If Sydney Tamiia Poitier has any say in the matter, the winds will blow favorably towards her new show, “Kendra.” The WIGS YouTube channel drama, which also stars Sarah Jones (Vegas, Alcatraz) in the title role, centers on a nurse (Jones) and her interaction with patients who reveal secrets following surgery while being in the “twilight room” – a hazy gray space where nothing is ever what it seems. Poitier plays Dr. Leslie, an anesthesiologist in the hospital who also finds herself caught up in the web of secrets.
Although “Kendra” marks her first time working with WIGS co-creator Jon Avnet, the series allowed Poitier to reunite with the channel’s other creator, Rodrigo Garcia, whom she worked with on the film “Nine Lives.”
“I immediately wanted to work with him [Garcia] again and when I sat with them to talk about what they were doing, creating all this really wonderful original programming geared towards women and doing it in such a great way, they’re essentially kind of filming these short movies,” the entertainer told EUR’s Lee Bailey. “They’re like films, really and then they get broken up in to episodes. So you get to watch these interesting films about character and life and they’re just really beautiful stories.”
With her interest piqued, Poitier’s involvement was cemented before she even read a script for “Kendra” after seeing footage of what was created for WIGS.
“They showed me some of the material from there and it all looked wonderful and sounded really interesting what they were doing,” she said. “This is sort of the way things are going these days. They’re kind of in on the ground floor in terms of bringing that kind of that quality of material to the Internet in to being able to watch it on your computer or your hand-held mobile device.”
“Kendra” is among a wave of online shows that utilize the Internet as an alternative to what is seen on network television. For Poitier, the movement is a plus in that it “makes it so accessible to everybody, #1.”
“#2,” she said, “it allows people to do this kind of material, which is really, really interesting character driven high-end material that doesn’t always get done in the other formats, whether it’s television or film, because of money and studios and everybody’s sort of worried about making a profit to a certain extent.
“So they tend to kind of play it safe as far as what sort of material they’re gonna do. In film right now everything is action or a certain type of comedy,” Poitier continued. “This allows people to do the kind of programming that I think people really want to see just isn’t quite out there as much in film and television.”
The desire to be part of the movement to showcase quality programming is a no-brainer for Poitier, who summed up her decision to make a career of acting to the profession being “genetically encoded” inside her. The entertainer, who is the daughter of Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier, was recently recognized with the Shining Star award and tribute at this year’s Bahamas International Film Festival. The honor is given each year to an actor or actress whose performances have put them on the path towards a lasting career in the entertainment industry.
“It was just a drive and a desire that I had very, very early on and never went away,” Poitier explained. “No matter how much my parents tried to steer me in another direction, a more stable direction, a more steady direction, my inner compass just kind of kept resetting itself to this, this goal is just something I just have to do.”
“Kendra” airs every Monday and Friday on the WIGS channel on YouTube.
Watch Sydney in a clip from “Kendra”: