Over the weekend I attended & helped with the cookout that my family gave. It was to celebrate my niece safe return home and to thank her sponsors for their generous donation’s. They say it takes a village to raise a child well it took one to send her to England.
Although she did explain she had a slight hiccup on her journey back to the United States going through customs & it was because of her name. Other than that she enjoyed her experience.
She explained to me how very thankful & truly blessed she is of all the family, friends & supporters that helped her achieve such a great exprience.
During the cookout I was able to get one on one time with her & I asked if I could interview her for my blog about the program she participated in.
I feel honored that she let me do this interview. I told her that I wanted to let my blog followers know about this program & her experience in it.
Of course I said when she becomes famous & some one ask is this your first time being interviewed she can say “nope my auntie was the first to interview me.”
So this is my very first interview and while it may not be perfect it has encouraged me to want to do more interviews.
Me: Where did you go this summer?
Bismillah: I traveled to England for three weeks & stayed at Oxford University at Wadham College which is about an hour away from London.
Me: What was the program you participated in?
Bismillah: It was the British American Drama Academy (BADA). I studied shakespear which I absolutely loved & it was amazing.
Me: And what is the British American Drama Academy?
Bismillah: It’s a drama school in the United Kingdom that enable students from around the world to study classical theatre with leading actors & directors of the British theatre.
Me: Do you know what the goal of the program is?
Bismillah: Yes. It is to bring the best British directors & teachers together with young actors of great promise in North America & elsewhere.
Me: How did you learn about the program?
Bismillah: I attend Duke Ellington School Of The Arts in DC where I am in my senior year. They offered me this amazing opportunity to audition for BADA that no other high school offers.
Me: What did you have to do to be accepted?
Bismillah: I had to do two monologues, contemporary & shakespeare. So I did a shakespear piece The Merchant Of Venice with a few other students. I actually wasn’t acting I was playing the violin which I have been playing since I was three. There was so many unspoken lines and what caught their attention was my facial expressions & that’s what got me selected.
Me: Once you were selected you had to raise money for the program.
Bismillah: Yes. I had approached my family & with their help & the help of my sponsors I was able to go. The money raised helped cover all my expenses. I also realized that Europe is expensive.
Me: Where you nervous about traveling so far from home?
Bismillah: Yes. This was my first time traveling without my mom or any adult. I’m only seventeen so I was afraid I had the US Embassy on speed dial.
Me: When you arrived at the airport in England who greeted you?
Bismillah: The first chaperone was Rachel who was very nice & easy to talk too & once I got to Oxford University Kellum my other chaperone met me. The chaperone’s really cared about each & everyone of us. But Kellum was my favorite.
Me: Was it hard for you to adjust to the time change?
Bismillah: sort of.
Me: What was your first day like?
Bismillah: The first day was hard because we had to get up early & I didn’t want to get out of bed. They took us on a tour of Oxford but all I really wanted to do was sleep but after that first day I was fine. We did go on a few more tours.
Me: What were a few of the classes you attended?
Bismillah: Acting, movement,character & speech.
Note: she did attend more classes than I have mentioned.
Me: What type of food did you eat?
Bismillah: Fish & Chips. I ate it so many times it was ridiculous. And now it has become one of my favorites.
Me: You mentioned that you got a chance to visit the places where Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings & parts of Narnia was filmed.
Bismillah: Yes. As we toured they showed us the inspirations for the many different characters in those & other movies. Although we couldn’t go into one of the castl’s because we didn’t have ticket’s it was still an amazing tour.
Me: Explain about where you were staying & how it relates to Harry Potter.
Bismillah: I was staying at Oxford where they got the inspiration for the “hall” in the harry potter series.
Me: Is it true that you purchased the Harry Potter Book Series while visiting England?
Bismillah: Yes, but that is a long story to tell which can not be shortened.
Me: Now that you are home how has the experience enhanced your life?
Bismillah: It has made me become a more responsible person especially with money. I am aware of me & my presence. I also understand why it’s important to let your loved ones know where you are. Before the trip I didn’t always tell my mom where I was going but now I do. I’m not the same person I was when I left. I feel like I have matured.
Me: You attend the same high school that your mom attended & how has that experience been for you.
Bismillah: When I first started Ellington I was scared it was my first year & I wasn’t sure if it would be a good fit. I had many conversations with my mom who kept encouraging me to give Ellington a chance and I’m so glad I did. Ellington has given me some really amazing opportunities that I would never have had.
Me: How old were you when you started playing the violin?
Bismillah: 3yrs old
Me: Do you like playing the violin?
Bismillah: Yes. I did once stop playing & it was the worst decision I ever made. I now have a deeper appreciation for it. I feel a connection to the violin and that’s why I continue to play.
Me: Does your brothers play the violin?
Bismillah: Yes. But my older brother Fadlullah is amazing at it. I hope to one day be as good.
Me: Have you thought about what you will do when you graduate high school.
Bismillah: I want to major in theatre for my under graduate degree then go to graduate school & law school. I want to become a criminal justice lawyer but before I go to law school I want to fulfill my goal to perform on broadway.
Me: What colleges partner with BADA?
Bismillah: Sarah Lawrence in New York & Howard University in DC which I am applying too.
BADA has had some notable students that have attended the program like Orlando Bloom, Paul Giamatti, Jami Kennedy & Oliver Platt. The notable teachers that have taught in the program have been Ben Kingsley & Jeremy Irons.
I have faith that as she continues with her journey she will be the next sought after actress on broadway & hollywood.