Hearing the name ‘Amasha Richards’ at the 2013 Miss Anguilla Pageant surprised many. “Miss Anguilla was life-changing – I used to be the quietest person in my class,” she laughs. “The teacher would ask me a question; I would stare and not say a word.”
Now, Amasha is pursuing a career in modelling and acting. But though her condence in front of the camera is new, her passion for the performing arts stems from a childhood love of plays. “What amazed me was that these people were able to change who they were and just be somebody else,” she shares.
The Dominica-born 26-year-old moved with her mother to Anguilla at a tender age. It was a challenging time. “I didn’t have it easy growing up,” she remembers. “But, I don’t think that people’s circumstances have to determine their future.”
Today, after learning the trade at the London School of Beauty & Make-Up, Amasha has established herself as a gifted makeup artist. Interestingly, she keeps her own makeup light. “I believe that people should be able to face the world without it,” she explains.
Face the world she does. Earlier this year, Amasha took part in the Music Modelling and Talent Showcase (MMTS), the world’s only talent showcase speci-cally targeting Caribbean performers. “It’s all about education,” she says, “and giving Caribbean talent an opportunity to make the next step into the industry.”
Amasha impressed, catching the eye of a talent agency, Angie’s AMTI, which took her on board. Now, Amasha candedicate even more time and effort into developing her skills. “I work every day, reciting lines and videotaping myself doing scripts.”
“… the talent coming up in Anguilla is amazing. Even though Anguilla may be small, this place has tremendous potential.”
Casting opportunities have started popping up almost immediately. The former shy girl is now being asked to audition for TV commercials, modelling shoots, and even for a part on the Emmy-winning Netix Original series Orange is the New Black. Hollywood beckons, and Amasha can barely contain her excitement. “
My goal is to someday be in a movie with Angelina Jolie,” she laughs. “She’s my favourite actress. When she’s on screen, you can feel the passion. I think we’re a bit alike as well – she is a rebel.”
She also hopes to serve as inspiration for other young, local artists. “I think that the talent that is coming up right now in Anguilla is amazing,” she says. “Even though Anguilla may be small, this place has tremendous potential.”
Amasha maintains close ties to home and was understandably concerned after Tropical Storm Erika devastated Dominica in August of this year. Together with a group of other Dominican nationals living in Anguilla, she helped organize a fundraising concert in early October to add to the aid coming from the rest of the island.
“I want to be happy,” Amasha concludes. “And being happy means having the ability to give back to the community and be a positive inuence on younger people.”