It was actually a really great opportunity for me because I got to see so many more young people auditioning than I would have in person. There are no distractions and I was able to really focus whilst in the comfort of my own home. Self taping is such a huge part of our business now so for the people auditioning it is a huge opportunity for them to experience what it is like to do a self taped audition.
You are currently in the latest BT Broadband commercial which has a gay couple at the forefront. Why is equal representation so important in advertising?
Representing is as important whether it is a play, film, advert or any aspect of our industry. If you want a diverse audience you need to be reflecting society and presenting diverse work across the board.
What do you think the positives are of Self taped auditions for drama schools?
What amazed me about watching the auditions on tape was how well it translated and how as a panellist you can still spot the same things you do when it is an in-room audition.
What is your advice for Auditionees auditioning for 2021 Entry?
I would imagine most first round auditions will be on camera so try and do it in front of a plain background. Don't do too many takes. Even though you can doesn't mean you should. Often your first instinct is the most truthful. Do it on your own. Do whatever you need to make yourself confident and less self conscious. Often I would hear a friend recording in the background, for example, or fiddling with the camera, which can distract us as panellists.
What final words do you have for any Actor finding things difficult at the moment?
We will get through this. It's global and it's affecting all industries. A lot us are having a hard time and as frustrating and tough as it is not being able to do what you love fully at the moment, use this time as productively as possible.