The talented young actor, Darryl Mundoma, talks auditioning, new projects and future goals
Starting out as an actor while the world is in the grip of a pandemic is not the best idea, but if that’s how life pans out, what can you do but crack on? Darryl’s introduction to a TV set was wearing a mask, keeping your distance and regularly hand sanitising. He says: “It was weird, but fun.” Over the last couple of years Darryl has filmed A Christmas Number One, Mammoth for BBC1, This Sceptred Isle for Sky Atlantic and the third series of Band of Brothers. Not bad.
Darryl was never a drama school kid growing up and aside from teaching himself street dance and a secondary school teacher introducing him to contemporary dance, he wasn’t really used to the stage. However, he was interested enough to consider Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) as an option for his A-Level studies and talented enough to bag a place.
BOA specialises in performing arts alongside an academic curriculum and is the only school of its kind in the Midlands and as such it’s competitive. Darryl’s route in was slightly different to the other year 12 starters. For one reason or another he wasn’t able to make the group audition, so had to go in on his own and workshop with existing BOA students which was a bit nerve-racking.
Darryl’s specialism was acting, but he found being around other creative people specialising in perhaps music or dance really beneficial. He explains: “It was a free-spirited school. My best friends specialised in music and we were able to create together and learn from each other. It’s a beautiful thing. I love meeting different people just as passionate as me.”
Darryl signed up to an agent while at BOA which he says wasn’t the norm, but the teachers were supportive and helped him prepare for auditions. Not sure about going on to drama school after BOA, Darryl was keen to get started on his career. However, he took some advice from his teachers and applied to a handful of schools. He was offered a place at Drama Studios London, so he upped sticks and moved to the capital.
Having said that Darryl doesn’t believe you have to be in London to get ahead in the acting world and admits the “cost of living is ridiculous”. Having filmed BBC1 comedy, Mammoth in Wales he was really impressed with the studio facilities and the projects being made there. He says: “Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham are all doing great things too. The theatre scene in Birmingham in particular is something to be really proud of.”
While Darryl’s natural home is TV and film, he loves a bit of theatre too. “I do love screen but the thing with theatre is you just throw yourself in to it with a one shot mentality. You put your faith in rehearsals and practice but something new could happen at any point. It’s daunting, so you need to channel that.” Darryl’s focus is the type of work he wants to make. He says: “I want to make impactful work that has a deep meaning ultimately.”
Covid has scuppered coming home to Brum as regularly as he’d like, but Darryl makes the trip as often as he can. Just before Christmas he went back to BOA to do an alumni talk to the current students and was blown away. He says: “Seeing the students with so much potential and full of hunger and burning questions was so nice. They’re just as hungry and hard working as I was. It was a pleasure.”