Eleuthera ‘dreamer’ makes her way to Hollywood


Tribune Features Writer


MALIKAH Pinder is ready to pack her bags and finally realise her long-term dream of attending acting school in Los Angeles.

The Eleuthera native has always dreamt of a career in performing arts and has already made a name for herself locally, not just as an early education teacher and the owner of I DO Lyrics, for which she sang and performed at weddings and other events.

Before the pandemic, Malikah had also combined her two passions of teaching and performing by working as instructor of an acting class for young students called Center Stage, which aimed to help the kids with their reading fluency and expression.

During last year’s lockdowns, Malikah was able to turn another hobby into a way to raise additional funds for her eventual move to LA: Bread for Broadway.

She perfected her bread-making skills and was able to sell hundreds of loaves of bread.

While she says that her first virtual year at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) was “amazing and exceeded her expectations”, she is ready for in-person instructions.

“I need to be in LA for the second year. I can’t do this virtual learning again. Though I must say we really did some amazing things online…things I never thought were possible through a screen. The mere fact that we were able to connect with a scene partner without physically being in their presence was impressive,” she said.

Malikah said her first year was extremely challenging and thorough.

“The workload was far more than I anticipated. This was especially difficult being done online because I was spending so many hours a day on a screen, and my homework loads were heavy. I really did enjoy the work though, because it wasn’t regular work. Though I knew I had to find balance because I felt like my social life was vanishing because I lived alone and was busy all the time. I had to be more intentional about spending time with my family and friends,” she explained.

“For a programme like this, I need to be face-to-face. I know the education is far more effective in person. There are just some things you won’t be able to do through a screen. I know that I’ve grown tremendously. I think virtual students have had to work a little harder, but now we have the upper hand. It’s almost like we’re even more prepared now and connecting with a scene partner in person will be even more powerful. I’ve also grown a lot in dance (movement). I’ve always loved to dance, but because I grew up singing, that part was more focused on, and dance was never explored. I am still a beginner, but I’ve come a long way and I’m loving it.”

And after a year of virtual schooling and lockdowns at home here in the Bahamas, she is more than excited for the change of scenery Los Angeles will provide.

“In terms of moving to LA, I am looking forward to a new scenery ...I love the (hills), meeting new people, succeeding in my craft and representing my family and my country well, and to be honest, the food. You ever just get tired of eating the same things? I want some more variety and I just have this desire to try a bunch of new foods,” she said.

Malikah is extremely grateful for all the support she has received from her extended Bahamian family and friends and has always tried to keep them updated on her progress.

This coming weekend, she will be presenting a show called “Dreamer - The Journey from Eleuthera to Hollywood”, to demonstrate what she has accomplished during her first year.

“My show on Sunday, August 8, will be a recap of what I’ve been doing for the year I have been at AADA so far. I have consistently posted on my social media, but there are still some things I haven’t shared. I’ll also be talking about the story of how I got to this point, a little about my childhood and the experiences that brought me to where I am now. I think my journey is interesting and more importantly, I think...I hope that I inspire others to dream. If you need inspiration about your purpose and your path, tune in to this show,” she said.

“Someone commended me the other day for going after my dream and living on the other side of fear. It’s honestly a constant struggle, but I have learned that nothing great happens in your comfort zone, so I’m constantly pushing. I can’t wait to see all that LA brings.

“It’s far away and that’s a little scary, but I’m confident that God will be with me throughout this journey. I’m not sure what I will do when I’m done with school as yet, or which direction I will take, but I’m confident that God will lead me as He always has.”

“Dreamer - The Journey from Eleuthera to Hollywood” will stream on her Facebook page live on Sunday, August 8, at 8pm.


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