Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 7th 2013 Contents Friday, June 7, 2013 • Issue 91
The First Instinct's presentation of the King and I has been
receiving mad reviews since its debut in April. This musical,
based on the 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam by Mar-
garet Landon, has been playing to sold out shows across the
country. And even though there are a lot of people to be
praised for bringing this successful show together, 27-year-
old Trevon Jugmohan is the producer who, though behind the
scenes, plays a very vital role in this production. Metro re-
porter Akiela Hope chatted with the very reserved Jugmohan
on his journey in theatre.
Metro Magazine: So tell me about your childhood?
Trevon Jugmohan: I grew up all over the place, Canada, Point
Fortin and San Juan... I never lived in one place for more than
three years. I attended Newtown Boys RC, South East POS and
UWI (Theatre In Education- Practitioner Certificate) for a brief
stint. I loved fishing and gaming as well; Zelda Four being my
MM: What made you decide to get into the theatre arts?
T.J: I was very indecisive when I was growing up. I worked
many different jobs and wanted to be many things like a zoo-
keeper or lawyer. A lawyer, I found it to be similar to me, very
dramatic and very liberal where you can argue for or against any
given topic. However, one day about seven years ago , my aunt
made me privy to an acting course at Necessary Arts and I de-
cided to try it. There I met Lydia Ledgerwood, Penelope Spencer
and Naima Thompson.
MM: And how did that turn out?
T.J: They offered me my first play called Zuri and even though
I had inner battles that I was not 100 per cent, Penny thought
that my portrayal of a mango tree was amazing and I landed the
role of the Beast/Prince for the last night of the show. Around
this time I also met up with Raymond Choo-Kong, Conrad Parris
and Helen Camps, just a name a few who were very instrumen-
tal in my life.
MM: What happened next?
T.J: My theatrical journey took off and under Raymond I
started taking up roles in many different aspects of the theatre...
.Stage Hand, Production Assistant, Production Manager, Stage
Manager...I have also written some stuff for him. I also acted in
many plays, which made me appreciate all the other roles/posi-
tions I took on.
MM: What does theatre mean to you?
T.J: It's more than an institution, its life to me. As Raymond
and Helen would say a good actor can assist you so much in your
daily life. Just the way I talk, my posture, interacting with people,
my thought processes, they all have been developed.
MM: How did you get the position of Producer in King and
I? T.J: Since I had already worked as a producer with John Smith
on the Sounds of Music production, I approached him again to do
The King and I.
MM: So what exactly do you do as a producer?
T.J: I have to hire everyone (actors, stage hand, etc), find the
capital for the production, find the venue and keep everything to-
gether. I am like the overall manager.
MM: What is a typical day as a producer on the cast?
T.J: Very hectic...I go to bed late and I try to wake up early. I am
always on the go, from the box office to rehearsals, back stage
and so forth.
MM: What are the determining factors to make you choose
T.J: I look at the mass appeal. For example, choosing The King
and I script, I knew it would have worked because it is a classic
and there are a lot of familiar songs in it.
MM: How would you describe your growth from your first
production till now?
T.J: Since the Sounds of Music I am so much more meticulous
about organisation and order, and the way I deal with and under-
stand those around me has also increased.
MM: What is a producer's worst nightmare:?
TJ : Venue being burnt to the ground, or actors not being able
to make it to the show.
MM: Who do you look up to?
T.J: Raymond and John Smith, the Executive producer of the
King and I. Thanks to these two, theatre is my full time job now.
Perfect analogy... Raymond taught me how to fish and John
bought me the fishing rod. Christopher Smith is also someone I
have great respect for.
MM: Biggest Highlight?
T.J: I would say right now being the producer of The King and I
and the fact that my mother who lives abroad will be coming to
see my work for the first time ever.
MM: What is/was your biggest lesson learnt?
T.J: There is always more to learn.
MM: What is a misconception about you?
T.J: That I do not care about people and I am cold... but actu-
ally I am always 100 per cent concerned about people, most
times as the producer I am really the one looking after every-
body. I love to make people smile.
