Jooky Jam 'waits' in New York
It was sheer surprise while comfortably sitting inside popular New York restaurant, The Door, to see well-known Jamaican actor, Stede 'Jooky Jam' Flash walk over to a table with a notepad to take the order of other guests.
To the shock of the persons at that table, Flash was there to serve them. Dressed in full black - shirt, vest and pants - with a red tie, Flash was rather poised and pleasant as he chatted with the customers who seemed quite honoured to be in his company.
When The Sunday Gleaner spoke with him later, he explained that customers do not necessarily express shock when they see him. Instead, "they feel honoured that the actor they love for so long is serving them," said Flash, who has appeared in plays like Bupsie, the Maama Man series, Night Nurse, Browning, Man Tief, Hustler, Dr Ram Puss, Passa Passa, Bashment Granny 1, Ova Mi Dead Body and Like Father Like Son.
Flash added that he has been residing in the United States with his family for the past three years, after he was filed for by his mother.
Closer to family
When he migrated, he said, he worked at a restaurant in Pennsylvania, as he has worked there during the summer for several years. Then, in an effort to be closer to his family, he decided to take a job at The Door, located in Queens, New York.
"The Door is the finest Jamaican restaurant in New York. They really take care of me there. The guests really like me a lot," Flash said of the classy restaurant he has been employed to for the past two months.
"It is a very nice atmosphere working there. It is something that I love to do, because I am a customer service person and I like working with people."
Being a full-time worker at The Door, he says he appreciates how understanding his employers are as it relates to his acting schedule.
But the most popular question that Flash is asked by customers is, "You stop doing plays?"
Flash, however, explained that he is still very active in theatre.
Today, he will be in Florida to appear in Barber Shop Bangarang, that has been running for about a year. He says the play, which also stars Maxwell 'Maama Man' Grant, is done by Theatre World International and produced by Joy Grandison and Ken Anderson.
In addition to that play, Flash will be doing another production, Fire Ball, in New Jersey on December 28.
He explained that the entire cast of these plays is from Jamaica. And generally, he says, the plays are similar to those seen in Jamaica.
"It is almost the same, because we are using the same Jamaican actors. We know the blends from Jamaica, so we are giving it the same treatment here," he told The Sunday Gleaner, noting that he hopes to bring Barber Shop Bangarang to Jamaica next year.
As it relates to doing other types of plays in the United States, Flash says it is very much on the agenda.
"I want to get into school, but I have to get myself organised first," he said.
Flash explained that, right after leaving Excelsior High School, he was drawn into his first production, Bupsie. He says that was swiftly followed by the Maama Man series.