JOUR­NEY

Jamaica Gleaner - - ARTS&ED­U­CA­TION - Keisha.hill@glean­erjm.com

Hol­ly­wood scale,” Fer­ril-Cupid said. “When I was 25, I said I planned on go­ing to Hol­ly­wood. Some­times when your dreams out­weigh your cir­cum­stances, you just have to look be­yond your bor­ders to find the sat­is­fac­tion. I couldn’t and would never feel sat­is­fied un­less I took the op­por­tu­nity to come here and pur­sue what was once a dream but has since been re­vealed to be a pur­pose,” she in­di­cated. Her first for­mal ex­po­sure to the per­form­ing arts was at age 17 when she won Best Ac­tress in the Ja­maica Schools Drama Fes­ti­val. This was the cat­a­pult she needed to dive into pro­fes­sional act­ing. Then, she had a guest­star role on the then pop­u­lar Lime Tree Lane, and did her first pro­fes­sional theatre pro­duc­tion at 18 years old with Ginger Knight’s award­win­ning play De­por­tee. She would spend three years with Knight play­ing the lead role in his sub­se­quent pro­duc­tion Hig­glers. Fer­ril-Cupid’s stage pres­ence made her a pop­u­lar choice for theatre pro­duc­tions, and for the next 18 years, she was con­sis­tently on stage mov­ing from one pro­duc­tion to an­other, work­ing with suc­cess­ful theatre pro­duc­ers in­clud­ing Jam­biz In­ter­na­tional was nom­i­nated for an Ac­tor Boy Award for her role as Diana in Dirty Diana. She also worked with Louis Mar­riott, El­lis In­ter­na­tional and Pablo Hoi­lett, pro­duc­tions for which she re­ceived Ac­tor Boy nom­i­na­tions.

RA­DIO DRA­MAS

She also ven­tured into do­ing voice-overs and ‘to date’ has voiced nu­mer­ous ra­dio and tele­vi­sion com­mer­cials and ra­dio dra­mas, most of which she wrote and pro­duced. Fer­ril-Cupid is heard on com­mer­cials for Dig­i­cel, FLOW Ja­maica, Ja­maica Pub­lic Ser­vice, Coca Cola, Red Bull, Sco­tia­bank, RBC, Grace Foods, and Western Union, to name a few. Her voice was the pop­u­lar Daphne on the the Ja­maica Pub­lic Ser­vice’s weekly pro­gramme, ‘Power Con­nec­tion’. This was her brain­child, and she wrote, pro­duced and di­rected each episode for more than 13 years. She can also be heard in a va­ri­ety of for­mats across the Caribbean, North Amer­ica, and the United King­dom.

On her jour­ney to Hol­ly­wood, Fer­rilCupid also started her own com­pany, Cu­ferri Pro­duc­tions, with her hus­band, Ro­han, in 2007. The com­pany rep­re­sented ac­tors as an agent and was also re­spon­si­ble for pro­duc­ing ra­dio and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tions.

Her lo­cal film ré­sumé in­cludes a cameo in the hit Ja­maican movie Ghetta Life. The lead fe­male and one male­costar were both tal­ents rep­re­sented by Cu­ferri Pro­duc­tions.

WIN­NING AC­TRESS

How­ever, these amaz­ing ac­com­plish­ments by Fer­ril-Cupid were not enough hav­ing al­ways had her eyes set on the lights of Hol­ly­wood. Ini­tially, she sim­ply wanted to be the award­win­ning ac­tress who would bring glory to her coun­try. That dream, how­ever, has since shifted to in­clude so much more.

Fer­ril-Cupid, who ini­tially re­lo­cated to Canada from Ja­maica, be­came dis­mayed by the Cana­dian prospects and de­cided to pur­sue a mas­ter’s de­gree con­cen­trat­ing on film-mak­ing in the United States. She en­rolled at the New York Film Acad­emy in Cal­i­for­nia.

Af­ter com­plet­ing her de­gree, Fer­rilCupid de­cided she wanted to write and di­rect movies, us­ing all she had gleaned to tell Caribbean sto­ries on the Hol­ly­wood stage.

“We went to Canada ... never liked it. There was al­ways some­thing push­ing us out of our com­fort zone. So I came here ini­tially as a stu­dent. I went to school, got some awe­some grades, how­ever, since leav­ing, I have been in­vited back to teach. Then I was snatched up by the same agent who rep­re­sented Anna Ni­cole Smith,” Fer­rilCupid said.

“Af­ter he viewed my pro­file, we have been work­ing to­wards get­ting the roles I am in­ter­ested in do­ing and not just what is avail­able,” she added.

Fer­rilCupid has since been in­vited by the New York Film Acad­emy to teach Global Me­dia, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Cinema Stud­ies. Hav­ing ap­peared on Judge Karen, she has done print work for Sam­sung and has pro­duced, di­rected, and per­formed in nu­mer­ous Hol­ly­wood shorts within the past year. One of her re­cent projects in­cludes a short film called Our Lit­tle Ma­cadamia Nutt, which is cur­rently in post pro­duc­tion that she hopes to en­ter into an in­ter­na­tional film fes­ti­val.

Within the next few years, Fer­rilCupid wants to have fully es­tab­lished her­self as a solid con­trib­u­tor to the in­ter­na­tional film in­dus­try with a pro­duc­tion com­pany of her own. She also wants to work on telling sto­ries from a Caribbean per­spec­tive.

My mo­ti­va­tion is that I don’t know how to fail. I fall, I hear a lot of ‘nos’, I get sad and de­pressed some­times, but then I re­alise that my life isn’t about me and my petty is­sues. My life is about how God uses and will con­tinue to use me to help oth­ers to recog­nise their po­ten­tial. So stay­ing mo­ti­vated is a divine ne­ces­sity,” Fer­ril-Cupid said. With her pas­sion for help­ing oth­ers, Fer­ril-Cupid plans to im­part her knowl­edge on the lo­cal stage. “I don’t think it’s pos­si­ble for me to learn all these new things and make all these con­nec­tions and not share. I know how many of my peo­ple have sim­i­lar dreams but again lack the op­por­tu­ni­ties, so in any way pos­si­ble I can share knowl­edge or of­fer guid­ance, I am ready and able,” she said.

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