Thursday, 17 November 2016

ON HER MIND: Ring Games star Deon Silvera on being a woman of a certain age – and what she’s most grateful for

FACE VALUE: Silvera, sharing a moment with theatre colleague Bunny Allen, enjoys growing older and wiser.

I’M a people person, so I love my fans. They rejuvenate me. That’s why whenever I’m doing a run of a new production, I always dig deep to give my best. Looking back on my career success, I owe a lot to the people who continue to support me; the ones who come to the shows and give me that energy; the ones who come up to me on the street to tell me how much they enjoyed my performance in so-and-so. I feel loved, and that keeps me going.

Because of the support, my acting career continues to flourish. Almost three decades in, I’m still evolving. One of the highlights for me is winning my first Actor Boy Award, for playing a go-go in David Heron’s Ecstasy. Then I won again for a play that Dahlia [Harris] wrote called Back-A-Yard, and last year I won Best Actress again for Ole Fyah Stick. So God has been good.

Acting aside, my other big passions are teaching and taking care of my family. I’ve been at Rousseau Primary School for the past 12 years, and working with those kids, preparing them for Festival and watching them grow into properly-speaking, confident teens, makes my heart smile. When I see them master the choral speaking material, and get excited about learning a new work, I feel like I have achieved.

I’m a mother of three boys, but now I’m also a grandma because the boys have been producing! They’ve given me two grandkids already, and the third one is on the way. I’m turning 55 later this year, but I still feel youthful. I don’t feel like a grandma at all. Yes, I’m in my 50s but I look younger because I wear well.

To be honest, I’m enjoying this process called aging. And I thank God for keeping me fit and healthy because most of what my peers complain about, health-wise, I’m not having those challenges. What’s my secret? I try to eat right and love and laugh every single day. When there’s not enough money to pay the bills, it can get you down but, like I said, when I go on the road, meeting the people re-energizes me.

And I put God first in everything. The first thing I do in the morning is pray, asking God for guidance throughout the day and not to lose my cool.

For me, love and respect goes a far way, and that applies to my work as an actor. Right now I’m looking forward to the debut of the TV series Ring Games, which is more or less Ole Fyah Stick in an 8-episode televised format. Dahlia has another play that’s coming out early next year, so we’ll be going into rehearsals for that. And I’m just hoping for more roles that excite and challenge me. I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and I know I’ll bow out eventually, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Mi still have the energy. I feel like I can go for another ten years. – As told to TALLAWAH

> Ring Games premieres on TV-J Saturday, December 10.

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