‘I like challenging roles’- Essence, as she debuts in new movie

Sonorous singer, Geraldine Uwale Okoro, popularly known as Essence is pursuing another passion she has for entertainment which is acting. She featured in a movie entitled, Kumbaya produced by Ade Praise. Encomium Weekly had an interview with her about her foray into acting.


What inspired the decision to venture into acting?

That is what I studied in school. I studied Theatre Arts. I have been doing guest appearances in some films before now. I featured in a movie sometimes back and the response has been impressive. Acting is another true passion for me.

How will you describe the experience?

It has been tedious. You have to stay with different cameras. They have to get the lighting right. The Nigeria factor is also there, there wouldn’t be power supply which might make the work drag.

Will you say you are enjoying your acting career?

Yes, I am. It is fun. I met a lot of fun people on set. All crew members had different names I gave them. I gave one of the directors Father Christmas because he has white beard. I gave another person Uncle Mic, because he was always asking for his mic. I gave another Omoga because he is tall. It was fun all through.

Tell us about the movie you just featured in?

The title of the movie is Kumbaya, the producer is a first timer, his name is Ade Praise. The movie is a musical. It has acting and singing together, most of the actors are singers. So, it was really easy. We recorded and there was also like singing. It is different, I think the movie is first of it’s kind. There was real life on the spot singing.

Tell us about the role you played in the movie?

I was a club singer and a single mother. I was Linda in the movie. Linda was facing challenges, she was addicted to alcohol. She has a son whom she found out to be a homosexual.

How juicy was it compared to singing?

It is the same for me. Like I said, I studied it in school. I will say it is more time consuming. We have been shooting for a month now compared to music. We can finish an album in a month. We can finish a song in 8 hours.

Money-wise, it is also good but not commensurate with the ‘wahala’. I will say the producers tried.

Which is your favourite between acting and singing?

They are both avenues for me to express myself. They go hand in hand. I am shooting a video, I am also acting in it.

How do you hope to combine the two?

The good thing is that I am working for myself. It is easy to balance life like that. You can choose your time, so, it is easy to combine. There is continuity in the sense that you can start and get it done much later if you cannot finish it at once.

How challenging is acting for you?

It is not challenging. I am good at taking in the lines. I have retentive memory. I put in for Theatre Arts for my first and second choice. So, it is inherent, it comes naturally to me. I also do my home work. When I was given the script, I did my home work. I know they were not there to see Essence but the character. I was able to fit into the character. I changed my mannerism, my comportment as well. When I was told I was to play the role of a lousy club singer, I was excited. I didn’t want to be the pastor’s wife, I like challenging characters.

Are there more scripts waiting for you?

I hope so. Before this movie I featured in, I had featured in another movie produced by Shola Fajobi. A couple of people saw it and the response has been impressive. I hope very soon, other scripts will keep on rolling in.

Tell us some of the cast of the movie?

Ronke Oshobi, Iya Awero and a lot of others.

What is happening to Essence’s music life?

I am still writing, still putting pen on paper. I want it to be well done. I want to take my time, there are a lot of deliberation on the person to produce the song, who to feature in the song. We want to get it done, write first before we go back to the studio.

In the next five years?

I don’t know. I just hope to be alive and kicking. Whatever we see, we will see.


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