Arts & Culture

First-timers react to Actor Boy nominations

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@ jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, March 10, 2019

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Last Monday's announcement of the nominations for this year's Actor Boy Awards, which recognises excellence in local theatre, revealed a number of first-timers making the cut, especially in the acting categories.

Best Supporting Actress nominee Samantha Brevett ( Sugar Daddy); lead actress nominees Trishana Wright ( Sugar Daddy), Aisha Ritchie ( One Blood) and Sabrina Thomas ( As He Watches), as well as One Blood's lead actor nominees Rashiem Shepherd and Oraine Meikle are among those having a show at theatre prize for the first time.

All the newbies were in high spirits when they spoke to the Jamaica Observer following the announcement which was made at Phoenix Theatre in New Kingston.

Rashiem Shepherd has two personal nominations among the 12 for the gritty drama One Blood. He is nominated as lead actor and as writer of the production. He described the moment as being exciting.

One Blood started out rough. We began as a flat story, then I decided to put in some real situations, real energy, real vibes into this project . How does a gunman raise his youth? How that same youngster reacts around an aunt in a Christian home? As we took it from there and that's when it became a real story. To be honest we hoped for nominations but certainly not 12. That we really never bargained for, but we are so grateful and looking forward to the event,” Shepherd told the Sunday Observer

David Tulloch's erotic thriller Sugar Daddywas the very first production for Wright. It is therefore not surprising that she was visibly shaken.

“It feels extremely amazing. I must give God thanks given all the blood, sweat and tears I put into this and all the sacrifices. I really feel overwhelmed at this time. I'm just grateful. Initially, I felt frustrated when I did'nt think, I was getting the character right and I wasn't sure what the audience would think. but as the rehearsals went along I really got a lot more comfortable. I was able to push that behind me, not focus on the audience and push all of that behind me. From now on I'm just moving ahead, the sky is the limit and I just want to set my sights on really bigger things,” said Wright.

Her co-star Brevett was in awe of the nomination

“It was a marvellous idea for me to take on the role in Sugar Daddy. It was a lot of research as I had to go into my character Anita. It actually raised the bar for me. I used to think that I cant do certain types f plays and comedy was only for me. Getting into a serious role helped me elevate myself and realise that I can take on more challenging roles,” Brevett noted

With seven nominations head of Kinteet Entertainment, the production company behind the comedy Jeezum Peas! is also doing well. At Monday's event, it was announced that this production has already won the Actor Boy for Best Revue by virtue of being the only nominee in this category.

Thomas also expressed her joy with the nomination

“ I feel amazing and blessed because I worked hard on this production. It is the first piece that I wrote and acted in and I was very scared about putting it out there, but it paid off .”

Craig McNally of Kinteet Entertainment shared his thoughts on the accolades.

“It's great. Last year was the first time I actually won an Actor Boy Award and won in a category that usually is won by someone else who is very accomplished in lighting design. This year to have received so many nominations and even moreso to have won a category already, is really tremendous.”

The Actor Boy Awards will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel on April 1.


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