PAY d devil! Even the seven-year-old ones.
Marcel Marcano is keeping his family's tradition and Trinidad and Tobago culture alive with his portrayal of the blue devil.
He is the nephew of Steffano Marcano, bandleader of the Paramin group Next Level Devils Performing Arts and Cultural Group.
The Paramin RC Primary School student told Newsday Kids he became interested in the character because of "uncle Steffy."
The blue devil is known for its theatrics, dancing, piercing screams, horns, red mouths, wings, pitchforks, a tail and even firebreathing.
They try their best to instil fear into audiences/onlookers by getting really close to them, sticking out their tongues and doing other antics.
Some chant, "Pay d devil!" as onlookers can use money as bribery to get the characters to stop teasing them.
There are also red devils as well as jab molassies, which are black.
The young devil has been doing this since he was five years old. He explained to Newsday Kids how he plays the devil or "plays jab": "While I am dancing, I raise my foot and normally I hold and move the pitchfork."
He prefers dancing to the rhythms made by beating pitch oil or biscuit tins rather than music.
Admittedly, he said it was a bit scary when he first started, but he is no longer afraid to portray the character.
He has also performed in front of audiences and has even been in ads.
His favourite aspect of the character is the costume, he added. He also wants to learn how to make it, from start to finish someday.
He said the costume is light-weight so he is able to move around easily in it. Typically, he plays it barefoot but recalled wearing "comfortable boots" once.
While transforming into the character for the interview with Newsday Kids, he gleefully applied the blue paint all over his body.
He is still too young to get to try firebreathing, but he said when he gets older, he definitely wants to try it.
"Seeing uncle Steffy play jab is really cool.
"Today, I saw him in a music video (for Drift by Neil "Iwer" George and Jadel) and that was good."
His mother, Shenice Marcano, also portrays the blue devil.
He said he would love it if other children come to play jab. He also plays conventional mas with his school and this year, the theme is Purple Reign.
When he is not terrorising people, he is either playing in the pool or with his cousin's dog Skye.
Asked who are some people in his life he appreciates and loves, he said, "My entire family!"
He hopes to be a police officer when he grows up.
TYPES OF DEVIL/DEMON CHARACTERS
- Blue devil
- Red devil
- Jab molassie
- Jab Jab/Whipmaster