Saturday, April 13, 2024

Green’s deeper passion


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WITH?NINJA-LIKE precision, Adrian Green resisted all efforts to be presented as more than a man of stylized words.
Day job: no comment.
Hobbies: no comment.
Family life: little comment.
It may have been the only time when the Bajan Green was less than vocal.
But what he refused to share in the interview he more than made up for on the stage of the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) with what must be a record-breaking ten entries this year. 
Of that number, eight made it to the finals.In another first, 2013 saw his debut as a director.
It would be a lie to say that Adrian basked in boastful pride at his achievements. Rather, the collected spoken word artist saw it as part of his duty and contribution to the local arts scene.
Interestingly enough, despite being a staple on the NIFCA stage since 2006, this lyrical genius still viewed himself as an amateur.
“There is a theory that says that it takes 10 000 hours to reach an elite level of proficiency in any craft,” Adrian philosophized during our talk in the gallery of a St Michael home one afternoon. 
He paused before continuing. 
“That could be about ten years, if you count it in regular work hours. I have been doing this for more than ten years, but I am not so sure that I got in my 10 000 hours . . . . Because oftentimes there are so few venues to perform, many years can pass and you have only performed a few hours.”
As this year’s recipient of the Prime Minister’s scholarship, Adrian hoped to find the training he believed he was in need of. Armed with even more arsenal, the spoken word artist planned to help others hone and discover their own talents.
“That is my real passion. I love performing but I really enjoy working with people. I see the benefit of the arts in general, and particularly the art form that I am in, in developing people in terms of self-confidence, self-esteem, creativity, imagination, innovation [and] logical thinking,” he told WEEKEND NATION.
“Informally, I have been training people and working with people for NIFCA all along, but it has only been from my personal experience. But what 
I can do now is use my experience plus the experience of countless others who have worked before me and make them so much better.”
This year, he wowed Barbados with Pure Service (Charlene Haynes and Neil Waithe), Good Girl Getting Better (Ossie-Ann Joe), Sti(n)g Muh (Sabrina Ambrose), Shame On Me? Shame On You (Toni McIntosh) and No Bacco (Neil Waithe) Miss Island Fitness (Oswald Joe), of which the last was the only one to be previously performed. 
Topics ranged from the light-hearted jab at the less than stellar customer service received at times to the more serious look at stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV. Adrian X-aled the hot-button topic of vote buying and selling. 
Although he believed his work was less aggressive and more reflective than in times past, those who heard the piece still heard the edginess they had grown accustomed to.
It’s About Time was a bit more personal, Adrian revealed. 
“I’ve come to my passion later than necessary and that is because I didn’t have the confidence, I had fear, [and] I didn’t think it was possible for me to do what I really wanted to do. So, I did other things trying to skirt around it . . . trying to get there . . . ,” he explained.
Struggle with confidence
“I feel much closer now than ever to doing that, but I would be lying if I said I was totally there. I still struggle with confidence and whether or not doing this is viable or whether or not I have what it takes, or if I am willing to pay the costs of going through that process. I gotta keep playing It’s About Time as my mantra.”
The artist has also been propelled by his role as a father to an adorable daughter.
“Having a daughter has been good for me as an artist, and it has also scaled back my production, because I have a lot more responsibility. But it has helped me as an artist, because I get to witness first-hand the development of a human being and participate very directly,” he added with a slight smile.
“ . . . . I try very hard not to raise my voice at her and I try to reason with her and try to take a sensitive approach. The same approach I am taking as a parent I try to take as an artist. This is not easy for me, because this is not my default. I’ve got an aggressive default, especially when I feel strongly. Being a parent has influenced my work, just as much as my work influenced my parenting.” 


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