Judd Batchelor
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E-tisha Crump Ceaser- Faith & Talent

I met Eu-tisha a few years ago. I went to Antigua to facilitate my first acting workshops with local artists and persons just interested in acting. The workshop went really well and I loved the enthusiasm of the group. There was an actress however that stood out for me and her name was Eu-tisha, she seemed quiet but very observant of what I was teaching and I could tell straight away that she had something special going on. I gave her one of the monologues from my one-woman play called A Mother Speaks and I have to say for the first time ever I was proud to be a writer after she read that piece. So much so that I was interviewed by the Antiguan Observer newspaper and I had to mention her name. So I’m really glad that I can let you get to know her!

Judd: When did the passion for acting begin?

EC: My passion for acting came when I was in primary school, I was about 8 and I cannot remember the part I played but from those rehearsals I remember a teacher saying to me, “you are going to end up in Hollywood.” Since that day, although it did not drive me to Hollywood, I always enjoyed acting.  I enjoyed every moment of the rehearsals and the actual production.

Judd: You are the founder of Chosen Vessel School of Dance- please tell us more about your company and what you aim to achieve by putting faith and dance together?

EC: Chosen Vessels School of Dance is a dance school, with plans to explore other areas of the arts; acting, singing, etc. Presently we offer dance classes to children and on an annual basis we put together an event called Dancing for His Glory which brings together churches from around Antigua to minister in dance.

Our aim is to bring out the gifting’s from deep within persons. We want persons to understand that we are all gifted and all gifting’s are important in the earth.  We also want to help them to understand that God has gifted us in order to feed ourselves and so we ought not to sit down on our gifts and then complain that we are broke.  We need to use it or them.  We do believe that most of us are multi-talented.  I hope one day to expand my knowledge in as many art forms as possible so that Chosen Vessels School of Dance would become the main contact point in Antigua as it relates to the arts. All in all, we want to pull this gifting out of mainly children so that once this is done early they would not let it die.  Most times, the older the gifting is discovered, the sooner the interest to evolve dies.

Judd: You have also travelled to America, do you think performers in Antigua & Barbuda could learn a lot from our international cousins in the arts?

EC: America, I believe is the land of opportunities and I do believe that we as a “small island” people can learn a whole lot from America.  I do hope to use the opportunity I would get to be in the US to gain as much knowledge and get involved in as much as I can in order to help my country in the arts.

Judd: Do you have any famous Dancers or Performers that have inspired to keep doing what you do?

EC: Well, I sing as well and I have been a fan of Whitney Houston since I was a child.  I hope to in the near future sing like her and even better. I see my famous people as the people in my community or in my circle.  I cannot pinpoint another person who is well known but I can name 2 individuals in the art of dance who are my motivators.  Pamela Hardy in Houston Texas who is the founder of Set Free Ministries and Jacqueline de Jude of Barbados, founder of He in Me International dance ministry.

As it relates to acting, I must say that Judd Bachelor is my greatest motivator as well as my church community who are my greatest motivators and who have seen the gifting in me and have been pulling it out and giving me the opportunity to shine.

Judd: What would be your dream acting role? What kind of character would you love to play?

EC: I really do not have a dream role.  What I can say is that most of my roles have been roles where I am a wife having challenges. I am very flexible though and can manage anything that is put before me.

Judd: You also have a beautiful young daughter, and if she came to you saying she wanted to pursue a career in the arts, knowing it can be tough would you encourage her? And did you have that support from your family once you opened up your dance school?

EC: I would definitely encourage her to pursue her passion.  I believe in living happy and the only way you can be truly happy is doing what you love.  I would do all I can to support and encourage her.

I did not have the greatest support I wanted but nonetheless it was there in a little bunch.  Gradually I have seen the support increase, especially during our events so I would not complain.  It’s just that I would have loved to have greater support.  I think what it is, is that they do not understand my passion and so there is not this great appreciation. So I can understand them being a bit stand-off.  I do hope one day they would understand and embrace it so that once I would have passed on, my legacy would remain.

Judd: What do you think Antigua & Barbuda needs to do to really elevate the arts?

EC: What I think Antigua’s needs are:

  1. Voices – We need persons who are passionate to speak out and help persons to understand that the arts can make money for us.  We have been taught that the arts are just after work or after school activities and that they are not supposed to be careers and so many of us run with that and work in uncomfortable places and die young because we are not happy and develop all sorts of complications because our work places stress us to death.  We need a voice.
  2. Committed persons – many of us are not committed and so we are not taken seriously.
  3. At least one person to believe in us enough to not give up on us when we lapse -  All areas of the arts take a lot of hard work and energy and it’s easy to give up but if there is someone, especially someone from “a big county” who motivates us constantly then I think this would help a great deal.
  4. Money – there is no question about this.  We want to see a real studio with real actors who would have invested in the arts in Antigua.

Judd: And finally, please give some advice to anyone who is also dreaming of starting their own Dance school or just getting into show business?

Again, I always believe in living happy.  If this is what you want to do, then do not let anything or anyone deter you.  For the past 14 years I have worked in places that were never a part of my passion and I feel like I robbed myself.  I never took any opportunity to try out an acting school and just maybe I would have been in Hollywood today but I procrastinated and allowed my financial situation to cripple me.

Bear in mind that I worked for a Bank and a Law firm.  These are two of the greatest careers persons speak about yet I was not able to stay at either because I was not happy.

I am now going through hells with my peace of mind and now at 32 trying to get it right.  Please I urge you to do what you must in order to pursue your passion and live purposefully.

Do not die unhappy, live your dreams and watch happiness live out for you. My 2016 motto is, "Live intentionally happy and watch God intentionally transform your life to greatness."

Well said Eu-tisha, well said. A powerful motto that will last for centuries! JB

 

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