ART & LIFE: “She’s actually my motivation. She’s the one who pushes me,” Thomas says of raising her young daughter.
AT 26, Sabrina Thomas is having a career high as a burgeoning actress and theatre industry professional living the dream and learning valuable lessons along the way. “I respect the craft more,” she says of her artistic growth. After wowing critics and audiences with her solid turns in Across the Bridge and Wine & Roses (still playing at the Phoenix Theatre in New Kingston), she takes on the female lead in White Skin, Black Heart, a sizzling must-see. Catching up with Thomas for an open and honest conversation about art and life, we drew inspiration from the show’s title.
TALLAWAH: Your play White Skin, Black Heart deals with interracial relationships. Would you give serious consideration to dating a white or Asian man?
Sabrina Thomas (S.B.): Yes, I would. I have no colour prejudice where that is concerned. I’ve never dated a white man, mostly the light-skinned type.
TALLAWAH: What do you love most about Jamaican men? What’s your type?
S.B.: Jamaican men are very blunt, very straight-forward, and that’s something I admire. Just get straight to the point.
TALLAWAH: Following the passage of Hurricane Katrina (in 2005), which displaced thousands of poor Blacks in the United States, rapper Kanye West said then US President George Bush doesn’t care about Black people. Did you find such a pronouncement shocking?
S.B.: I think that was a bit too much. I honestly don’t think that was his call. I didn’t see why he had to go to that extent.
TALLAWAH: What was your immediate reaction to Barack Obama officially becoming US President?
S.B.: It was refreshing. For the longest while we didn’t have anybody Black running for President. People liked what he brought to the table and he fulfilled his promises. Nobody really wanted him to step down because he made a difference. He will be remembered forever because he set a certain legacy as a Black man.
TALLAWAH: As a Black woman, how do you usually deal with bad hair days?
S.B.: I don’t have bad hair days (Laughs). I prefer to keep it natural, but whenever I have a show I have to dress it up for the character I’m playing. Or if I have an event to attend, I’ll do it to make it appropriate.
TALLAWAH: Your daughter turns seven next year. What do the two of you talk about?
S.B.: (Laughs). School life. She’s very smart. She’s actually my motivation. She’s the one who pushes me. And she’s my number one fan! She asks very intelligent questions. Sometimes I’m surprised by the things that come out of her mouth.
TALLAWAH: Were you a big Michael Jackson fan growing up?
S.B.: Not really. I liked his music. I loved Luther Vandross dearly.
TALLAWAH: Give me a one-word response to the name Usain Bolt.
TALLAWAH: Give me a one-word response to the label “angry Black woman.”
TALLAWAH: They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. What’s the way to a woman’s heart?
S.B.: (Laughs). Different women have different keys, but for me it’s honesty and respect.