Romantic roles have always been difficult for me – Patrick Diabuah


Patrick Diabuah is a fast-growing Nigerian actor, musician, voice-over artist and part time sculptor. Patrick became more popular after starring in the award- winning stage play, ‘Saro the musical.’

He has equally featured in several theatre productions like ‘Wakaa the musical’, ‘Kakadu the musical’ and ‘London Life Lagos Living’ to mention a few. His film/TV credits include the award winning ’93days,’ ‘Tinsel’, ‘Boomerang’ among others.

In this chat with OMONIYI ALLI, Patrick reminisces on his career as actor, musician and sculptor amongst others.

Q: How did you become an actor? Was it by coincidence or by choice?

A: Initially the plan was not to become an actor, although I’ve always wanted to perform on a stage or in front of a camera from when I was pretty young. I mean as young as age seven, I was already mimicking the characters I saw on TV.

But I really decided to be an actor after secondary school. I left secondary school as a science student but realised a few years after that I wasn’t cut out to be a scientist. I wanted to be a doctor or a pilot in the army.

In fact at some point, I wanted to be too many things. So I thought to myself, how can I be all these things? I decided to become an actor. I went to the university to learn performance.

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Q: Who or what were your early influences?

A: My earliest influence was Patrick Cargill who played Patrick Woodford in the British comedy many ‘Wives of Patrick’. I didn’t know what the show was about. But I was just drawn to the character or shall I say the actor.

There was also Mr. Olu Jacobs, Joke Silva, Funsho Alabi, Robert Powell, and let’s not forget Michael Crawford and John Clease. I have a long list but let’s keep it short.

Q: Would you regard Patrick Diabuah as a lover boy?

A: Lover boy, well, I know I like women and I respect them and will never treat them as “a play thing”. I can be smooth if I decide to be, but I think I’ll reserve that side for stage and screen.

Q: How do handle romantic roles?

A: Romantic roles have always been the most difficult for me to play. I believe it’s because of its subtlety, but then it has to be big enough for the viewers to feel it and yet authentic enough for them to believe it.
So what I do most times is build trust with my scene partners. So I start off by knowing who my partner is, what they like. Basically we just become friends. It’s easier for me, to play romantic roles with a friend, than a complete stranger

Q: So how easy was it for you blending, knowing that you are coming from stage?

A: It wasn’t easy at first but you know having that stage partner that we were trained on the stage to be large, to be very big. It wasn’t easy but I got over it after first two days of shoot.

Q: Is there any other dream role that you would love to play?

A: I have always wanted to join the army but my mother prayed it out of my brain, I will like to do more of action, do more of stunts like I said it has always been my dream as a child and these things are driven just by the desire to just change the world.

Q: What do you look out for the most before accepting a script?

A: I know it would be cliché to say I look out for a good story, but yes I do look out for a good story. One that I too can learn something from.

I also look out for a story that can take me to a world outside of my existing reality, that’s another reason we are actors, the fun of escaping to a different world. The privilege of leaving behind every day, that we have so much come to take for granted.

Another thing I look out for is the character I will be playing, the more complex the better

Q: You are a sculptor, voiceover artist, actor, singer and acting coach. How do you cope with Imposter Syndrome?

A: I think it is only natural sometimes to feel like you’re not as good at what you do. I’ve learned to see that feeling as natural and somewhat true. But instead of letting it drive me to the ground, I use it as a springboard to push my skill to the next level. In the words of Marcus Aurelius “throw me to the wolves, and I shall return, leading the pack”.

It is a bad feeling -“impostorism” but then what are you going to do about it? I choose to let it move me to the next ring of the ladder.

Q: What will you say is your most memorable experience on stage and screen?

A: I have had many memorable moments on stage, one which would be the Trials of Brother Jero, very memorable production for me. My first time on a musical too was one I would not forget in a hurry.

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