TREVON JUGMOHAN'S ACTING SHEET:
• Out of Order (which still runs on one of our local channels)
• That is Man
• The Chinee Man
• Diary of a Mad Black Woman
• Death at a Funeral
• One of Our Sons is Missing
SHOWS HE HAS PRODUCED:
• The Sounds of Music
• How It Hang It Swing
It's fine, I can't pronounce his last
name either- has a Lord of the Rings vibe
to it. Now while everyone was out hav-
ing a life this weekend, I did my home-
work on Shaun Escayg and his eventual
return to Trinidad.
Escayg is an award winning director,
which is great. Directors win awards, it's
what directors do. Whether you're a good
director that makes bad films or a bad di-
rector that makes worse films, I'm con-
vinced the industry has gotten to a point
where they're just handed an award as
long as they sit quietly and raise their
hand. However, this isn't a case of some-
one who was handed something on their
lap, this is more so a case of someone
who's fought for and earned their place in
the filmmaking world. This is someone
whose effort and ambition can be seen
etched on their films and can make people
like me apprehensively awaiting to see
that very same effort transcend onto fu-
ture projects. This is someone the Trinidad
and Tobago Film community ought to be
up in arms about; which I'm sure they are -
I'm just late to the party. For those of you
who arrived much later than I, find a seat
on the bandwagon and let me bring you up
He directed Fish
He's a local director, so it's only fitting
that his directorial debut be a local film.
Fish debuted back in 2012 winning Best
Short Film at the Belize Film Festival and
Best International Film at the Malibu Film
Festival. The film tells a story of two
cousins resorting to pick pocketing and
purse snatching to make ends meet. It's up
on YouTube, so you can swing on over and
see all the crazy shenanigans these riffraff
Now, I believe that a fantastic short film
is far more difficult to conceptualise as op-
posed to a fantastic feature length film. It's
on par with someone approaching you and
asking you to convert your novel into a
poem with all the themes intact. You're
meant to condense plot, character, dialogue
and so on all in a matter of minutes as op-
posed to an hour. It all really comes down
to conveyance, portraying the things you
left unsaid as clearly as the things you
have said. That's where Fish succeeds: it
crafts a whole character background in a
matter of shots, conveys its moral in an
opening monologue and executes its prem-
ise throughout. It's not a film of sunshine
and rainbows but in 15 minutes, Escayg
crafts a gritty, honest and fundamentally
He's been to the other side
It's not so much that Transformers 3:
Dark of the Moon was a bad film, it's just
that I think I deserved a written apology
after seeing it. It starts off with potential
(Transformer's caused Chernobyl, they
were at the first Moon Landing) and then it
devolved into slow motion shots and Shia
Labeouf screaming. Scott Pilgrim vs the
World, on the other hand, was a fantastic
film, boosting humour, hyper kinetic action,
videogame references; it had it all. In my
opinion it is and forever will be one of the
most underrated films of all time. Escayg
worked in the Animation Department for
both of these films and after looking at
them, it's a bit of a big deal. Escayg was
largely responsible for animating Bumble-
bee's shots and it's really hard not to ap-
preciate the effects in Transformers. He
also worked on video games as well as the
upcoming post apocalyptic adventure
game: The Last Of Us. If it seems like I'm
fanboying, it's because I am.
The Noka Wheel
It had to lead up to something. Escayg
returns to Trinidad to film a 30-minute
short: The Noka Wheel. It's set during the
backdrop of Trinidad and Tobago's folklore
where he wants to combine the computer-
generated models and the raw perform-
ances we've seen in Fish. The ambition is
all here, behind the scenes footage shows
motion capture being utilised; we also get
brief glimpses of the models and concept
art. We've had films push the limits of our
actors and their performances, now we get
the balance: a film that combines perform-
ance and CGI. In a world where we have
films with heavy CGI blending with live ac-
tion in the industry, The Noka wheel could
be the film that solidifies Trinidad into the
world of filmmaking. It could help our route
into big budget films and maybe even open
new doors to the local filmmakers.
Time could only tell, nothing's set in
stone. As we look forward to more news
from The Noka Wheel and Shaun Escayg,
one thing is for certain: He Is Coming.
Trevon Jugmohan on a
set with Cecilia Salazar
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