Jamar on the move
JAMAR BRATHWAITE’S passion for the arts has carried him beyond the shores of Barbados.
He is now making a name for himself and doing his family and nation proud in the United States of America as he continues a journey to realise not only his calling but a complete shift in career choice.
Jamar, who wanted to be a paediatrician, said “about midway through doing my associate degree in the sciences at Combermere, I was still getting good grades, still comfortably passing my subjects but I wasn’t happy because my heart was no longer in it, my passion and my drive was for acting.
“I honestly dreaded the moment, of having to tell my parents this huge shift in career pursuits, but I’m thankful for parents who, though hesitant at first, allowed me to follow my dream.”
It was about four years ago that Brathwaite, who hails from the rural parish of St Thomas, caught the attention of the NATION while performing at Frank Collymore Hall, a state of art venue which bears the name of one of Barbados’ revered thespians.
The then 17-year-old caused the audience in the 500-seater Hall to sit up as he elicited laughter and admiration during his piece Blame It On The Recession, at Expressions of Gospel 2012.
Now, a professional actor trained in both stage and film acting, Jamar has discovered new possibilities since being accepted in The Studio (Acting) Conservatory two-year programme with their maximum VIP scholarship.
Jamar has settled in with colleagues on stage and finds it interesting, “because everyone brings there own unique experiences to a project. It’s funny how we all interpret the same scenario so differently based on our past experiences”.
A sports enthusiast, Jamar sees acting as a way to enrich the lives of others,and so he continually seeks to do work that inspires his audiences. And he credits the Community Independence Celebrations Secretariat and his former schools, The Alleyne School and Combermere School, for fanning the acting flame within him.
He said his first day of classes at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy produced its share of “jitters”.
“At this point I’ve probably only met like two other classmates. So the atmosphere is pretty tense. My acting tutor at the time, looks at me and says “you look like a nice guy, come on up here and read this scene”, I was like “ahh boy”. So I go up, my heart is now pounding out of my chest, and this lady hands me a scene from a play that I had never even heard of before because we mostly read Caribbean literature in Barbados. To make a long story long, my tutor calls up another classmate whom I met for the first time while we were up . . . . Let’s just say it wasn’t one of my most moving performances,” he said.
But even as Jamar pursues his new interest, there is one thing that he does not let go.
“I can’t begin to tell you how much I miss playing cricket. Anyone who’s spent more than five minutes with me knows that Jamar is always batting on his imaginary field.
“So when I’m home that’s the first thing I do. I also like to go to the beach and catching up with friends. In the absence of cricket and our beautiful beaches, I read a lot of books – the Bible, books on the acting and other inspirational stuff. I strive to read at least one book a month. I also watch a ton of theatre and try to steal stuff from some of the greats in the business and make it my own. I also binge watch a few series and thanks to mumz I now love to cook,” he said.