Angie Le Mar
Posted on April 15 2015
This week's Wednesday Woman is the fabulous Angie Le Mar. Angie is a talented British comedienne, actress, writer, director, presenter and producer. Read about what drives this extraordinary woman below:
Bardega: Angie, you are an incredibly multi-talented woman. Can you tell us about your background and what inspired you to follow the career path you took?
Angie Le Mar: I have always loved to make people laugh, even from a very young age. The need to perform started with my family whom I would perform for at any given moment so I guess it was a natural start into my chosen career.
I come from a strong family background with incredible parents who taught me how to fly; how to believe in myself. So when I chose to become a stand up comedienne, although it wasn't the norm, it was obvious to me that I had the ability to do this. My family were naturally concerned at first, but they had raised a confident, strong girl, who believed she could do anything and so they supported me.
Bardega: What part of your career and life are you most proud of and why?
Le Mar: There are many moments in my career that I'm proud of, one of them was deciding to write a show simply because, as a black actress, there were no real roles for us. Then I had the gift of dyslexia, so I struggled with auditions which meant I would rarely shine. So I then thought to myself, “You’re going to have to write your own show and star in that.”
I wrote Funny Black Women On The Edge, a sketch show where I wanted to show black women as more than just down trodden women. I wanted us to be funky, sexy and cool. The show was a huge hit, smash box office hit and, at that point, I thought ”I guess I'm a writer now.”
Bardega: What was the biggest obstacle you have faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
Le Mar: The biggest obstacle I have faced, and I think the next generation are now facing is the fact we are tired of having to keep proving to the mainstream that black people on television should be normal programming. In the 80's, change was happening, and in the 90's, I felt we reached a turning point, but that was just a phase, and today we have no real representation so the reality for me is ownership, it's about creating content to present on the world stage.
My feelings are that cracking the mainstream here in the UK is a difficult task and very time consuming. It's not in people’s hearts to make change, and if it's not in the heart, it won't reach the mind. Yet, when we get over this obstacle, we become even more creative and find other ways to build a bigger audience.
Bardega: You wear a lot of hats – writer, producer, director, talk show host, comedienne, businesswoman. What drives you to do and achieve so much?
Le Mar: What drives me? There is so much to do, and wearing so many hats has come from trying everything. I wanted to tell jokes then I wanted to write jokes. Someone told me I had a voice for radio - I believed them so I tried it, and you know what, they were right.
Initially, I couldn't afford a director so I ended up directing myself. I couldn't get sponsors so I paid for it myself. What I'm saying here is, we don't know half of what we can do until we are tested, and we tend to pass when we are pushed - my father would say, "When the rubber meets the road."
We are told don't be a Jack of all trades, master of none, but I say that’s rubbish, we can master them all! You just have to trust and train yourself for the market you’re entering, and do your best. Plus, who wants to do one thing forever?!
Bardega: What advice, if any, would you give a younger Angie?
Le Mar: What I would say to a younger Angie is simply, “You will be fine. I know your dreams feel far away, but that's life, you will get there in the right time so just trust yourself.
Try everything until something sticks, you'll know because you will wake up early to do it. Be nice to people, and don't share all your dreams
You're not odd, you are unique, and you are beautiful, always remember that. Don't worry so much! Just pray daily.”
Angie's book 'Full Circle' is out later this year.
Angie will be interviewing some of her own inspirations this summer in Home Sweet Home Jamaica which will be on OH TV! ~ trailer below.