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.