Ugandan-born Sheila Atim may be relatively unknown in the States and other places, however, the 26-year-old Briton is making her mark.
The actor, composer and singer won Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical at the Olivier Awards, the British rendition of the Tony Awards held in the United States.
Beauty and brains
Atim originally planned on becoming a doctor – earning a degree in biomedical science at King’s College London.
In 2014, Atim decided to dedicate all of her time to acting. Subsequently, she studied singing and drama at not-for-profit performance arts school Wac Arts College. It was there she met playwright Chè Walker who cast Atim in his play “The Lightning Child.”
Of her experience working with Walker, Atim explains to Vogue UK, “He’s very ‘what you see is what you get'” “So that makes me feel comfortable being exactly who I am without having to put on anything extra. I consider myself a fairly straightforward person with no frills, so it’s good to know that there is somebody who is encouraging that, somebody who sees that and appreciates that.”
She continues, “It’s absolutely vital, it’s the same as sport. I think doing the arts makes better adults. It’s not fair if only certain children can access that. Even just giving them the chance to see a show. My school was great because I got to see quite a few full shows, but I know that’s not a common thing. And I went to a state school as well. Those few experiences really changed the way I saw things.”
Her words of inspiration? “Another piece of advice is to try and create stuff,” she added. “I know not everyone is a writer, not everyone is a musician or a composer, but having a little glimpse into another aspect of the industry is really important. It broadens your mind, it broadens opportunities, and I think that’s very much where the industry is going these days – a lot of people are multi-talented.”
Atim has appeared in “Halcyon Heights,” “Harlots” and “Lexi and Micky.”