“As I was doing my law degree, I was doing a show in London. I was selling shoes and every dime, every dollar, every pound that I made was put back into acting.” – Chance Perdomo
For many actors, sometimes an audition isn’t successful but pays off dividends down the line. English actor Chance Perdomo revealed to Vulture that an unsuccessful period in his career led to his current starring role on the Netflix series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Though Perdomo originally unsuccessfully auditioned to play Jughead on Riverdale, his audition went so well that Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer and show developer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa created the character of Ambrose on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for him, though Perdomo still needed to do a screen test for the new character. He reveals, “I did a screen test with Kiernan [Shipka] and the monologue in front of the execs. And then two days later, just before I was about to fly out, I found out — ‘You got it, kid.’ There were no words for it! David Rappaport, the casting director, sent me a text with all-caps saying. ‘CONGRATS!’ And then my managers called me and said, ‘You’ve been here for, like, ten minutes!’ I was like, ‘Thank you guys so much, but I need to call you back because I have to call my mum!’ I called my mother and she was like, ‘What? OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! I’m driving! Wait, wait!’ And then she pulled over and I heard [mimics retching noises]. She was so overcome with emotion she had to pull over because she was heaving.”
Perdomo also explains that prior to going full throttle into his acting career, he was originally pursuing a career in law, though his initial success wasn’t followed by continued success:
“There’s this theater in Southampton called the Mayflower Theater. I did Bugsy Malone there, and then they recommended that I join something called the National Youth Theater — it’s a program where you join and you have opportunities to train and to act in London and around the country. I auditioned and I got in and I went to college, and then I went to do a law degree. As I was doing my law degree, I was doing a show in London. I was selling shoes and every dime, every dollar, every pound that I made was put back into acting.
And so, I’m in the show and I was still doing my law degree, but I’d gone on an audition and gotten through the final round and I’d just gotten a TV show. A child’s program! I was like, “That’s it! I made it!” [Laughs.] It was either my law exams or the show, but they were going to clash, so I took a leap of faith and I did the show. After the show, I heard nothing. It was radio silence for a year and a half.”
In the meantime, Perdomo kept training to keep his skills sharp. He continues, “I started acting at this part-time school called Elementary School of Acting where people like John Boyega, Malachi Kirby all went there. They kind of specialize in young, black British actors. As soon as I accepted their philosophy, I was getting role after role, and then Sabrina. It felt like a long process, but then suddenly when it came, it really came.”