Lord Frank: People enjoy my voice than my acting
Lord Frank is an actor and voice artist. He is known for his roles in Being Mrs. Elliot, Road to Yesterday, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, Entreat, The Governor, Wives on Strike, Banana Island Ghost, Eve, Oloibiri and King of Boys.
He is also known for lending his voice to commercials for major brands. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, he shares his passion for acting and being a voice-over artist.
You have featured in a couple of top movies. What do you consider before taking up a role?
I consider the story, that’s very important; the directors and the other actors. Taking that into consideration certainly helps me in making that decision, if I want to be a part of it or not.
You have a captivating personality. How are you able to hone your skills?
One of the things I do is watch a lot. I learn mostly by watching. I watch a lot of actors and educational videos on YouTube. I read a few things with regard to acting. So that helps me to be efficient when it comes to acting.
What key skills have you infused into the Nollywood industry that has helped you to evolve?
I would say one thing I buy into a lot is ‘Salt or Teas’. The idea is that less is more. I really believe in that so much. I try to bring that into every character I play. I try to find the realness in that character and try not to go overboard with it. I just try to be a little subtle, find the nuisances of the character and bring that out.
As a voice-over artist, would you take up roles that do not enhance the use of your voice?
I would take up roles that do not enhance my voice or where I do not use my voice, because one of the first things people say when they meet me is, I saw you in this movie and you have an amazing voice. Sometimes I wonder if they recognise my acting at all. So, if I have an opportunity to show my range without actually speaking, I would take it. I look forward to taking such roles because as an actor, there are different ways to communicate and one of those ways is bonded language. Your eyes are saying something, your face is saying something, your body is saying something. If I can communicate without saying something, it shows how skilled I am, how skilled any actor is, so I look forward to opportunities where I can just perform without saying anything.
Have you always wanted to be a voice-over artist and actor? At what point did you take them as a career path and how rewarding has it been?
To be honest, I have not really had it in my mind that I wanted to specifically be a voiceover artist and actor. I’ve always loved to perform from a young age. I participated in dance competitions while in school and I like to make people laugh too. I didn’t know if I had it in mind either to be one of those things, I just performed, until my voice started being recognised and people started saying I needed to do something about it. This was between 15 and 20 years ago. I did my due diligence and I looked into it and I can say it has been rewarding thus far. I love being creative, it affords me the opportunity to be creative, and perform.
What key challenge would you say you have faced in the industry?
Not being paid what one is certainly due to collect or owed. Not being paid the right amount, not being paid on time, and to a certain degree, not being allowed to be as creative as possible. Sometimes that’s nobody’s fault. It is just that we don’t have the circumstances to allow that to happen.
What next should we be expecting from you, any project in the pipeline?
We have an Africa magic series that is coming up which I’m part of. There’s an animation and a movie coming up which I’m part of as well. And then a few movies I am also a part of. So please be on the lookout for them.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is very important, especially as an actor. It helps you get into that character. It’s one of the ingredients you need to find and become that character. As a person, fashion is very important too because it is the way you are perceived and you are received.
What is your favourite fashion piece?
My favourite piece right now is my wrist beads that say, that is written on it ‘Lord Frank’. I also like to put my logo on my outfits.
What key advice do you have for young people seeking to build a career path in the industry?
Believe in yourself, belief in your passion, if you believe you have a passion for it, and don’t let anybody stop you. Do what needs to be done, focus on the value that you need to provide, focus on the value and the rest will fall in place.
Most importantly, have a passion for it and feed the passion. If you feed your passion, everything will fall in place. They say hard work beats talents. I don’t necessarily believe that. I say passion beats both hard work and talent. Passion feeds hard work and talents.
Without passion, you would be easily discouraged, you’ll easily quit, you’ll stop, and you’ll move on to something else. If you are passionate about acting, voicing or anything else, feed it. Learn more about the craft you love and that passion makes you want to be better at it, which in turn would make you a highly talented individual because you’ve been working at it. So, feed your passion.
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