Today I had the privilege of visiting AkomaAsa Performing Arts Academy based in South London. AkomaAsa Arts offer training in Western and African Diasporic dance and performing arts, create pathways and progression routes into performance and creative arts education.
I was not nervous about this visit because I have more of an idea of what to expect during these author visits. Although I have done book launches and book signings, going to a performing arts school was a new challenge for me. Being around talented young aspiring actors and actresses bought a new expressive engagement and energy to the workshop, which was great to lead.
The importance of reading and the groups passion for reading became really clear at the start of the workshop. I quickly learned how much the students knew about action and adventure stories. I was glad that most of the books they liked were ones I have read too, like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Their enthusiasm really helped me to give my best and meant everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves including me!
The next task brought even more incredible energy to the room. Groups were tasked with reading the first chapter of Shifted Code and then performing a scene a with their own twist on it. Some of the groups showed that they really worked hard on it which was lovely to see. Shout out to group 6 and 7 with the BEST performances. A special shout out to Raphael who in my opinion displayed the best acting skills of the day.
Before the end of the workshop students were welcomed to get their own copies of Shifted Code signed by me. A lot of children came huddling around the table and it was nice to see that everyone really wanted to read Shifted Code. Once the students received their books many of them asked me questions during the Q&A and I felt proud to answer all of their burning questions.
It was crazy to think where my book has taken me, across North and South London. I am really appreciative of how engaged and interested student were today. Going to the AkomaAsa’s Performing Arts Academy was by far one of the most exciting visits I have done so far because the students were a reflection of me.
Overall it was really enjoyable for me to see the students so passionate about performing, reading and writing at AkomaAsa’s Performing Arts Academy. I look forward to working with them again in the future! Thank you for having me AkomaAsa Performing Arts.