RARE BIRD: "Things I know now I'm applying them. I'm honing my craft more," says the actress, pictured below with Frenemy costar Oliver Samuels.
"I don't worry. Things I know have no control over I don't let them bother me. I try to put myself at a better place at all times. That keeps me young. I focus on what's necessary," dishes Lakeisha Ellison, looking like a dime piece backstage at the Jamaican Shopping Club Theatre, where she is co-starring in her latest play, Frenemy, opposite Oliver Samuels, Dennis Titus and Volier Johnson.
As she tells TALLAWAH, the production, which opened last month and runs for several more weeks before going on tour, is keeping her on her toes. In fact, it's made her realize some personal shortcomings. "It takes a lot out of you in rehearsals and in the show. It really gets in your brain," she says. "So I realized that I'm slacking up when it comes to exercising regularly and taking my vitamins and minerals."
For this veteran actress and working mother of a teenage son, tending to her health and well-being is of paramount importance. It goes without saying. "Usually I'm the kind of person who will work out a bit in the morning, not a lot. I still do it, but I'm getting older. I like to stay healthy. I drink a lot of water because when I don't it shows on me," she explains. "I like the way I look. I love my body."
With her curly diva tresses, hoop earrings and slender physique, Ellison is the very picture of secure womanhood. For her, being comfortable in her own skin has simply been a journey of self-acceptance, hard work and being principled.
"I don't wear makeup unless I have a show. I don't party. I don't smoke. Staying away from those things helps you to keep your youth," notes the actress, who confesses that she's "not enjoying meat any more." "I love young people," she adds. "I have a lot of friends who I can depend on for support and I have a son, big man now, who has taught me to love unconditionally and never give up on your child."
Ellison, who loves a good live performance (she enjoyed Spice's set at last month's Reggae Sumfest) has been having a solid run in local theatre, since emerging from the Area Youth Foundation and finding solo stardom. She's worked with everyone from Ellis International (He Said, She Said) to Jambiz Productions (Blind Spot) and is now doing a radio drama (Money Dirt on Roots FM) and gearing up to begin shooting a classic love story with a Jamaican twist for director Paul Bucknor and Firefly Films.
"I actually feel very good about my growth. Things I know now I'm applying them. I'm honing my craft more," says the soon-to-turn 40 Ellison. "I am comfortable with my career, but I know I have a long way to go."