Ng his feet on the lo­cal scene

Stabroek News - - The Scene -

tar. At his se­nior sec­ondary school, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment Col­lege, there was de­vo­tion ev­ery morn­ing at as­sem­bly and the school band took charge of this. It was the band that led to Sammy tak­ing up singing and play­ing the gui­tar. He shared that he grew to love singing, hear­ing his own mother singing around the house while she did the house­hold chores.

On his ar­rival in Guyana, Sammy said, there was an in­ci­dent at Im­mi­gra­tion. Al­though he laughs about it now, he re­al­izes how much the mis­un­der­stand­ing could have cost him. Ac­cord­ing Sammy, while been in­ter­viewed by one of the im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers he was asked whether he uses coke (co­caine) and re­sponded yes, not re­al­iz­ing what he was say­ing yes to. The next ques­tion was how of­ten he used the drug, and he said quite of­ten, some­times af­ter his meals. In fact, Sammy went on to say that he drank it like wa­ter, and he liked his coke adding that if Guyana didn’t have any, he would want to have some im­ported. At that, the im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cer quickly sum­moned two se­cu­rity of­fi­cers to stand be­side him.

Af­ter learn­ing that his sis­ter was await­ing his ar­rival, they re­quested her pres­ence and re­lated what he had said to her. In shock at what she was hear­ing, she asked him in a whis­per whether he had any co­caine on him or used it. He quickly said no and that he would never. He then ex­plained to the of­fi­cials that he thought they were talk­ing about Coca Cola. This, he said, led to an up­roar as per­sons found it funny af­ter all was ex­plained.

Re­call­ing this ex­pe­ri­ence Sammy said he pays much at­ten­tion now when he speaks with Guyanese and when­ever he does not fully un­der­stand some­thing, he sees to it that per­sons ex­plain them­selves.

Af­ter ar­riv­ing here Sammy be­gan at­tend­ing the Re­vival Word Chris­tian Cen­tre in Kitty where he took part in what­ever drama­ti­za­tion the church did. The group was not func­tion­ing at its best at the time, so Sammy took charge of it and saw to it that more was done when it came to drama. He was even­tu­ally in­tro­duced to ac­tors at the The­atre Guild who quickly in­cluded him. Sammy landed his big­gest break here when he acted in the play For Bet­ter or For Worse (writ­ten by Ras Leon Saul and di­rected and pro­duced by Max Mas­siah) where he played the role of a fa­ther. In fact, ac­cord­ing to him, many per­sons in the au­di­ence were shocked when they re­al­ized that it was just a young man who played the role as they were at first cer­tain it was an el­derly man; they com­mended him on a job well done. Sammy acted along­side some of Guyana’s best, in­clud­ing So­nia Yarde, Mark Luke Ed­wards and Mark Kazim.

“I was re­ally ex­cited when I got a call to play a part in the play. At first Max wasn’t sure if I could act but then I [au­di­tioned] and he liked what he saw, and I got the part. This par­tic­u­lar play was my fun­ni­est,” the young ac­tor said.

While act­ing has its cons mainly in the fi­nan­cial as­pect where ac­tors are not paid their worth or in some cases not paid at all or may have to wait lengthy pe­ri­ods be­fore they are paid, Sammy noted that it has won­der­ful ben­e­fits such as meet­ing new and fun peo­ple, get­ting to make peo­ple laugh and trav­el­ling to places. He has acted at the Na­tional Cul­tural Cen­tre, The­atre Guild, D’Ur­ban Park, Joshua House, at var­i­ous churches and other places around Ge­orge­town. The “All My Love” mu­sic video saw him trav­el­ling to Bar­tica where he vis­ited a few of the sights in­clud­ing the West In­dian Park and the board­walk. In the week that fol­lowed Sammy found him­self in Lin­den where they shot scenes at Hy­mara Park, the Blue Wa­ter Lake and at the lo­co­mo­tive land­mark site in Wa­tooka. He also had the op­por­tu­nity to meet Mayor of Lin­den Waneka Ar­rindell. His re­cent trav­els, he said, made him dis­cover other beau­ti­ful places in Guyana as be­fore he had never been out­side of Ge­orge­town.

Sammy reper­toire in Guyana in­cludes “Jus Fu Kicks” (on MTV); “Christ­mas Trou­bles in the Caribbean”, which was di­rected by him and can be found on YouTube; “The Helpline,” “Le­gends of Vic­to­ria Se­cret” among oth­ers.

He has also per­formed and played the bass gui­tar at nu­mer­ous church events as well as a few con­certs. He re­called that when he first be­gan learn­ing to play the gui­tar, he had to deal with his fin­gers be­com­ing cal­lused and bleed­ing, but he did not let that de­ter him one bit. He is also a song­writer and so far, has writ­ten five sin­gles which he hopes to be­gin re­leas­ing be­fore the

Opara play­ing the hus­band who flirts with the wait­ress dur­ing a video scene at Ho­tel Tower.

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