Tuesday, 11 February 2014

COMING ON STRONG: Actor Andrew Bailey dishes on his shining time and breakout success

RAISE YOUR VOICE: "I'm very passionate about being on the stage," Bailey admits.

Taking on the titular male lead in the latest Jamaica Junior Theatre production, Aladdin, has provided a steep learning curve for 20-year-old Andrew Bailey, a naturally gifted performer blessed with superb vocals and the sort of engaging stage presence that makes him a young actor to watch. As the show draws near the end of its successful run, TALLAWAH goes one-on-one with the on-the-come-up actor to talk art and life: 

TALLAWAH: What's the bright spot of playing your first lead role, in Aladdin? 
Bailey: It's a lot of fun, but it can be stressful because they're expecting me to have a certain calibre of performance all the time. But it's fun being the centre of attention most of the time. (Laughs). The high point is just performing. If I were playing any other part I'd still just perform my heart out. 

You're an alum of both Meadowbrook High and Jamaica College. What kind of student were you? 
My grades weren't so good at Meadowbrook. I'm not sure whether it's an attention problem or a memory problem. But I enjoyed the sciences. I'm good at the practical part, but when it comes to writing formulas it's just not as good as I want it to be. Right now I'm working, but I'm hoping to go back to school to study something. But we'll see how that plays out. 

Obviously, the performing arts is where your gifts are. 
I think so, too. I'm very passionate about being on the stage. I want to do theatre full-time but if that doesn't work out I'll need something to fall back on. 

What's the vibe like in the JJT camp? You guys seem to be having such a blast. 
There is never a dull moment. Except when we're being reprimanded for stuff. We do get up to a lot of trouble. Sometimes. Not all the time. 

Playing Aladdin has you jumping through hoops to get your dream girl. Do you have trouble in that department in real life? 
It hasn't been as difficult. Most of the time it's a shared interest, and we let each other know that there's a shared interest. So it's not as hard. So are you dating? No. Not right now. 

What are you ultimately hoping to accomplish as an artist? 
I want to go as far as it can take me. You never know what can happen. If the future presents an opportunity I'll take it.





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