Patience Erdoo Yisa: A new screen acting pearl pops up
If a new entrant comes into Nollywood and does not find a spot to perch on, it is either that the new entrant is not talented or has not deployed his or her talents effectively.
There is a new pearl of the Nollywood silver screen who has found a spot to perch on and who a notable entertainment website say is very good at what she is doing.
Enter the Kogi State-born, but Benue State-bred actress, Patience Erdoo Yisa, who colleagues describe as a natural beauty. Popular among close friends and colleagues as ‘Queen Pey,’ the Pey derived from the full value of her names, Patience Erdoo Yisa, and the Queen because she was at a time crowned Miss Tourism Benue State and Miss Glo Rock and Rule, also in Benue State, Patience has been lighting up the acting sky lines since she decided on a career in screen acting a little over five years ago.
From hits, such as Ibu and Adaku in London and Baby Seller, Queen Pey has shown in so short a time that she has the required acting chops that will keep her in reckoning as long as she works with the right crew.
Born and bred in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, her maternal hometown, Queen Pey studied Chemistry at the Benue State University and acting was a later career choice.
She explained: “I wanted a career in the sciences. Acting was a later career choice. Though I was into modeling during my university days, acting was never part of my plans.
“It was during my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) days that I decided to venture into acting, and I fell in love with it and straight away, my career swivel chair turned.”
Although Queen Pey acknowledged that whilst growing up, she showed stuff as a dancer and singer, the focused and unpretentiously friendly actress hinted that the turning point for her came after she watched fellow Kogite, Mercy Johnson-Okogie, display her inimitable runs in the blockbuster movie, Dumebi.
“I was a very good dancer whilst growing up. I literally would dance anywhere I hear the sound of music, be it market place, church or school, just anywhere. I was a good singer too.
“But I just woke up one day and made that decision and what fuelled it was watching Mercy Johnson play the lead in Dumebi the previous night. I literally cry each time I see Mercy Johnson act.
“The way she live the character, the passion, her carriage and how far she is always willing to go to interpret a script are very inspiring.“ I wanted to be like her, so I made my decision and moved over to Lagos. So, yes, Mercy Johnson is my role model,” she enthused.
In Lagos, Patience combed the streets, looking for acting opportunities. She finally got a referral that landed her a role in Ibu and Adaku in London, which that featured the outstanding comic actor, John Okafor, who is popular as Mr. Ibu.
As it is usual with movies with John Okafor in leading role, the movie sold out and fingers pointed to Queen Pey for her efforts in the movie. Her second movie appearance was in Baby Sellers, starring the notable comic actor, director, writer and producer, Charles Inojie, and the amazing Queeneth Agbor. That too was well received.
On how she felt watching herself on the screen, Patience said: “I was nervous watching myself at first, because I was scared of making mistakes or having the wrong facial expression.
“So, of course, I was proud of myself, but at the same time, I usually watch myself critically so I would not repeat the same mistake subsequently.“And my family are actually very proud of me and are very supportive.” Described as a bookworm during her university days, Queen Pay has featured in so many movies, with some still at various stages of post-production.
Asked to pick the most memorable of her movie runs, the actress picked a movie, My Love Alive, but added that she has found all the movies she has featured in till date, “very memorable.”
She said: “The most memorable, even though I find all of them memorable, will be My Love Alive. It was daring. I played the role of a prostitute in the movie, I smoked and did some crazy stuff in the movie.
“Another memorable movie is Frail, which I did for Aforevo Television. I played the role of a newly married lady who was constantly hunted by evil. It was a very challenging role and great story.”
But has acting been rewarding? Patience replied: “Yes, it has been very rewarding. I mean it is so overwhelming when you set a target and you see yourself achieving it. God has been faithful and so far, I am not complaining.
“The pain and gain of being an actress varies individually. For me, my pain is that once you are an actress, you have to become conscious of everything and everyone around you.
“People are also constantly judging you, no matter what you do. They believe you have to be perfect and your love life has to be perfect, marriage perfect, outfit perfect, food perfect, looks perfect.
“And once you don't meet their expectation, you become a bad person. It is hard sometimes, you know. I mean it is hard to combine acting and a full-time job, so the early stage of my carrier was a bit hard because the cash was not really flowing.
“But I learnt how to deal with that by combining business and acting. When am on set, I am doing my business.”Regarding her likes and dislikes, Queen Pey, who also named the indubitable actress, Funke Akindele-Bello, as her role model, said: “I like straightforward people. I dislike pretentious and proud people.
“As for food, my favourite food will blow your mind; I love pounded yam and Pocho. Sounds funny, huh? Pocho is a very nutritious Benue soup.“My favourite colour is white and favourite book is ‘48 Laws of Power.’
“I exercise a lot, eat a lot of fruits, sleep very well and, of course, I drink a lot of water.”And when marriage comes? Patience chuckled and replied: “When the right man comes, am ready to make that decision. But he has to be God- fearing, loving and honest in all his dealings.
“He also has to be extremely romantic. You know, I have got Benue blood running in my veins too.” Her career ambition is to be notable in the movie industry. “I want to get deeper into the movie industry and of course produce my own films when the time comes.
“I am also interested in directing, but I like to get deeper into acting, do more jobs, become well established and then I can take on other career roles, such as production and directing, as the Lord leads,” she said.