SITTING PRETTY: "I know love exists because I have it now."
The eye-catching, multi-coloured walls inside the wonderfully ventilated studios of CVM Television go perfectly with Regina Beavers’ lovely three-piece outfit and her mood. Infectiously upbeat and resembling a fresh and tasty confection, she is a sight for sore eyes on this postcard-perfect Tuesday afternoon. The pep in her step and vivacious energy in her speech suggest a woman in a good place – perhaps in the physical and emotional sense.
In truth, for the 27-year-old Beavers, Miss Jamaica World 2001 and a sprightly stage talent on the come-up, CVM has become that place, since 2009, where the twin worlds of work and education intertwine daily. “When I first got [here], I was lost because school and the real work world are two different things. Nothing applied. It was completely new to me,” Beavers reveals of her days fresh from film and TV studies in the States. “But I wasn’t discouraged. I’ve learnt a lot here, producing, editing, and writing scripts for television. And I’ve grown immensely. When you’re thrown in the deep end, you either sink of swim. And I told myself I was gonna swim.”
By all appearances, the lessons have served her well, as a talented and super-confident swimmer has emerged, performing all manner of breaststrokes and freestyle kicks. On TV, as in person, she is an engaging presence, bringing a spark and an affability that ever shine through. And the learning never stops, as Beavers subscribes to the belief that when one stops learning, one stops growing. “Even though I’ve been growing steadily,” she concedes, gazing out from the sizeable office couch where we’ve planted ourselves, her deep purple nails momentarily attracting my attention, “I’ve still got a long way to go.”
Raising a six-year-old son also ranks high among the diurnal experiences that provide Beavers with moments both challenging and utterly cherishable, while chock-full of valuable lessons. As for the balancing act that work and mommyhood usually demands, she’s found her solution in the never-fail practice of timely organization. Besides, as Beavers tells it, the well-mannered boy is a mother’s dream. “Gio has been in training since he was a baby. He knows when Mommy is being serious, when it’s time to behave, when it’s time to play,” she says. “But time management is still the most important thing.”
IN WAYNE’S WORLD
There’s no shortage of ‘assistants’ pitching in either, from reliable relatives to Giomar’s own father, the dancehall artiste Wayne Marshall, with whom Beavers shared a relationship for nearly six years, starting in 2003. “Wayne is great. But to be honest, Tami (Wayne’s wife) and I have way more communication. We do all the pick-ups from school, the buying of shoes. There are more hands to help me. And it works. I need her all the time. (Laughs).”
When it comes to Marshall and what they had back in the day, it’s a chapter of her past that Beavers is not timid, let alone hesitant, to recall. A megawatt smile covers her face, indicating that she sort of cherishes those memories. They met on the occasion of Spring Break in 2003, and the connection was immediate. “It was instant sparks. An instant connection. And even when I went back to school [abroad], we kept in touch. And from there it started,” she reveals. “I went all over the world with him. Anywhere him go, him take me. We had a great time.”
So what led to the break-up? “We said we wanted a family. We planned everything. And I got pregnant, and Gio comes – and then things changed. We have a baby now,” says Beavers, who was barely in her 20s at the time. “We planned it, but we didn’t quite know what it meant. We liked the idea of family and baby, but when it happened it was a little difficult. The reality of it was difficult for us.”
And now, seven years later? “We work better this way. We get along, and we are able to plan Gio’s life without arguing. This way we don’t have to deal with what we don’t agree on. We do our own lives, and still raise our son together. That’s what we’ve agreed to do.”
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
By her own admission, the union Beavers had with Wayne Marshall wasn’t destined to last. Real love is eternal, she affirms, but she was meant to find it with someone else, who might very well be the new, older boyfriend who has swept her off her feet. “I know love exists because I have it now, and I wouldn’t have found it if I had stayed with Wayne,” she gushes. “I have it now, and it’s goosebumps. It’s amazing. It has changed my life. A lot of great things have been happening since.” Just don’t ask her to reveal Mr. Wow’s identity. She is hiding him from the press – at least for now. “It’s like how everything just comes together when you find the right person. We are very similar in terms of how we think about life. We do everything together.”
These days, Beavers’ good fortunate is not limited to her love life. Professionally – and artistically – things are also looking up, as she’s set to make her commercial stage debut as the female lead in an upcoming revival of the award-winning 2003 drama A Gift for Mom, adding to her list of acting credits that also include small parts in the Jamaican indie films One Love and the yet-to-be-released Goathead.
“I have to thank Basil Dawkins for giving me this opportunity. He is a legend, and for me to be able to do this for my first play is incredible,” says Beavers, who will portray a tightly wound young lawyer at a crossroads named Hope Sinclair, opposite Alwyn Scott and Ruth HoShing under direction from Douglas Prout. “I like [Hope] because even though she is struggling and hasn’t been able to experience love and the simpler things, she’s confident in ensuring that whatever she’s going to do she’ll do it to the best of her ability.”
In some respects, that’s a parallel to Beavers’ own life as she strives to morph into a more successful version of her fabulous and happy self. “For me, happiness is being content with yourself and having peace of mind,” she philosophizes, “And believing that you’re here for a purpose and working towards that purpose, whatever it may be.”
PART II: Beavers on body image and what's next