YES Caribbean

Actress Dionne Audain shares her passion for Montserrat and acting at YES Caribbean

LITTLE BAY, Montserrat – Whether it was the improv acting class or as a member of a high-level panel on Montserrat’s redevelopment, there was no doubt about Actress Dionne Audain’s love for her homeland and her belief that she made the right move six years ago to leave corporate America and pursue acting.

Audain returned to Montserrat after a 20-year absence to be the keynote speaker at YES Caribbean, a conference for entrepreneurs and persons preparing for a career shift, which was held May 25 -28, 2011 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.

She joined other Caribbeanpreneurs including dancer and life coach Susan Barnes, career development expert Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe, designers Kaishah Peters and Luigi Moxam, and conference host Nerissa Golden for a packed four-day conference which was life changing for many that attended.

The actress was part of the Public Sector Forum for Senior Government Managers on Wednesday, May 25, along with His Excellency the Governor Adrian Davis, Reverend Florence Daley and entrepreneur and author Nerissa Golden. Presentations centered around “Being the best you in preparation for Montserrat’s Redevelopment.”

Audain told the senior officials that she did not view herself as having competition but approached every audition and opportunity as if she was the best person for the job. “I don’t believe in competition. If I am going in thinking about others in the race then I’ve already defeated myself,” the actress declared.

She shared five steps to presenting your best self and to outsmart the competition. These were: believing in yourself by visualizing where you want to be; planning to succeed; speaking with confidence; knowing the role you want to play and preparing for it; and looking the part and being believable.

Dionne has been receiving a slate of roles in both film and television. These include 2010’s hit Salt starring Angelina Jolie, television series Law and Order and HBO’s The Wire.

Along with the many seminars and workshops that Dionne participated in while on island, she had the opportunity to visit with friends and family and also to visit the Montserrat Volcano Observatory. The MVO provides a safe vantage point to view the Soufriere Hills Volcano which devastated the island almost 16 years ago. The short historical video on the early days of the crisis until now proved to be quite emotional for the actress.

“It gives you a window into what people must have been feeling during that time,” she said as she wiped away tears. “To see the places that I remember all gone is difficult to comprehend. But this is why I want to use my work to tell people about Montserrat. The island is still here and we are making a new life. I want to be a part of that.”

“We spoke each day at the conference about reinventing yourself and Montserrat is living this,” said YES Caribbean host Nerissa Golden. “As a nation we must find ways to get our nationals abroad involved in our reinvention. Dionne can become an ambassador for Montserrat as she travels and on screen. We need more of our nationals in the Diaspora to find ways they can use their careers to celebrate Montserrat and keep us at the forefront across the globe.”

Now that she has returned after a lengthy absence, Audain has no plans to stay away that long again. “I’m going to find a way to be back here before year’s end and certainly more regularly. This is home and I want to support the redevelopment process as much as I can.”

Photos from YES Caribbean can be found on the event website at www.yes.trulycaribbean.net.

YES Caribbean was sponsored by Cool & Smooth Antigua, the HYPE programme in the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Office of the Deputy Governor, the Montserrat Tourist Board, LIME, the Office of the Chief Minister, ZJB Radio Montserrat, the Bank of Montserrat and goldenmedia Montserrat.

Actress Dionne Audain speaking at the Public Sector Forum held during YES Caribbean on Montserrat May 25-28, 2011. Also in photo are His Excellency Adrian Davis (left) and Rev. Florence Daley (right).

Montserratian-born actress Dionne Audain wears local crocheted earrings she purchased at YES Caribbean. The conference offered the opportunity for entrepreneurs to network and showcase their products.

YES Caribbean conference host Nerissa Golden and Actress Dionne Audain.

Cayman Entrepreneurs energize Montserrat during YES Caribbean

 

Cayman fashion designer Luigi Moxam and dancer Susan Barnes perform Saturday evening during the Dance Excell recital following the closing of the YES Caribbean conference on Montserrat.

LITTLE BAY, Montserrat – A new word was coined this week Caymanserratian as Cayman Island entrepreneurs Luigi Moxam and Susan Barnes brought their energy and ideas to YES Caribbean, a conference for entrepreneurs held on Montserrat last week May 25 -28, 2011.

Fashion Designer Luigi Moxam shared his entrepreneurial story during various sessions over the four-day event and got local teens to model some of his gear as part of his presentation. Moxam showcased how he merged his love for the Cayman Islands, his passion for social and humanitarian causes with his fashion label One Tree Four Five Collection. By the end of the four days, Moxam and Montserratian-born actress Dionne Audain had coined a new word Caymanserratian to define the new found connections and passion that was being shared and spread. Continue reading

Designer Kaishah Peters shares on turning her grandmother’s crochet lessons into a business at YES Caribbean

Career Development Expert and Author Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe, Fashion Designer Kaishah Peters, Filmmaker Felicia Bradford, Conference Host and Author Nerissa Golden and Dancer and Life Coach Susan Barnes at YES Caribbean, which was held on Montserrat May 25-28, 2011. (goldenmedia Montserrat photo)

LITTLE BAY, Montserrat – Designer Kaishah Peters told up and coming entrepreneurs at YES Caribbean last week that she used to take her great grandmother’s crochet lessons for granted until she realized they were actually the path to her success in fashion. St. Maarten-born Peters was one of several entrepreneurs speaking at the four-day event hosted by goldenmedia Montserrat May 25-28, 2011 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.

The designer, who specializes in crocheted fashions for both women and men, spoke to conference delegates and an international audience listening via the internet about the challenges of starting her business and how she is able to balance that with a full-time job and caring for her 11-year-old son. Continue reading

Learn the Art of Reinventing your Career at YES Caribbean

BRADES, Montserrat – Conference host Nerissa Golden will be teaming up with Career Development Expert Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe to bring The Art of Reinvention workshops to YES Caribbean. The two motivators will focus on how persons can take their years of experience in various jobs and fashion them into a more focused and purposeful career.

