On Friday 8th February the actor Hari Dhillon, best known for his role as Michael Spence from BBC Hospital drama Holby City, visited two London Academies: Skinners Academy in North Hackney and Westminster Academy where he led workshops with students as part of Mosaic’s secondary school mentoring programme.
The workshop events were organised by Maz Majid, Vice Chairman of the London Regional Leadership Group who met Hari at the Creative Diversity Network Awards. Maz said of the meeting: “We got talking about the work Mosaic does with secondary school students. Both myself and Hari feel strongly about presenting students with diverse career options like acting and the performing arts; there’s more to life than office work.”
During both visits, Hari shared experiences from his own professional journey; highlighting how his experiences as an actor are relevant to any career choice. Hari commented: “The career path for an actor has changed significantly, that’s why It’s so important to keep it simple.” Hari added: “The hardest part of my job is the audition and since it is not a stable career, it is important to plan for the future. Anything is possible if you set your mind to it.”
There followed question and answer sessions with the students at both schools, which included the odd cheeky question like: “What does it feel like doing an on screen kiss, and what does your wife think about it?” And: “Who would you rather be, Hari Dhillon or your character from Holby City, Michael Spence?”
Both schools conducted tours which provided a unique opportunity for students to interact with Hari; one student even tried to teach him to play the drums! Drum-playing student Mehmet Kivrakoglu joked: “it was really inspirational to meet Hari Dhillon especially for me because I got to play my drums and show him how to play them. It was a great experience.” Hari’s agreed: “Today has been really interesting for me, a real eye opener in so many ways!”
Westminster school then hosted a lunch with Vice Principal Dr Saima Rana and Principal Smita Bora. Smita commented: “I have been extremely delighted with Mosaic’s generosity in working with Westminster Academy. This event is yet another example of the exciting, high quality and innovative support Mosaic brings to the Academy. It is amazing to think that our students have been given such a prestigious opportunity, meeting Hari Dhillon and learning about his work.”
Year 9 student Shadia Moussa from Westminister Academy said: “Meeting Hari Dhillon was great. It’s not every day you meet a celebrity and meeting one was absolutely amazing!” Ehab Khettari from Year 11 added: “It was a pleasure to meet Hari Dhillon. He said he may even come to my performance at the Salmo Youth Centre!”
Would you like to be a Mosaic mentor? We are recruiting more mentors across the UK and we would love to hear from you. Find out more about how you can get involved.