Hi Nataylia, thank you for taking the time to come and talk to us at BAT. We know at the time of this interview you are in China performing in a show, how has that been going? And how is your day thus far?
The show is going well. The Chinese audiences are more reserved than British audiences, however by the end of the show you see how they appreciate our work. Always lots of photo opportunities here. The theatres are huge spectacular buildings here so it’s great to experience. I feel totally embraced by the Chinese community. It's my day off today so I am relaxing, I like to stay connected online and I’m writing a book, I will also go for a pamper later, nail salons and massage parlours galore here
The 'Triple Threat' is an American term used to describe a performer who is gifted in Acting, Singing and Dancing, we know you can do them all just by looking at the body of the work you have done over the years. Which one is your favourite out of the three and why?
My favourite out of the three is singing, I am primarily a singer songwriter & from a young age I dreamed and desired to do most of what I have so far, so I’m very grateful.
You starred in London's West End hit musical The Lion King as Nala, how did you prepare for the role knowing that she was as powerful and brave as Simba? What part of you did you bring to the character?
It was a major accomplishment for me to book that role, because I didn’t get funding for drama school. I believe what Nala represents I already had in me, hence I booked the role. Nala from what I remember is a very determined girl, many people describe me this way. My preparation was to research, believe & deliver the scenes the best way I knew how, at that time. I have now grown so much. I totally look forward to embracing my next West End leading role.
Tell our younger readers or persons who have never performed on a major stage like the West End or Broadway what the feeling is really like when you step out on that stage- what's going through your mind?
I would share with the youngest readers, that theatre is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences you will find, nothing more exciting than doing your part and every night receiving a different ambience from the audience and rapport with your fellow actor's. It’s the feeling that you take away, and your audiences embrace that makes long and lasting memories. I am trained to breathe on stage moment to moment so that's always my aim. If it's your first, experience or first night you may have a few nerves but with experience comes ease
You work all around the world in some of the most exciting cities and islands, can you just name some of the places you have performed in for our readers- we promise we won't get jealous? And where else in the world would like to go next?
Well I have worked in Birmingham where I was born, London my home town, Europe, L.A, Vegas. I have also worked in TV in New York- but yet to do theatre there, so let’s see if it’s meant to be? China, French Polynesia, Champagne BayVanuata, Holland, New Zealand, Italy, Cannes. I have a fascination for Ghana which I am yet to go, however with my recent film Afuas Diary, there is talk of a premier happening there this year.
Let’s talk about Nataylia Roni the business woman and entrepreneur. Was it a natural choice to have more control over your career?
I believe business is important, I work in a business called show, so it was natural for me to want to learn more. In regards to control over my career, I can only do so much, it’s really a joint effort between myself my faith, agents, casting directors. There was a time I lost my passion and desire to perform, however I am excited, and have been for a long time for new and fresh opportunities to come my way!
What are the businesses that you run?
I’m a small business owner, with lots to learn. Firstly, there is my music available on iTunes, as a singer songwriter- it’s my ministry. Then I am passionate about uplifting youth, I believe we all have a story to tell and something to contribute to society. So I created and facilitated workshops, under my company Pampering World in which I hire other professional facilitators to go into environments where young people are to make a difference. I also have a book coming out linked to this. Its great because my career brings me to places I dreamt of going, and there I can share my work businesses.
You are a Christian how does that dictate what types of roles you are willing to play?
Well for me this is a choice to not compromise my beliefs and values, this does not mean that all Christian performers would do so. I have not found doing this a challenge
Knowing that this is a very competitive industry and there is a big percentage of time waiting for the phone to ring, has being a Christian given you more faith and patience?
Indeed, my faith and my business allows me to have more patience. This industry is what you make it.
Finally what would be your advice to someone who is gifted in all areas of performance singing, dancing and acting how would you tell them to balance their lives?
Be clear on your strengths and work it. There is a saying, your GIFT will make room for you. So if your gifted, keep doing what you do and it will all manifest. Believe, network, train, enjoy the process & stay focused
For more of Nataylia Roni – Twitter @IAMNATAYLIA – Facebook: NatayliaMusic