Camille Davis - Confidence transferred
Being confident was not always a strong suit for actress Camille Davis. The Jamaican actress known for her roles in the plays Saving Alligator High and Class of '73 says she struggled to find her self-worth and the courage to enter into film, theatre, TV and acting.
"Confidence is something that shapes our characters, especially at a young age - and that is something I didn't have. The stage is where I actually developed self awareness and understood how much I could offer to the world," Davis told The Gleaner.
She shares that life as an actress has had its fair amount of trials, but after a life-changing transformation - turning over her life to God two years ago - she decided it was time to take a hands-on approach to help others with an interest in the field.
"If I can assist someone as young as six-year-old to build the confidence that the stage or acting provided for me, I would be helping a 'younger me'," she said of the project she is embarking on which is simply titled The Camille Davis Acting and Empowerment Workshop.
Davis explains that the difference with her workshop is that it is not only created to teach the participants about the ins and outs of the film and theatre industry, but also to target young adults who are socially challenged.
For the first workshop session held last Saturday at the Mona Preparatory School auditorium, the King of the Dancehall actress was met with a mix of personalities - mostly girls between the ages of six and 14. While most were eager to be a part of the weekend workshop, there were a few who were reluctant to join in the activities.
She did not get flustered when the quiet participants locked themselves away, using best practises to bringthem out of their shell using character interpretation and creating tableaus (motionless scenes).
She explains, "In order to enhance their communication skills, which translates in their social development these activities were carefully chosen to do help with the process. It is about raising fearless performers who will command themselves with assertion and presence."
Davis is determined to provide opportunities for these children following the workshop, and so she has partnered with talent agencies, and persons who register and participate in the workshop will be listed automatically to go on auditions for TV and radio commercials to give them added exposure.
"It was inspired by my need to give back creatively, especially to the younger talents. Our lives, just like a script, has different scenes - this is just a new 'scene' in my life, and it's all coming together to make a masterpiece of a production," she said.
She added, "I would like the arts to be more appreciated and recognised for what it is - a powerful form of expression of our culture - it represents Jamaica on as much an international level as our music, and acting can be used as a remediation tool. I encourage parents to send their children to the workshop even for one day."
The workshop continues throughout the month of December.