In this installment of Our Stories, Jamaican entertainer Riddim explains how the performing arts help him to manage his insecurity….For many people, Jamaica is pictured as an island paradise – white sandy beaches, a beautiful and vivacious culture, rich and wholesome food, and attractive people. And while that image is not far from the truth, if the lens is focused on the inspirational stories of ordinary Jamaicans, you’d find a sharper, richer and truer image of the Jamaican experience…this is Our Stories!
Meet Renard “Riddim” Anderson
He has performed in Glasgow, Scotland in the Manifesto Jamaica piece, SomeNowhere; he has made appearances in several local plays; he sings, he writes poetry; he’s a journalist….But the entertainer’s well-kept secret is that he battles with insecurity.
The accomplished, young entertainer said even to this day he would question his self-worth and the quality of his achievements.
And while Renard cannot identify the root of this feeling of self-doubt, when I sat down with the Trench Town native, he said he finds solace in the performing arts.
1.Why do you question your abilities?
When you come from a certain society, most of the things you hear are negative; even though you rise above those things most of the times, they still leave an effect on you…when you sit down and think, ‘are these things true?’
When I was in Scotland, the night before the performance, I was texting the girl who I’m dating now and she basically reaffirmed (reminded me of my abilities),
‘Listen to me you have reached this far, you’re that good! You wouldn’t be there if you weren’t’.
(Insecurity) is a thing that many of us go through…a lot of us do not really get the opportunity to be around persons who say, ‘yes you can do it’.
2. How is insecurity manifested in your life?
Sometimes I would be around people and I know things…I know the answer but I don’t share because I don’t want to hear what I usually hear at home.
(And) I usually compare myself with people a lot….this is why I write a lot about healing, helping yourself (to get over insecurity), it’s helping me and helping other people. If you feel good about yourself then you’re not going to bring down other people…it’s a domino effect.
3. How does performing arts help you to build your self-worth?
I like acting. Acting is what really motivates me. In 2015, I had to play a deportee from England over Edna (Manley College of the Performing Arts). I played the main role…being a deportee, I had some Jamaican (accent) and the British accent…at the end of it, people were asking if that was my natural accent or if I traveled before…I felt good about that.
4. How would you describe your art?
My art is inspirational. It’s the thing where you mix the love for the English language and the love for making people feel good! Sometimes it gets so bigger than you, you ask yourself if you actually did this.
5. Now I understand you have multiple talents, which performing arts areas do you specialise?
I’m a poet, I’m an actor, I sing a little and I dance.
6. And I know you have a big show coming up, Riddim and Friends, what should we expect on March 13?
A night of the performing arts! There will be Gospel singers, Poetry, a saxophonist passing through…It’s on my birthday and what better way to celebrate (my birthday). Riddim and Friends will be held at the International University of the Caribbean starting at 6:00pm.
7. Finally, what’s your advice to another young man battling with insecurity?
Insecurity is real, it is very real but one of my drama teachers told me this,
‘What people think of you is none of your business, what really matters is what you think of you…everything that you need to be successful and be powerful is in you!’
Thanks for that affirmation Riddim and Happy Birthday when it comes!
Our Stories is a feature which shares the other side of Jamaican entertainers: their innermost thoughts, inspirations and personal stories. Are you a Jamaican entertainer with a story to share? Contact us [email protected].