From Forest Gate to Hollywood

A FORMER Newham actor is living the Hollywood dream with a part in one of America’s most popular prime-time TV shows.

Ray Singh’s American debut came when he was cast as a character in a recently-filmed episode of the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy.

His audition for the Golden Globe-winning show has been a huge boost for Ray, who hails from Forest Gate and moved to Hollywood only 18 months ago.

Ray, 32, told the Recorder he did several auditions on the day. He said: “I was so tired but I went away thinking I did the best that I could.

“A week later I got a call to say that I was put on hold and it was 90 per cent I had got it.”

But the former pupil of Lister School, Plaistow, was cast for a different part to that for which he auditioned.

He said “It was my first US TV role and it was amazing – such a good experience.

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“Whenever you get to do an audition you are up against people that already have American TV credits, so I was speechless when they cast me. I have been here 18 months and have gone straight into prime time.’’

Ray added: “The entertainment industry here in LA has given me the experience of auditioning for other prime time shows but I was extremely surprised to have Grey’s Anatomy as my debut.”

He is unsure if he will be a regular on the show but hopes the producers will write his character in for additional episodes.

Ray said he moved to Los Angeles because he wanted to “spread his wings’’ and seek a fresh challenge. He said it had proved more fertile area for him.

He hopes his experience will encourage fellow thespians.

“I hope aspiring actors in Newham are encouraged and know that it is possible to carve out a career that is often shunned.

“Some people think if you are not on TV or if you are not famous then you haven’t made it.

“But it’s really not about that. Establishing yourself as an actor is not easy but then neither is being a lawyer, doctor or a science teacher.”

Broadcaster Stephen Fry, on hearing of Ray’s role in the show, said: “Ray, your friends are so proud of you. I don’t know which part of Grey’s Anatomy you’re playing, but I’m sure you’ll be fantastic.”

Ray developed a love for the performing arts at 11. By 16 he had a Grade A in Drama.

He beat stiff competition to gain a place at the Arts Educational School, one of London’s leading drama centres. He graduated in 2006 with an MA.

Ray has appeared at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, where he took part in various workshops.