FRESH FACE: Poyser, 24, has set his sights on a stage, film and TV career.
Watching Ackeem Poyser in action you don’t just see a School of Drama graduate displaying the skills and techniques he’s picked up over the years or Probemaster Entertainment’s crowd-pleasing new star giving the audience their money’s worth. We see a talented 24-year-old actor who is fast-tracking in his career, with the requisite energy and emotional intelligence (and some eye-candy appeal for the ladies thrown into the mix).
With his slender, runway-ready physique, edgy haircut and taut five-foot-eight-inch frame, Poyser’s got the total package and makes a cool new addition to the class of budding leading men that already includes Akeem Mignott, Danar Royal and Brian Johnson. Prior to signing with Probemaster a couple of years ago, Poyser was getting his feet wet in the dramatic and comedic arts, landing roles in everything from stage (Courthouse Drama, University of Delcita with Andrea Wright), television (Paul Beale’s Join Tenants on CVM) to film (he wrote and directed Yardicus, a spoof of Spartacus, available for viewing on YouTube).
While at the School of Drama (he graduated in 2015), he appeared in shows like the Thespy-winning Ruined (“I played a rebel leader,” he reminds us) and 2014’s An Echo in the Bone, in which Leonie Forbes (below) saw him and recommended him to David Tulloch, the Probemaster general, who cast him in a Prayer Partner remount and JMTC’s At the Barricades.
Now comes his big breakout role as the virile Kristian, a ‘sextrepreneur’ who bites off more than he can chew in 3some (pictured below), the hottest ticket in town this season, a play full of steamy, skin-baring action. How did Ackeem prepare for the “demanding” role? “Whole heap of push-ups,” he jokes. “There’s a comical and a dramatic element to the character, so I had to go back to my drama school roots and find the most realistic approach. Dissect the character, look at the obligations, what he wants, what motivates him, the obstacles.”
For the most part, Poyser nails it, educing the character’s blend of inner strength and habitual recklessness to memorable effect. Having a pair of fired-up female costars to keep pace with helped tremendously. “It tookus some time to be comfortable around each other and get to know each other, but it came together,” he says of swapping lines (and much more) with Carline Brown and Sabrina Thomas. “I think we built a strong chemistry and it’s still a work-in-progress.”
For the record, Tulloch is proud of his rising star. “He’s one of my new young guns, shiny and glistening,” he tells TALLAWAH, laughing. “I think he has a whole lot of potential and he’ll go far if he remains focused and in control.”
Whether he’s reflecting on his former nine-to-five hustle as Entertainment Coordinator at Beaches Negril (“I felt like I was straying from what I really wanted to do”), meeting Konshens, his brother from another (“I met him once; we took some pictures”) or overcoming major financial hurdles, Ackeem is refreshingly candid with an easy-going, club-kid vibe.
In the years to come, he wants to do more buzz-generating theatre roles for sure and, finally, land some film gigs. “My dream growing up actually was to be a film actor, which is the dream for millions of youths coming up, and there’s a part of me that still wants to fulfil that dream,” shares Poyser, whose TV guilty pleasures include Power and Grimm. “I love series and movies, and I don’t just watch movies for watching movies’ sake. I like to spend time to analyze and learn new things.”
> Keep up with Ackeem on Instagram @iamvybzkeem
> REVIEW: Read TALLAWAH's response to David Tulloch's 3some