The authenticity of a story rests in the storytellers experience of and connection to it.Sherando Ferril-Cupid
I came to Hollywood to be the first Jamaican to win an Oscar as an actress and a Director.
One of the first things I realized was, I had to give up the core of who I was in order to fit in. In order to get jobs, I needed to sound American, look American and have a clear understanding of the American culture. Of course, I have no issue with that; I am in America after all and it is Americans telling these stories for which I am auditioning. But the more I attempted to assimilate is the more I realized I didn’t want to because I was losing the things that made me, me. The things that made me sound and look unique. I was losing my Jamaicaness.
For a while I was upset when I saw Jamaican characters in Hollywood film and television, always bitching to myself and friends about why they weren’t using authentic Jamaican actors, as well as creating characters that were believable to my Jamaican experience. Then I stepped back and realized that I was depending on a system to tell a story they didn’t know, to create characters they did not grow up with, they didn’t go to school or church with, they didn’t have crushes on, they didn’t get scolded by.
I realized the problem wasn’t Hollywood, it was me.
You cannot tell a story you do not know or create characters you don’t even understand or know exist. In the Caribbean we have our own archetypes, we have our own stories, we have our own heroes, our own way of life and unless you have lived it you cannot tell it authentically. Hence the need for YAADBridge Entertainment; a Jamaican company focused on telling Caribbean stories from a Caribbean person’s perspective in order to share who we really are with the rest of the world.