Tell us about yourself (who are you and what do you do, qualities people should know about you)
My name is Jermaine Rowe. I was born in Jamaica. I moved to New York 16 years ago to pursue a career in theatre. I consider myself a storyteller. So, acting, singing, dancing, creating new works, are the gifts I've honed to transform myself to access the truth in the stories I need to embody.
What is the most rewarding part of your job(s)?
Currently, I’m an Acting Professor and a full-time actor/performer. What’s most rewarding about the two simultaneously is that I am able to offer my students a real context to the theory of the craft of acting. I also get to reinvestigate each new role and be reminded of strengths in the basic required skills and tools. Teaching and reminding students daily about the search for the truth of the character holds me accountable to my craft as well.
What is the most difficult part?
Time management. Sometimes it can be difficult to balance running from the classroom to the rehearsal room or stage. It leaves very little or no time for procrastination or even needed reflections.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
My students inspire me every day. The reminder of the initial hunger for the craft before the “weight” of the industry is refreshing. I’m very spiritual, so I pray and keep centered. I have a wonderful community of support from family, gained-family, and friends. I read autobiographies and watch features and documentaries about other’s journey to success. And I hold myself accountable for my own growth.
Jermaine Rowe and Stefanie Sertich with LAGCC students after MLIMAS tale performance.
What are some of your goals for the rest of 2019?
To revisit my musical and complete another draft. To also get some sleep.
What is your dream project?
The ones I will create and employ a team of friends and talented individuals, who have often been overlooked by the industry. My dream projects require me to continually be in charge of my dreams and visions. And create a platform for others to succeed together.
Jermaine Rowe with The Children From The Blue Mountain" cast, one of his latest projects at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center.
What is it that makes living in New York unique for an artist?
You are always competing amongst the best of the best. And as a result have to face your own insecurities, fears and challenges head-on every day. It’s an unapologetic city, that often defines success along with visibility and “broadway”. New York for everyone is also very expensive, and for the artist, it can be particularly hard, because there are limited opportunities for work, while equally competing with the best. So, you somehow have to figure out how to keep your craft always at its best, learning how to take care of self - physically and emotionally, while also networking and auditioning. All of which have financial costs. However with the stakes this high and the talent pool is so nourished, you will undoubtedly grow, become stronger, and possibly produce some of your best work.
What’s a typical day look like for you?
6:30 AM: I wake up, grab a coffee.
6:45 AM: morning run/gym/swim
7:45 AM Get ready to teach
8:45-10:15 AM: Classes at Laguardia
11:04 AM: Metro-North to Westport Connecticut (Where my current show is)
12:45 -5:30 pm - Rehearsals/Workshop. If no rehearsals, I use this time to take voice/acting/movement classes to keep my craft sharp.
5:30-6:30 - Gym/Run - warm-up for the show
7:00/8:00 pm - SHOW - Mlima’s Tale
10:00 pm - Commute back to my apartment in NYC.
11:15 pm - Marking assignments/Papers/class preparations.
12/12:30 - TRY to get to sleep to do it all over again the next day.
What has been the highlight in your life so far?
This is always a hard question to answer, because I view my life in a series of highlights/successes, versus one or two big moments. But I’ll share a recent one. There’s a TV show in Jamaica called “Profile”. It features exceptional Jamaicans that in their own way have found success in their fields. It’s a national treasure and is one of the few programs that the entire country tunes in to watch on a Sunday. I grew up watching this with my family and promised my mom that one day I’ll make her proud by being on the show. A few months back I was invited to be on the show. As a gift to my mother on her birthday, I carried her to the studio with the disguise of being in the audience for another show. Then I brought her on the set of “Profile” where she was able to watch the filming of my interview from behind the scene.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
That I speak Japanese.