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Flexing for screen

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Preparing actors before they get on screen lies at the heart of a one-day expo and boot camp being organised by Fabian Thomas, executive director of Sankofa Arts & Facilitation, and is set for August 31 at the National Volunteer Centre in St Andrew.

The Actors' Flex will offer a workshop on acting for film with film directors Kurt Wright and Gabrielle Blackwood, a session with actresses and talent scouts Deanne Allgrove and Noelle Kerr on tips for actors to increase knowledge, improve professionalism and get cast, a life/career coaching session with Thomas, and the review of and feedback on portfolios, resumes and headshots.

“I've been thinking and talking about it for a while, and decided it was time to actually do. I find that a lot of people here in Jamaica are getting cast for commercials and film, but especially for commercials simply based on their look. A lot of them are not experienced actors and so it makes it harder for directors who now have to coax some form of acting out of these people as it turns out a lot of these people simply can't act or even speak in the manner required. So, I stopped talking about it and put this together,” said Thomas.

“The response has been really positive. We have found that a lot of these young people are happy that there is something like this for actors. The young people who are passionate and eager are so glad it is here and are registering. Even persons who have acting experience are happy for such a workshop, as there can be no such thing as too much training,” he continued.

Thomas' boot camp will end with a panel discussion with actors who have been cast in local and international films moderated by playwright/director/producer/actress Dahlia Harris.

He plans for this to be the first in a series of capacity-building activities targeting performers and others in the creative industries. Among the areas to be covered in the workshops to come are voice and speech training, as well as what he described as a hardcore acting master class.