Ricardo P Lloyd is a British actor known for his participation in film, television, and theatre. With a BA in Performing Arts, Theatre, Film and Stage, in addition to a Master of Business Administration, Ricardo P Lloyd is a career driven individual who is determined to help and inspire the younger generation with his work. His most notable works include appearing on Sunday Morning Live, as well as his involvement in the production ‘Excluded’ (2019), of which gained widespread coverage amongst well known stars such as Naomie Harris OBE, Tosin Cole, and many more. Ricardo’s career was seemingly just beginning to take off when lockdown hit in March 2020. Now, having suffered first-hand the effects that COVID-19 has inflicted on the arts industry, he is eager to implement a message of hope for a younger generation looking for direction and advice…

Creating Your Own Path: An Interview with Ricardo P Lloyd by Jessica Doran

Hey Ricardo, it is great to finally get to have this Q&A.

Firstly, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to do this. You are such a great platform and medium.

It is a pleasure to speak to you! I hope we can translate the positive message you are trying to get across.

I thought I would begin by having a look at your social media; it is evidently very driven towards inspiring young people. It also feels very career driven and I noticed that you have just written your own film. Would you mind talking a little bit about that? How did you get into making the film? And how have your own experiences influenced your work?

The making of the short film Call It A Problem came about from a conversation I had with a dear actor friend of mine, Jordan Cover, an up-and-coming talent. We discussed representation and diversity, and this inspired me to write and develop something. The industry has taken a huge hit because of COVID. I feel that times of crisis or panic are the greatest time to create. Some of my greatest work has been produced under times of uncertainty, check history. Rather than wait for opportunities to fall from the sky or my agents to call. I decided to use my initiative working with fellow creatives to create something that will be impactful. It is important for me to place my own destiny in my own hands. My own experiences will always contribute or influence my work as an artist (actor). You have to tap into things from your toolbox or lived experiences, this makes you find and create the truth in that piece of art.

Lockdown can be a tough environment to keep creative. What advice would you give to young creatives struggling with their mental wellbeing?

You are never alone; there are people, organisations, and places that can help. Never feel like it’s a shameful thing to reach out for help. I can say this wholeheartedly as I went through a lot last year which was played out in the media. One thing that helped me personally is having people that I can talk to, that is key. It is freedom being able to express how you feel and take a step back and look what is going on with you objectively. Sometimes people feel it is a taboo thing, but I am glad issues around mental health/wellbeing are now being the topic of conversation. Jessie J said it’s okay not to be okay; that is true. Life is a progressive journey. What matters in life is not the circumstances but how you are able to deal or handle them. It is not what happens to you but how you handle what happens to you. There are tools and strategies that can make your life better, you have to find them and apply them. To any person reading this interview you are not alone, never feel you are.

How are you continuing to get involved in the arts industry? Are there any groups or websites you can advise people to use if they are looking to do the same?

As well as continuously building and investing in my own career, I like to also involve myself in projects that spark change, this is very important to me. At the time of this interview, I just came off a zoom meeting with my old youth theatre director Darren Raymond. I am a part of a panel called The Round Table where we are working with big organisations within the arts to make it more inclusive so that people from disenfranchised backgrounds can be in spaces in the industry and not feel like they are being excluded. The Round Table discussion will take place with Darren Raymond, Artistic Director of Intermission Youth and young people/graduates of the Intermission Youth Theatre programme including Esther Odejimi-Uzokwe, Micah Loubon, Morenike Onajobi, Natasha Kamanga, Ricardo P Lloyd (myself) and Tyrese Taylor. I want to continue to use my platforms to be a positive voice of change. Do not stop, continue to see and create opportunities for yourself, do not limit yourself. Tap into the networks and resources around you own it. Continue to create!

Ricardo P. Lloyd Interview Photo

Ricardo P Lloyd Photo Credit: Daniel Samray

I think that it is a powerful message that you are trying to get across, about feeling unheard and lost in society. As a young person taking my first steps into the creative industry myself, I can relate to this. What would you like to see being done to help more young people, in particular, those from underrepresented groups (ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ+ community, disabled people, and individuals from lower-socio economic backgrounds)?

Change is a progressive thing, there have been people that have been the aid of that, for example some of my personal acting hero’s like Ashley Walters. When I was growing up, I would look up to him, he was one of the few black actors I could see on our British TV screens. What he represented at the time to me was that it was possible to be a successful black actor in the UK, not in the typical sense, but he helped to inspire a new generation of talent breaking down boundaries. Representation is a key thing not symbolically, but it is having people of diverse backgrounds in positions of power that represents these groups of people. That is how culture shifts.

As an actor yourself, in what ways would you like to see the film and television industry being used as a platform to help more young people to succeed?

Different art mediums in society have always been important. We all need to know and recognise that it is a powerful medium that can inspire and spark change. It should be used to create an environment of growth and learning. So creators need to be more responsible when producing work bearing in mind it affects our current generation and future to come. I hope this answers this question.

I noticed in the article you sent us that you have started creating music. Tell us a bit about that. What do you like to write about? Has this helped you during lockdown?

I am an actor, I will always be one, but I am an artist in the true sense of the word. Art expresses itself in different forms. Music is one of those forms.  I was going through a lot last year and music was a medium that helped me to express what I was going through and feeling inside. As I was not acting as I wanted to be. There were numerous productions and projects I had missed or had been cancelled due to COVID.  It can be frustrating as a creative not being able to create. I had to find a way to express artistically. Any work I do, it should be truthful to me, my soul. I let what I create come from itself rather than try to control every aspect of it. I am just a vessel of expression.

Who would you most like to work with in the creative industry and why? Perhaps a favourite director of yours, an advocate for mental wellbeing, an actor, comedian, or musician.

We can all name drop but I would like to say this truthfully I want to work with great people (human beings) who are passionate, who are real, who are authentic to themselves. Who are conscious, who are empathetic and sensitive to the world around them.

That’s great, so what would you like our readers to take from this interview?

Take from this interview that you are enough despite what anything externally tries to tell you. Dream big, do great things. Take risks, love yourself, respect yourself and others.  Life is way too short to be on the spectrum of ‘what if’. Have the ‘do it now’ mentality!

Thank you for speaking with us Ricardo; the work you are doing to inspire young people in the creative industry is really positive and I wish you the best of luck in everything you do.

If you would like to find out more about Ricardo P Lloyd, head over to his social media accounts at @ricardoplloyd.

You can find out more about Ricardo P Lloyd on his official website https://ricardoplloyd.com and also on his YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyrdvkxzuOtLrXjH5xQDviA

An Interview With Ricardo P Lloyd by Jessica Doran.