“Success to me is ensuring that my family and people around me are good. It’s about creating waves while doing what I love. I hope I get the trophy, but I already feel like a winner. My ultimate fear is knowing what I have and not being able to share it with the world.” – Ackeem Poyser.
Often times making one’s name in the performing arts is a challenging task and often times most don’t make it past a couple of gigs. This is not the case for Ackeem Poyser who has over the years become the talk of the town in theatre and the theatrical arts.
“My dream growing up actually was to be a film actor, which is the dream for millions of youths coming up, and there’s a part of me that still wants to fulfill that dream love series and movies, and I don’t just watch movies for watching movies’ sake. I like to spend time to analyze and learn new things.” – Ackeem Poyser told Tallawah Magazine.
Ackeem grew up in Westmoreland, between Savanna-La-Mar and Little London and attended the Unity Primary and Mannings High schools. He was attracted to performing arts even though he studied the sciences. Soon enough, despite the criticism from his relatives, he joined a dance troupe that later performed at the 2008 and 2009 staging of the Mello Go Round hosted by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).
“My teacher said I should enter JCDC and I did and I got silver. I stopped acting when I reached high school but picked it up in fourth form where I got more trophies in the Mello-Go-Roun competition.” – Ackeem Poyser.
Honing his talent as a dancer directed him to pursue a course in drama at the Edna Manley College of the Performing Arts and he later matriculated to theatre arts. While at the School of Drama, he appeared in shows like Thespy-winning Ruined and 2014’s An Echo in the Bone. He gained experience from auditioning in various roles while offsetting the cost for his education; his first role was in Paul O Beale’s Courthouse Drama where he acted as Diamond Francis.
Afterwards, he landed roles in Paul Beale’s University of Delcit, Jeremy Whittaker’s Destiny and television appearances in Joint Tenants. He has performed roles in musicals, one of which was At The Barricades. Ackeem has also and directed and acted in the film Yaadicus, which was a parody of the popular Starz Network series Spartacus to which he released in 2015 as an action-comedy film.
“That was an experiment which went very well. Eventually, I want to do a film with the same concept. I wrote it, directed and acted in it. The film ‘blew up’ online, over 60,000 views and almost a million plus on Facebook.” – Ackeem Poyser.
Poyser is no stranger to David Tulloch’s plays and has acted in many, including Delucination, Prayer Partner, Risque and 3Some. It was when Poyser appeared in Echo In The Bone that widely-known actress Leonie Forbes saw him and recommended him to David Tulloch.
“He’s one of my new young guns, shiny and glistening. I think he has a whole lot of potential and he’ll go far if he remains focused and in control.” – David Tulloch
Not long after he was signed to Probemaster Entertainment and acted in Prayer Partner, Poyser won a Thespian Spirit Award for Best Breakout Actor for 3Some in 2016.
“Before I took the role I sat with David (Tulloch) and told him I want something different like the role Diamond Francis which stretched me somewhat. Me doing the 3Some stretched me as I had to be half-naked all the time. I’m glad I have people who encourage me… I am not sure I would do 3Some again, it was a great challenge. The content was x-rated, girl-on-girl action; it was the first time I was ever naked onstage. It was unnerving but I got great reviews…” – Ackeem Poyser
Ackeem Poyser stars in the international staging of David Tulloch’s Bad Breed in Baltimore, Maryland (July 15, 2017) and Washington, DC (July 16, 2017) alongside a stellar cast that includes Terri Salmon, Michael ‘Stringbean’ Nicholson, Maxwell “Bashy” Grant and Daniella ‘Teeta’ Gordon.
The play has been pleasing audiences in Jamaica since last year and the comedy-drama will be featured in an impeccable manner while tackling issues including father-son relationships, love triangles and marriage among other themes.
“I am a 24-year-old playing a 17-year-old who wants to be 24, very complex…… (He) sees his father (played by Michael Nicolson) moving on with some new woman (Terri Salmon) and starts to act out and gets involved in activities like scamming as he hasn’t gotten over his mother’s death.” – Ackeem Poyser.
Poyser was honored with a nomination for his first Actor Boy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his whopping performance in Bad Breed.
“I didn’t hear about the nomination until I got to the ceremony. When I heard my name in the category I was so happy. I also felt a sense of relief because I’m being recognized for the work I’ve been doing all this time.” – Ackeem Poyser
Poyser plans to release another film this year entitled Karachi Kid, which is a modern day Jamaican take on the 1984 success movie The Karate Kid. His signing to Probemaster Entertainment allows him more aptitude to achieve his goals of acting under a well-known umbrella in theatre with the respected David Tulloch. He urges young prospective actors to hone their talents of acting and possibly search for camps and training opportunities to improve their skills. He would ultimately love to win an Oscar, while happily representing his country Jamaica when he does so.
“People can easily relate to my short films but they always have a twist. I write and conceptualize the film and then work hand in hand with cinematographers like Lone Wolf Films. To me comedy is more than putting on a wig; it must have substance and range. There is no doubt I can do more original things, I did that with my film on HIV.” – Ackeem Poyser.
By Alexandra Daley