YES Caribbean is a conference for entrepreneurs and persons considering a career change or who have been out of work and looking for new opportunities. It takes place May 25 to 28 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. Dr. DeFoe is one of several featured speakers sharing their knowledge on business development and overcoming the spiritual, financial and physical challenges of being an entrepreneur.

She says one of the first thing that individuals should do is assess their “transferable skills and determine what current and emerging occupations those skills can be used in if you need a new job, your interest have changed or the jobs have disappeared. Also look to see what gaps are in the community and determine how you can monetize your skills and create a mico-enterprise.”

For people who want to retool their occupational or technical skills into a new job it is important that they assess their gifts and talents, suggests Dr. DeFoe. “Reinvent yourself offering services using these and also think how you can use technology to sell this so you are not limiting yourself to only the local economy but the global economy as well.”

“Reinventing yourself is about seeing an opportunity in the middle of something that looks like it was the worse event happening to you,” says host of YES Caribbean Nerissa Golden. “It doesn’t happen by accident but my making a conscious decision that you are going to turn the bad for good. We all have skills we are not using to the optimum. This is the time to find those passions you put on the back burner. Your income and future success is hidden within them.

Both speakers will be speaking daily on various topics within The Art of Reinvention series during the four-day conference. Visit www.yes.trulycaribbean.net to see the full lineup of speakers and schedule of activities.

Actress/Entrepreneur Dionne Audain returning home for YES Caribbean

BRADES, Montserrat – It’s been 20 years since actress Dionne Audain has visited her homeland of Montserrat and she is returning as a presenter and instructor at YES Caribbean, a conference for entrepreneurs May 25-28, 2011 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.

Dionne left Montserrat at the age of seven prior, having grown up around Plymouth and later St. Johns in the North.

“This opportunity is quite necessary at this point in my career. So much has happened since I’ve been there socially, politically, economically and of course geographically. Now coming back as an actor/ entrepreneur it’s going to be great to share my experience, my expertise as well as catch up and tour the island and see my family and best childhood friends,” Dionne said of her upcoming visit.

The actress has been racking up her acting credentials over the past decade. She will be on island to be a feature presenter at YES Caribbean 2011 and also lead the Movie in a Week project, which will teach production skills which can be used to make full length feature films or to add visual elements to small business promotions.

“I am very pleased that Dionne accepted our invitation and has jumped enthusiastically into the project to help build our visual expertise. As a region we need to show the many different facets of our islands. This includes improving how we promote our businesses.We need to showcase Montserrat more and in many different ways. The more persons with the skills and the capacity to show the island and the Caribbean through their eyes, the more exposure we can bring to our business and our economies,” said Nerissa Golden, organizer of the conference.

Dionne Audain is known for her powerful performances delivered with genuine authenticity with major credits in television, feature films and national and regional commercials.  Audain has tackled roles from a preacher’s wife to secret service agent, proving that she has both breadth and depth as an actress.  This incredibly talented actress began her career as consultant in corporate America before beginning her journey into acting.

Moviegoers were introduced to Audain in her independent film debut A Shepherd of Pure Heart (DVD, 2003). Audain gave a standout performance as Elizabeth Upton, a supportive, loving and demanding wife.  In early 2005, Audain was seen in indie short Tuffy Low-low, as Mrs. Ward, a tough administrator in charge of a private nursing home.  Other indie film supporting roles include The Evils, Like Water, Finding My Precious Basquiat, The Euphoria Project, Poof and Manuel Chavez.

Audain made her feature film debut as an actor portraying Abe Lincoln in the comedy/drama Rocket Science (2006) for director Jeff Blitz, a story about a teenage boy with a horrific stuttering problem who joins his high-school debate team in an ill-fated effort to win the girl of his dreams.  In early 2009 Dionne was handpicked for a role by Joel Schumacher himself, for his latest feature film Twelve.  The film’s cast includes such notables as Keifer Sutherland, Chance Crawford, Emma Roberts, Rory Culkin and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson slated for release in 2010.  She filmed Salt which stars Angelina Jolie and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Her other films of note include: Sex And The City 2 where she’s featured as a teacher at Brady’s school in a scene with Cynthia Nixon; The Happening where she got the opportunity to work with director M. Night Shyamalan and alongside Zoë Deschanel despite her scene being cut; Rocket Science directed by Jeff Blitz with actors Nicholas D’Agosto, Margo Martindale, Vincent Piazza, Reece Thompson and Aaron Yoo.

Dionne’s television work includes a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a re-occurring role on the hit HBO series The Wire alongside Dominic West, the short-lived FX series Starved with Del Pentecost, All My Children and America’s Most Wanted.

The NY Times hailed that in her stage work Dionne “has a nice, natural air…” She has toured nationally with The John F. Kennedy Center, appeared off-Broadway at venues such as Urban Stages, The Queens Company, Roundtable Ensemble, Target Margin Theater and has worked regionally at Arena Stage, African Continuum Theatre Company, Folger Theatre, Theatre of The First Amendment, Shakespeare & Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.  Dionne also has numerous local, regional and national commercials and print campaigns for companies such as BlackberryGov.com, Subway, Walmart, Maryland Lottery, Bath Fitter and Health Care for America Now.

To learn more about Audain and the Movie in a Week project visit www.yes.trulycaribbean.net or email info@trulycaribbean.net.

ENDS

 

Photo Caption: Actress Dionne Audain will be returning to her homeland of Montserrat for YES Caribbean May 25-28, 2011, a conference for entrepreneurs.