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Nirmala Narine: An unstoppable force in the local world of acting

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Unwavering passion, dedication, and the willingness to face challenges head-on are just a few of the incredible qualities which make 28-year-old Nirmala Narine, an unstoppable force in the local world of acting.

With each role, she solidifies her position in the area and reaffirms that her talent for acting should never be questioned.

For this ambitious young woman who was born on March 6, the world of acting has been a blissful one; filled with joyous achievements irrespective of the challenges.

This belle who hails from the Lenora community reiterated to the News Room that she is committed to the world of acting and will continuously work towards perfecting her craft.

In her interview with us, she shares the details of her acting career, how it all got started and her experiences along the way.

News Room (NR): How did u get involved in acting?

Nirmala Narine (NN):  I’ve always had an interest in the arts and as such, was an avid writer of short stories and poetry. I began participating in annual drama competitions between houses while attending The Bishops’ High School where I performed in the plays “Smile Orange” and “Romeo & Juliet”, danced for cultural programs and was a member of the choir.

In 2008, I participated in the Carifesta drama workshop which led me to perform my first play “Moon On A Rainbow Shawl” at the National Cultural Centre then once more at the Theatre Guild of Guyana. Thereafter, I attended weekly workshops at Theatre Guild and performed many plays and shows there and across Guyana.

NR: What has the experience been like for you thus far?

NN: It’s been an amazing journey from day one to now especially to be doing something that I enjoy. I’m passionate about acting. I’ve attained a great wealth of knowledge and experience over the years which have resulted in substantial self-growth and the opportunity to meet inspiring people and appreciative fans.

NR: Have you pursued studies in this field?

NN: Yes, I have. I have a Diploma in Theatre Arts from the National School of Theatre Arts & Drama; Certificate in Elements of Stagecraft qualifying for Mentor from NSTAD; Certificate in Playwriting & Stage Management from Merundoi Incorporated in collaboration with The Inter-American Development Bank and The Commonwealth Youth Programme, Caribbean Centre Youth Development for Cultural Preservation Project, Theatre Guild and Carifesta workshops.

NR: What have you done so far to shape your talent?

NN: I’ve taken part in many workshops; went to drama school and I have experience in plays, movies, spoken word, radio drama, voiceovers and television ads. I’ve won awards such as Best Supporting Actress Award for “New Beginnings” in 2011 and Best Actress Award for “Virtue” in 2012 at the Theatre Guild Guyana Awards, 3rd place winner for the first play I wrote “Imprisoned” at the National Drama Festival in 2012, my poem “Wandering Souls” was published in the book “An Anthology of Contemporary Guyanese Verse”, Best Graduating Student in Production from NSTAD, 2nd place winner for my short story “The Dare” in the Jubilee Writing Competition in 2016.

NR: What are three things that people don’t know about you?

NN:  I’m germaphobic, I dislike public speaking and I love to cook.

NR: Tell us about your experience when u acted in your first play?

NN:  I had fun acting in my first play “Smile Orange” at The Bishops’ High School during drama competitions. I played the role of a boy and had this prominent line “these oranges go rotten off me balls Sir” whilst grabbing my fake “package” in front the entire audience. Needless to say, there was a mighty uproar of laughter.

NR: Tell us about the world of acting in Guyana and how you make it your own.

NN: The world of acting is forever changing and that’s one of the best things about it. No two roles are the same because no two plays are the same. When you act, you get go to places you have never been to, do things you never thought you would do and be someone you never thought you could become.In the world of acting, you can be playing a murderer one day and the next day a Roman noblewoman.  Having a great director and a good cast always helps but of course, you must bring something of yourself in each role.

In the world of acting, you can be playing a murderer one day and the next day a Roman noblewoman.  Having a great director and a good cast always helps but of course, you must bring something of yourself in each role.

It helps to ensure that you understand the character as a human being. Love, sadness, hate, etc. are all things that the actor as a human being has felt. It is important to understand that the character feels all of these emotions as well, and showing that in a performance is how I make the world of acting my own and attempt to show that in each performance.

NR: What has been your favourite play to date?

NN:  I have a few favourites, one of which is “The Colour of Race 2” because I loved the role, my performance and the powerful message of the play.

NR: What were some of the challenges you’ve encountered in the local acting arena?

NN: Disrespect with regards to tardiness, gossip, being paid adequately and in a timely manner.

NR: Who or what are your influences as it relates to acting?

NN: Henry Rodney, Rudy Pateedeo, Ron Robinson, Sonia Yarde, Michael Ignatius and Johnny Depp.

NR: Who is your favourite local director & playwright & why?

NN: Subraj Singh because his work is absolutely brilliant and eccentric. He is an amazing writer and director and produces nonconformist but remarkable work of which I was given the opportunity to be a part of.

NR: What has been the most powerful lesson you’ve learnt as an actress in Guyana?

NN:  Self-sacrifice primarily with regards to time because rehearsals and performances take up a lot of your hours and often, I have to forego plans or events with my friends and family. My favourite line would be, “I can’t. I have rehearsals”.

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