LIKE your typical class clown, Keanu Daley loves to make people laugh. But don't be fooled, his school work is no joking matter and this was clearly evident in his recent performance in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations where he secured nine distinctions and one credit.
The 16-year-old Ardenne High School student said he was probably one of those considered least likely to perform so well in the regional examinations. However, like any good actor, he ended his high school tenure on a high note, much to the delight of his family members, friends and teachers.
"When I came to high school I was an average student. I got good grades when it mattered most. I was a 'B' average student and I was actively involved in other things, so it was basically in grade 10 that I started excelling academically," he said. "People don't know me for academics, so they were like wow!"
What Daley is known for more than anything else are his drama presentations, which have over the years won him numerous accolades. From as early as six years old, Daley recalls that he was very good at impersonating people. He later joined both the drama and the sign language group at Clifton New Testament Church where he attends, and was further groomed for both areas. Although his involvement in drama presentations have taken up more of his time, the teen still enjoys communicating with both the hearing and the hearing impaired through sign language.
"From when I was younger, I was introduced to it at church, but then it was really in primary school to high school that my ministry or my performance in sign language have really gone out there. I have gone many places where people have asked me to do stuff for them and to perform and they like me and then I get other requests from there," he said.
But while sign language is mostly done at church, his acting capabilities know no boundaries. Being a member of the Ardenne High School Drama Club has also seen him representing the school at various events, such as the annual Jamaica Cultural Development Commission competitions, where he has won several awards.
Not surprisingly, Daley wants to be an actor, but not wanting to put all his eggs in one basket, he is also looking forward to a career as an actuarial scientist and is currently preparing to sit his Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations so he can matriculate into a reputable university either abroad or locally.
"For me, I don't like boring stuff and when people laugh, you can see the joy in their whole persona. I really like making people laugh. I wouldn't say I am a comedian yet, but I am getting there," he said.
"I am really the life of the party basically at school, because most times when we don't have anything to do, somebody would just beat something and we just put some words to it and start rapping," he pointed out.
Daley, who imagines himself being on the big screen, is the recipient of a performing arts scholarship from Fiwi Culture which will finance his studies at a university of his choice for at least one year. However, he said, he is now working towards an academic scholarship that will help to further finance his future academic pursuits.
He was able to obtain distinctions in mathematics, additional mathematics, physics, principles of accounts, principles of business, information technology, religious education, English literature and not surprisingly, theatre arts. He received a grade two in English.
Although he admitted that it was difficult to study while acting, he said he was able to focus on his school work during the off seasons for production. He pointed out, too, that he was able to focus on academics, because his grandparents whom he lives with are very helpful.
"They were always there to facilitate anything that I need," said the youngster whose mother currently lives overseas.