Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 5th 2015 Contents Tishanna Williams
Winston Duke is Tobagonian born actor
whose television career is taking off. He
guest starred in the acclaimed CBS television
show, Person of Interest, where he played the
character ‘Dominic.’ He has also guest starred
as ‘Cedric Jones’ on Law and Order-SVU and
is currently playing ‘Zahir Zacha-riah’ on the
CW network's The Messengers. Not just a
rising star on the major networks in the
States, but a proud Trinbagonian, Winston is
determined to give back to his community.
He moved to the US with his mother and sis-
ter at the age of ten. According to him, a lot of
his journey to the screen began in middle
school and is based in his love of storytelling
which gave him with a deep affinity for human
experi-ences other than his own.
Winston received his Bachelors of Arts in
Theatre at the University of Buffalo before
being chosen out of the over 2000 applicants
that auditioned for prestig-ious Yale School of
Drama to join their Masters of Fine Arts pro-
gram. After constant training (18 hour days, 6
days a week), Winston graduated in 2013 and
launched directly into his TV career..
Yale seems to be becoming a family Alma
Mater; his sister, a doctor specialising in in-vitro
fertilisation is also doing her fellowship there.
For Winston, the stage and camera lights are
his true calling. Acting is something he
strongly felt called to do and as
a result he finds a
belonging, direction and roots.
“It feels like mine. You’re able to speak the
same language but what comes out is a beauti-
ful idiosyncratic interpretation based on who
you are as a person. And there is no right or
wrong, just a wonderful different spectrum of
interpretation. That’s the beautiful thing about
As it usually goes, it can’t be said that his
mother, Cora was all in initially with regards to
her son’s chosen path, but when the work
speaks for itself, eventu-ally you win everyone
over and now she is his biggest supporter.
So what would Winston, who doesn’t believe
in luck, say to any young person looking to
break into the realm of acting?
“It takes a lot of work. You need to learn to
deal with rejection and move forward because
your life will be filled with it. But rejection of
you isn’t rejection of your person. You may just
not be the right fit. It takes specific planning
and preparation and when you do the work you
can seize any opportunity that arises. You need
to also ‘mind your business’, which means
knowing what is going on within your busi-
This is just one of the many
pieces of wisdom he
has to impart.
credits T&T for his sense of giving back and he
is in the country having talks with organiza-
tions to see where he can lend his expertise.
Recently he was the guest of honour at the
Trinidad Theatre Workshop’s (TTW) gala for
their “The Journey Continues” Fundraising
Campaign, where they have named him
“Champion of the Children's Scholarship Fund”.
Winston already has a history with this illustri-
ous Theatre started by Nobel Laureate Derek
Walcott over half a decade ago. He played Son
Son, one of the lead roles in their 2012 major
production of Echo in the Bone and while in
Trinidad he will be represented by Timmia
Hearn of TTW.
Winston has also not forgotten his
Tobagonian roots and is also in talks with the
Tobago News Children’s Fund to create art
focused outreach programs for children. And
though with a steady flow of work coming in
from the US and with no immediate plans to
move back home, he is prepared to give
back here in Trinidad and Tobago in
as many ways as possible.
Anyone who speaks to
him is immediately
informed of his
speaks constantly of where he is from and it
was this constant representation and his ability
to weave together language into tangible sto-
ries that resulted in the writers of his latest
project, “Person of Interest” giving his character
Dominic (the cunning leader of the
Brotherhood), a Trinidadian back story.
“I am always from here. I don’t claim to be an
American actor. And the writers laced it into
the telling of his (Dominic’s) story because they
realised how im-portant that was to me – to be
In essence, Winston Duke’s story is the
dream. Not only a Tobagonian that is making it
in one of the hardest businesses in the world,
but a man who remembers to look back and
ensure that the footprints he made are clearly
rec-ognizable to those that will come after him.
“When I think of myself and who I want to
be, I think about the whole human being. I want
to be the actor, the man who gives back. I see
myself as a multi-faceted person and I would
love to impart some of my knowledge to the
For more information on booking Winston Duke or TTW’s
Fundraising programme, contact Timmia Hearn at
Trinidad Theatre Workshop.
You can also Like his professional profile on Facebook or
follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Winston_Duke
Phone: Office - (868) 624-8502, Cell - (868) 742-1671
Check out the Trinidad Theatre Workshop Website
(www.trinidadtheatreworkshop.com) to see Winston in
their 2012 Produc-tion of An Echo in the Bone or to con-
tribute to their campaign to have a permanent home for
their School for the Arts.
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