Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Nadean Rawlins experiences life behind the lens - The actress-turned-director gets actor boy nod

Published:Sunday | March 6, 2016 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Nadean Rawlins won an Actor Boy Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role in 2014.
Nadean Rawlins

She may have only just begun her career as a director, but Nadean Rawlins is already proving that she has what it takes to be listed among the best in the business.
She is widely recognised for her role in front of the camera, but lately, Rawlins has been making a name for herself from behind the lenses.
Last year, she made her directorial debut when she worked on Dahliah Harris’ Her Last Cry, and this year, she returned to the director’s seat, breathing life into the play Concubine. Her work on the latter has earned her a nomination in one of the biggest categories at this year’s Actor Boy Awards (ABA).
In an interview with The Sunday Gleaner, Rawlins expressed joy at being named as one of the nominees in the directing category at this year’s ABAs.
“As clichéd as this may sound, I feel like a winner already, with this being my first nomination in the category,” she said.
Rawlins pointed out that she wasn’t surprised at the nod because she had been putting in the work.
“Nothing happens before its time. I have been working extremely hard and I believe 2016 is my year.”
The actress-turned-director also told The Sunday Gleaner that although she loves acting, she decided to take on the role of director because she needed to become more rounded.
“The need to grow and reinvent myself inspired me to try directing,” she said.
“I love acting. It comes natural as a God-given talent, but I wanted more ­ more development, more growth, while still keeping true to my love of the performing arts. Directing and producing was a natural transition.”


When questioned on where her heart lies with regard to acting and directing, a beaming Rawlins said that both had a special place in her heart.
“It’s two different kinds of love and preferences appreciated equally the same,” she explained.
“As an actress, you become the character guided by your director. As the director, you are the guide. You literally breathe life into the character and its space. It’s pure magic!”
Rawlins pointed out that while the journey as director has not been easy, it has been exciting and fulfilling as she has been able to realise a lifelong dream.
“The whole process is hard, but if it’s not hard, it’s not worth the work, commitment, and dedication to me,” she said, admitting that she sets her standards high to stay on her toes.
“The work doesn’t get easier for me because I set the bar higher each time so it will get more difficult.”
The performing arts lover said that the moment she was named as a nominee in this year’s ABAs, was one of the moments that will stick with her throughout her career because it acts as validation of the work she has been putting in.
“Being nominated for the Actor Boy Awards is one of the most outstanding moments I’ve had in my career as a director because it means that my peers say job well done,” she said.
With the moment still fresh in her mind, Rawlins says that she is committed to continuing the work she has started and plans on directing two more plays before the end of 2016.


The actress-director also pointed out that “Barbara Gloudon and Patrick Brown are two of the writers I would like to work with if I got the chance. Having done 10 years in the Pantomime, one of my desires is to direct a National Pantomime, and Ms G has written some great scripts”, she said.
She added, “Patrick Brown has written some of the best plays I have seen. The way he churns them out is remarkable. With his talent and my imagination, I am certain we could make some magic!”
The Actor Boy Awards is described by many as Jamaica’s equivalent to America’s Oscar Awards. At this awards show, persons from Jamaica’s theatre are recognised for their contribution to the performing arts. Rawlins has walked away with ABAs before but always for her role as an actress.