Actors elated at nominations

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, March 13, 2014    

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THE Pantry Playhouse in New Kingston was buzzing with local theatre practitioners on Monday night, who had all gathered to hear the 2014 Actor Boy Awards nominations.

When all was said and done, there were a number of very excited nominees.

Perhaps, the award for most excited nominee went to actress Julene Robinson.

The young actress chalked up two nods — Best Actress in a Lead Role for her work in Dahlia Harris' To The Finish, and Jonkanoo Jamboree mounted by the University Players.

"I am just beside myself," Robinson managed to utter as she grinned ear-to-ear, still shaking with delight even minutes after the announcement was made.

"I can't understand it, I don't know how to feel, I don't get it," she continued, trying to compose herself.

"I really didn't expect this. I do what I do out of a love for theatre and for this to happen... for your peers to recognise the work is just amazing," Robinson added.

Although she stressed that both roles were extremely different, she credits brilliant writing and directing for bringing out the best in her character.

Robinson was not the only actress with double nominations.

Nadean Rawlins and Sakina Deer also served up double whammies.

Rawlins, who was recognised for her supporting role in To The Finish and as a leading lady in the drama Departure in the Dark, has already won two Actor Boy statues and has lost count of her number of nominations.

"Oh God, it's in the teens... But I never get used to being nominated or ever take it for granted. For me, the win is the nomination, being declared winner is the icing on the cake," said Rawlins.

For Deer, this is her sixth Actor Boy nomination and she has no wins just yet.

"It a classic case of always a bridesmaid, never a bride, so let's see if that will change this year," she stated, laughing.

Nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her work in Ladies of the Night and If There's a Will There's a Wife, Deer too noted that both of her characters are at opposite ends of the spectrum, one being an extroverted street walker while the other is an unexposed country girl. Both characters required her to stretch her acting talents, which she is happy have been recognised by the awards' judges.

The male counterparts were no less excited about their nominations.

Last year's leading actor winner Donald 'Iceman' Anderson is again nominated in the same category this year for his performance in Basil Dawkins' My God Don't Wear Pajamas.

"I am so humbled and it feels good to be nominated for the work we put into this production. I am happy my manager convinced me to return to theatre as we are now reaping the benefits," he noted.

Veteran actor Glen Campbell has been nominated for 19 Actor Boy Awards and has won on three occasions and this year he returns to the list of nominees, thanks to his performance in If There's a Will There's a Wife.

"I am really happy for the nomination. This role was particularly challenging and so it feels special to be nominated for the work that I do and specifically for this character."

First-time nominee Jean-Paul Menou said his nomination has come as a surprise and is therefore taking some time to sink in. He has been nominated for his supporting role as the problem child and drug addict in My God Don't Wear Pajamas. He, however,

has no expectations going into the April 14 ceremony.

"I would love to win, but in a year with so many great performances it's really anybody's game," said Menou.





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