Two years ago, when Daniel Garavito, 14, realised he wanted to be a performer, he went all out in preparing to make his dream come true.
He attends several classes at two performing arts academies including voice, theatre, piano, pan and public speaking, after school at Trinity College East and for ten hours on Saturdays.
He is also preparing to give his first public performance on December 12 at Kafe Blue, formerly Kaiso Blues Café, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, organised by one of the performance schools, Rosemand's Academy For Performing Arts. Garavito will be the headliner at this debut showcase.
Garavito told Sunday Newsday music was always something he loved.
“I listen to music whenever I have the chance. Music can lighten my mood. It’s like a remedy. It’s something that is able to pick me up at the end of the day.”
He said when he participated in concerts at primary school he was told he had a good singing voice, but did not pay attention to the compliments. He had also been a member of choirs, including the group Eh Beh Oui Don Don, but did not think it would grow into anything serious.
He said he liked and still likes the feeling he gets from performing. He admitted he is usually nervous at first, but as things go well his mood becomes joyful and vibrant. However, during a solo performance at a school concert at 11, he forgot the lyrics of a song and froze, and he did not think he would perform alone again.
It was seeing his favourite artiste – Ariana Grande – perform that sparked his interest in becoming a performer and motivated him to attend both Rosemand's and Birdsong Academy.
“She has a crazy vocal range. It’s insane and her performances are very cool, just enlightening... I could imagine being on stage and having all those people cheering for me just because I simply sang a few words.”
After that, in 2017, he started at Rosemand's, where the academy’s founder and principal, Stacy Nurse, helped built his confidence. Now one of his goals is to become a performer – an actor, singer or pianist – at one point in his life.
But he would also like a career in science.
“It’s ironic. I’m doing all of these things so it would be a good assumption that I only want to be a performer or recording artist.
"But I’m genuinely uncertain of my path because I really like sciences. And I’m really studying hard to get into sciences in form four and five. I just don’t know.”
At Kafe Blue, Garavito said he will be performing covers of pop and calypso songs, as well as two duets backed by a band. There will also be performances by other Rosemand's students.
He said he was very excited for the showcase as he likes the space at the club and most of the songs on the set list, and was looking forward to being on stage. He hopes people willgenuinely like the show and give positive comments, as that would help build his confidence.
He was a bit concerned about having people in his age group attend the show because many youths prefer “gunman tunes,” which he will not be performing, but he welcomed all to attend.