The Caribbean Voice
I've Only Just Begun
Norbert again excelled, as he's accustomed to, and became an icon at JC. He represented the school in track and field concentrating on 100, 200, 4X100 sprint races, swimming, and Drama. He was again in the spot light and was considered by many to be a role model. This he attributes to the fact that some years prior, he was a member in the St. Peter Clever scout troop which was largely responsible for inculcating in him, his assertiveness, courage and leadership qualities. In addition to that, he had given his life to the Lord and was a member of the Jamaica Child Evangelism Fellowship - Choir, a special singing group of kids that traveled the island ministering the gospel through songs and drama. It was through this involvement that led to Norbert being one of the co-hosts on the ever-popular children's radio program, The Children's Bible Club.
The Adult Years
In 1985 in his 18th year, Norbert decided to develop his now very evident talent of Acting by enrolling into the Jamaica School of Drama. He worked days as he studied at nights. He followed up the next year at the School of Dance. Jamaica being a very small and conservative country, was still plagued with the stigma of a male dancer being gay. This Norbert remembers was a big concern of his but eventually the learning dominated his fear.
A few years later while working at the Norman Manley International Airport, another gate opened. He found his first 35 mm professional camera. With the advent of a 35 mm camera he could now broaden his horizons which was then limited to 110 and 126 cameras even though in retrospect, he feels they helped to prepare him for the big league. With a professional camera, he could now ask for money for his work and his work would get better and with this extra money he could study photography. Norbert did as he had planned. He studied with the New York Institute Of Photography through their correspondence courses. Norbert took up freelance photography with a passion and in a few short years had gained the respect and admiration of his peers in the industry. He went on to become an award-winning photographer recognized by the cultural arm of the Jamaican Government.
By now Norbert had developed unique skills or strong liking in several areas like Astronomy, Drama, Photography, and Medicine. By this time, one of Norbert's brothers, Keith, who had already migrated to the United States, started the process for his migration also, so that he would have a better chance to continue his education in his chosen area. This 5 year process, unknowing to either, would turn out to be a 10-year waiting period. Medicine was the number one choice in the earlier years but it seemed to be taking a back seat to other things. A war was raging, Science vs. The Arts. Which would prevail? Another deciding factor came when Stanley Motta, a Kodak fitted photo finishing company hired Norbert as their consultant in the custom color lab. This posed no big challenge for Norbert as he had already proven his skills as a technical/artistic guru in two previous black and white labs.
Soon it was again time to 'increase his territory' and Norbert made the addition of moving pictures to his portfolio. He was hired by the Government owned and operated television production facility, Jamaica Information Service, JIS-TV. Having already been exposed to broadcasting through his involvement with the Children's Bible Club radio program days and his most recent involvement in photography, his background lent itself to a rapid growth. Norbert moved through the station like a hurricane. In three and a half years Norbert went from production assistant to News anchor making pit stops at Videographer, Editor, Writer, Producer and Technical Director. This growth was enhanced by the fact that he was simultaneously enrolled at the Creative Production and Training Center, studying TV Production/Directing and Voice & speech for Radio Television and public speaking. In 1994, Norbert left JIS-TV and went to work for Media Mix Productions as a Producer/Director/Writer, one of the parent company of Jamaica's second television station, and he eventually became CVM-TV's first Technical News Director. Norbert had now attained 'celebrity' status in Jamaica's media life.