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Afro Archives Episode Five

20 June

Afro Archives Episode Five: “What Do you Do With Your Hair For Theatre Rehearsals?”

An actor in theatre rehearsals, wants to be free. We do not want to think about our hair. As the practicalities are discussed by the actors on what they do in theatre rehearsals with their afro-textured hair, to manage frizz and shrinking, actresses Ann Akin and Martina Laird give a commentary on the lack of knowledge of hair and make-up artists in the acting industry when it comes to afro-textured hair, and darker coloured skin.

This is a topic that is getting covered more and more. It recently featured in The Stage, our industry magazine. Matt Hemley reported on comments from Equity’s ethnic minority councillor, Peggy-Ann Fraser, “TV hair and make-up artists can’t cope with us”.

“I feel like I have to shrink”, “I have to make it easy for them” are comments from Ann, which I found upsetting to hear.

Ann Akin

Ann Akin

Industry Frustrations

If you have afro-textured hair, there are frustrations only you experience. An industry that is focused on catering for only one sector of society, with European-type hair, to the disadvantage of others, is discriminating. 

 Afro Archives A Performer's World

Martina Laird

Afro Archives A Performer's World

“I don’t want to spend hours having it braided and tonged, I am too busy for that.”

Afro Archives Episodes Five “what do you do with your hair and theatre rehearsals?” and Episode Six “TV/Film work – continuity!” are about differences. They are about identifying discrimination. Comparing the experiences of the actors of different cultural backgrounds working on stage and on TV and film.

 Missed previous episodes? Catch up with my blog commentary at Africa Fashion!

Press Play below for Episode Five – Love Hair Talk

Afro Archives a Performer's World by Ayesha Casely-Hayford

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