Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.
Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Digging Potatoes with Josette Simon
Don't panic, I'm not actually up to my knees in potatoes and soil with Josette Simon OBE. I did, however, have the pleasure of an hour 'in conversation' with the multi-award winning actor, and when she compared her process of characterisation to digging potatoes she left me wanting to dig for more of the strength, truth and diversity which she discussed so passionately.
From the moment the conversation began, Simon radiated a natural charisma and sincerity, as she recalled her experiences growing up in Leicester and discovering her unexpected career path. She consistently demonstrated her passion and personal resilience, from building a thick skin in tackling adversities, to her relentless pursuit of the 'absolute real' in her work.
The highlight for me was Simon's desire for the highest standard of work across the industry and her refreshing views on race representation. She encouraged her audience to embrace individuals regardless of ethnicity, and as part of the human race, calling for diversity based on merit instead of numbers.
This culminated in an engaging and thought-provoking session which left me feeling incredibly inspired. If all creatives thought more like Simon, I imagine the industry would paint a much more diverse and supremely talented picture.
Want to join the potato dig? You can check out the other events as part of De Montfort University's Cultural Exchanges Festival, taking place from 26 February - 2 March 2018, many of which are free!