Thursday, 11 June 2015

5 MINUTES WITH: Maurice Bryan dishes on self-discovery, staying busy, and his new TV show Status

FRESH FACE: "This is a nice introduction for me to the TV world," Bryan says of his new hosting gig.

As a prize-winning actor and unabashed bon vivant, Maurice Bryan seems to thrive on taking on creative challenges that play to his artistic strengths and his proactive approach to his working life. That’s why co-hosting the new celebrity-focused TV show Status seems such a natural fit for the ever-camera-ready star who, at 46, still possesses the boundless energy and inspiring can-do spirit of a teenager. TALLAWAH caught up with him this week at New Kingston’s Courtleigh Hotel (he’s the Sales and Reservations Manager) to talk about life in the fast lane, etc.

TALLAWAH: How have you been adjusting to doing a TV show for a change as opposed to being in your comfort zone of live theatre?
Maurice Bryan: Yeah, it’s a little out of my comfort zone since I’m not used to being in front of the camera like this. But it’s not completelty alien, a little daunting at first after I did the audition. But I’ve always been interested in doing something like hosting a morning-time TV show, so this is a nice introduction for me to the TV world.

TALLAWAH: Status takes viewers inside the lives of popular Jamaican personalities, movers and shakers. What will Jamaicans appreciate most about the show’s offerings?
M.B.: They will appreciate seeing the candid interviews that we do with the personalities that we feature. The other entertainment shows are great, but this is a kind of getting-to-know-you programme. We are one-on-one with the individual, so it’s very personal. And it’s a nice range of personalities that we’re featuring, age-wise and background-wise. For example, we recently had QQ on the show, and then a feature on Audrey Hinchcliffe, and we have Thalia Lyn coming up. So it’s a nice range, and I think viewers will appreciate that.

TALLAWAH: Any surprises in store?
M.B.: My producer surprises us every week with the script. So not much can be leaked out. Every week is a new surprise.

TALLAWAH: Besides sharing the spotlight with your gorgeous co-host Shelly-Ann Hill, what’s the biggest perk of doing Status?
M.B.: I guess the thrill of learning the behind-the-scenes aspect of putting on a TV show. I enjoy learning about the television aspect of production which, of course, is very different from stage. 

TALLAWAH: From theatre to the hospitality scene to TV, you’re a man constantly on the move. What have you been learning about yourself?
M.B.: I can’t sit still. (Laughs). I think I’m drawn to projects that make me work really, really hard. I always have to be doing something. I lilke being busy.

TALLAWAH: When it comes to indigenous TV programming in Jamaica, what do you want to see more of?
M.B.: A programme like this was missing, so I’m glad it’s finally here. And doing Status has brought me to watching more local programmes. We need more of our own talk shows, soap operas and dramas. Right now we are overrun by foreign shows, and I think we have the talent here to create our own.

TALLAWAH: What are your TV guilty pleasures? What have you been watching lately?
M.B.: I am a reality show fanatic. I enjoy the performance shows like The Voice, So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol – mainly ‘cause I’m into the arts. I watch a lot of Discovery Channel. And I watch HGTV a lot as well because I do a lot of home-improvement projects. Once a show has the total package I’ll watch it. 

> Catch Status this and every Saturday on TV J at 8:30 pm.

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