GO-GETTER: "I'm really looking forward to pacing myself."
It takes serious stamina to make it on the arduous road to the top. That's a tried-and-true fact Lisa Williams is coming to terms with these days. "I get no rest," the actress confesses over the phone as she makes a mad dash to catch her taxi from work to make it to rehearsal across town on time. By her own admission, though, Williams is gradually growing accustomed to this superspeedy pace as a fast-rising artist intent on making a mark.
She's starring in the new David Tulloch relationship drama, Paternal Instinct (opening April 13), playing a supportive journalist girlfriend trying to make it work with the man she loves dearly. Williams says it's an intense part though not as dark as her last role. "Well, she's not as fiery as Evadne (from Where Is My Father?), I can tell you that much. There is a sophisticated, posh side to her," the 24-year-old says. "It is very obvious that she is in love with her boyfriend, but there are circumstances getting in their way. But they are willing to work together to save the relationship."
As it turns out, Williams is learning a thing or two about making things work in her own life, as she juggles a blossoming journalism career at Newstalk 93 FM, shooting successive TV and radio commercials, and gearing up to give the performance of her life once the play gets off and running. "I have a whole lot on my plate right now, and that's something I'm grateful for, but being so busy makes me a tad forgetful at times," she admits.
Still, Williams knows just how fortunate she is, given the dearth of opportunities for up-and-coming Jamaican actresses. No surprise, she fully intends to sink her teeth into the new role. "With every character that I take on, I always want to expand my range," says the actress, who has also appeared in such stage hits as Not About Eve and famously the big-screen urban action flick Ghett'a Life, "and so far I've been very fortunate to get a very diverse set of characters."
As for Paternal Instinct, she says audiences should brace for a serious emotional rollercoaster. "This play is fun, but it gets really, really intense. It's more on the emotional side," says Williams, who's starring opposite Orrin Scott-Stewart (above) and Keisha Patterson. "There's a lot of pain being manifested, and sometimes you feel the tears coming."
The rest of the year could see the Glenmuir and UWI Mona alum reuniting with Ghett'a Life costar Kevoy Burton on Real Friends, a sitcom from JA Films heading to CVM for a summer premiere. But for now, she's savouring her education in the art of taking it one day at a time, taxi-chasing and all. "I'm really looking forward to pacing myself, while continuing to work in news and the creative arts," Williams says. "And, at the same time, I'm really trying to have a social life. (Laughs)."