Thursday, 16 August 2018

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Actress Samantha Brevett credits her success to perseverance, maternal guidance and the power of visualization

COMING ON STRONG: Brevett (with costar David Tulloch) has always trusted her instincts.

THE most pivotal relationship a young woman will have in her lifetime is the one she shares with her mother. But more often than not that relationship takes on the characteristics of one of three types: best friends, business-like or bitter rivals. For Samantha Brevett, an actress looking to take her career beyond her wildest dreams, mommy has always been like a bosom buddy, the kind of parent who lovingly teaches, corrects and pushes you to be your best self.

“Me and my mom, Helen, are still very close and I think the advice she’s been giving me over the years made me who I am,” Brevett tells TALLAWAH, as the early lunch crowd gets seated inside New Kingston’s Burger King joint on this warm Tuesday afternoon. “She would tell you what not to do, but she also taught me a lot about etiquette, why you have to be respectful and how manners can take you very far. She is also very big on listening and the fact that there’s always a solution to every issue, so it’s best to stay calm, cool and collected.”

Today, those nuggets of wisdom are coming in handy as Brevett makes strides amidst a sea of constant challenges. What motivates her? “I try to self-motivate. I am very focused on what I’m doing. It’s like I have blinkers on,” she explains. Currently signed to the David Tulloch-led Probemaster Entertainment, which has cast her in such stage hits as Jamaica Sweeter, White Skin Black Heart, and Across the Bridge, Brevett is a firm believer in the power of visualization. “I like to use a vision board for what I’m working on. I paste stuff on it and use a timeline as I allow the results to manifest,” she says. “You envision it and watch as it comes to pass.”

Chances are she saw that the detailed work she put into her latest on-stage incarnation would draw not only strong audience reactions but also critical praise. In this month’s electric erotic drama Sugar Daddy, Brevett gives a commanding turn as Anita Leslie, a frustrated housewife who is hell-bent on divorcing George, her hubby of 25 years (played by Tulloch). Their marriage is such a disaster that a supersized ‘toy’ has become Anita’s best friend.

By Brevett’s own admission, playing this angry middle-aged woman forces her to cross certain psychological boundaries. “With this character, making the transition was like a mental shift. You have to hold it together because you go over that threshold every night that you’re on stage,” she says. “I really wanted to give it my all to reach people who are going through something similar. It’s a very rough situation to be in, but people are actually living this life.”

Now in her mid-20s, life has been a mixed bag for Brevett whose folks (with the exception of mom and dad) live overseas. Plump and blessed with gorgeous chocolate skin, she has her serious moments but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. In conversation, she chuckles and, occasionally, becomes deeply introspective. When it comes to dealing with frustrating personal matters, she takes a slightly different approach from Anita. “I will talk to the other person about it or I isolate myself and basically just vent. That’s how I deal with my issues,” she explains. “And if it starts getting physical I just walk away.”

Prior to joining Probemaster, Brevett (a Vauxhall High alum) was a member of the Ashé troupe for eight years. Thanks to a half scholarship, she started a college degree programme in the States but had to walk away from it for several reasons. “I felt really sad about it because it was something I really wanted to do,” she says, the disappointment etched on her face. “But I do plan to complete a degree programme in the near future.”

What else does she see ahead of her? Many more meaty and gratifying stage roles, a foray into the film world and, who knows, she might finally meet her match. “I don’t see my ideal person yet,” says the happily single actress, a huge fan of Tyler Perry’s work, the beach and spending time with colleagues in her inner circle.

Confident in her abilities and sure of what she wants, Brevett is simply keeping her eyes on the prize. “I feel there’s so much more to come; more than what is on my vision board,” she declares. “As soon as I finish one thing I try to venture into something new and allow it to channel its way.” Still making mommy proud.

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