There is no stopping comedian and actor Dy Browne — at least not yet. Not until he has produced the Best of the Best Stand-up Comedy shows and certainly not until he has organized all of the amazing film and live theatre concepts he has penned.
The 44-year-old who started out at the Combermere school while a student said that he was always a jokester and always had a way with words and making people laugh.
“I grew up loving television, and I always fantasized about being an actor. In Barbados, people would say that my dreams to be an actor made no sense…”
However, determined to follow his dreams Dy, real name Dyrstra Browne, became the President of the Combermere Dramatic Society, performed with veteran broadcaster and actor Tony Thompson and eventually travelled to Trinidad and Antigua to perform.
“This really cemented my desire to pursue this thing around 1992.”
The writer, director and poet said that he never had any other interests outside of the arts, but he hopes to change the culture of Barbadians to come out and support artists like himself. “The only thing is to get to monetizing [my brand]. I was doing it, I am doing it and I will [continue in the arts].”
He said that he knows that it can be “really rough” as an artist, but he prefers this route because over the years he has also observed people go into other jobs with a miserable outcome.
Though a professional jokester, Dy is an academic in more ways than one as he has attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and School for Film and Television in New York City. After studying, he would have spent ten years in New York and returned to Barbados in 2005.
In 2018, Dy went viral with his use of the popular Bajan expletive the “R-word”. He told Bajan Vibes about the events that led to that.
“I went overseas. I missed my country, and I got to appreciate all of those things. When I do stand-ups, I would use Bajan words and expressions.”
Dy then had the genius idea to perform his stand ups online. “I said I would record my stand ups for Facebook but then Joe Cloudy convinced me to compress it to a minute for Instagram. It went viral, and people were calling and demanding for more.”
Dy starred in stage plays From Bussa to Barrow and Beyond written by Sonia Williams and said that with years of experience, he hardly feels nervous before a live show. Not everyone can stand before a massive crowd and get them to laugh, but he has a way with people and the way he works humour.
“Anyone who knows me knows that once I am performing and the first laugh comes, I am generally cool and comfortable. I don’t get nervous before shows unless it’s a big one with a huge crowd. The butterflies may get me, but I won’t use the term nervous. The anticipation and adrenaline are needed before a show…”
Some of his career highlights include playing Sir Grantley Adams in No Country For A White Hero written by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles in 2014 and he also starred in Timothy Calendar’s It So Happen in 2010. He also worked in the area of production for Chrissy and The Vigilante by Marcia Weeks.
Going forward, Dy who has been doing stand-up comedy since 2011 said he hopes to do live shows bigger and better. Also, he is not interested in watering down his content to please sponsors. He said he went the “clean route” for many years without sponsorship and so he has decided to show his rawest self.
Choosing to remain positive as a master of his words, Dy refrained from complaining about the arts in Barbados. “Right now, I am not in the mindset of the usual artist of complaining. The mind is powerful and what you put out there comes back to you. So right now, I am all about positivity. The shows are doing well and will continue to do well. I will get more people and more sponsors will come on board. I plan to include poetry and the sky’s the limit,” he said. “With the right sort of approach, anything is possible.”
You can look out for Dy in his upcoming shows at the Jamestown Bar in Second Street Holetown. In describing how he felt about this new platform, Dy said: “I feel like things are happening, almost like I turn a corner.”