Diamond Editorial

Dry bones ain't got a chance

What do you do when faced with dead or dying situations in your life? Ezekiel has some answers. Upstream's editor Natasha Coker-Jones says she knows a thing or two about dry places.

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Diamond Features

'An Insatiable Desire to Live'

UWI graduate Kwesi Aguillera is a fighter. His rare condition baffled doctors for years. Successfully diagnosed, he can finally seek out the life-saving surgery he needs. See how ordinary people are pitching in and what you can do to make it happen.


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Diamond Features

I've Got a Future

He's young and single with a promising Gospel music career that was about to take off. Then the secret broke. He had been leading a double life. Worship leader Keron Ramsey had fallen--big time. And that's where the story might have ended. But God...


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Diamond Features

Jason Bishop - Transformed by Truth

It wasn't an accident, sickness or any kind of 'near death' experience that caused Jason Bishop to give up the perks of being a guitarist in one of T&T's top soca bands. But his story is no less intriguing.


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Diamond Features

Watch What You Watch!

Once upon a time it was said that 'real' Christians don't go to the cinema. That was light years ago. Today, movies are 'in' and many believers have no qualms about watching their favourite flick, be it the R-rated 'Sex in the City' or the horror 'Drag Me To Hell.' The big question is: Have we gone too far?


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Sophia steals the show in HUSH

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by Natasha Coker-Jones

It was a first for HUSH’s 17-year-old lead actress Sophia Thomas. Thomas, a dancer and event planner, with the Barbados Chapter of the Praise Academy of Dance, plays Mikisha, the central character in the film HUSH, which examines abortion from a Biblical perspective.
Thomas received positive reviews for her performance in the Caribbean-based film.  Since its debut, the young actress has been travelling alongside writer, producer and co-director of HUSH Marcia Weekes, as she makes the circuit to various Caribbean territories. Thomas is one of the key facilitators during the feedback sessions that follow each viewing of the movie especially in schools. She tells groups of her peers about the change she made in her own life. The HUSH team also raps with teens about abstinence and second virginity.
Of her acting debut, Thomas, said: “It was a new experience, but a lot of the things that you would have to do in dance, you have to do in acting, like letting yourself go to really jump into the character.”
The colourful contemporary dialogue was one of the highlights of the movie. This was no accident as actors were advised to stick to the script as much as possible.   “We were allowed to improvise where necessary, but we were told to try to stick to the lines because you find with improvisation you go off into your dialect, and we know that Bajan cannot be understood by everyone. English is what everyone understands, so we stuck to that.”
After her experience in HUSH, Thomas doesn’t feel that a career in film is far fetched at all. She enjoyed working with the cast. “I knew some of them before. Troy [played by Andrew Thornhill] I had not known him until HUSH. It was like a bonding together. We just became family and each time we had a break, we all came together and talked. It was really great. We still actually keep in touch.”
Thomas was born in England but lives in Christ Church, Barbados. Like a typical young person, she was initially concerned with how her friends would perceive her in her role as Mikisha. But those fears were quickly quelled. “My friends and my family were very supportive. I really thank them for that.”
Praise Academy of Dance arranged for an acting coach to help the amateur cast with their roles. Thomas was originally pegged to play Tanya, Mikisha’s best friend. “Then I got to rehearsal late and was told that I had to be Yolande, which is the girl that Troy is messing with. Then the girl that played Mikisha had to go away for a week and I had to stand in for her, and by the end of that rehearsal I was told I would be Mikisha. This is like two weeks before we start filming. I went from having no lines to all these lines. I had to be on the bus reading, trying to memorise my lines. The same girl who was Mikisha before helped me out too. My friends were very supportive. They tested me on lines and getting into character. It was a very good experience.”

Like the character she plays, Thomas grew up in a Christian home but admitted that, in many ways, the role of Mikisha was very familiar to her. “I grew up in a Christian family but there were things I wanted to explore. What I did find out the hard way is that there is nothing the world can offer me, because after the parties and everything, you still have the problems. You are still searching and I only found that peace — that thing I was searching for in Christ Jesus.”
Thomas said she was amazed when she first heard people’s reactions to the film. “It only really hit me when I was sitting down in the premiere like ‘wow I did a movie!’ It was cool.”
And despite the attention, she has trouble defining herself as a star: “Honestly, I don’t really see myself as a celebrity. I see myself as a girl who got the opportunity to do something great for God and I’m very thankful for that.”
So are we going to see Thomas again in HUSH 2? She lowers to a whisper: “Aunty Marcie doesn’t want to tell me. She’s not telling me the plot, but that’s OK.”

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Comments

2013-05-27
Cid Cruickshank

Movie was very touching, brings a little tears to my eyes.... I have 2 daughters

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