His trophy cabinet is already buckling under the weight of accolades that belie his youth. Jay-Dee Conradie is multi-talented, not just in the arts but in the sciences too.
The fourth-year student, who resides at the Patria men’s residence on the campus in Potchefstroom, was already showing star quality in high school. In Grade 12, for instance, he scored the highest marks for drama of all the pupils in the Free State.
Then, as a student in Potchefstroom, he has won the Pukki Talent Festival twice and also done extremely well at the Aardklop National Arts Festival.
In 2018, his band Glimpse won the award for the best-up-and-coming music group at Aardklop and in 2019 Jay-Dee was named best student actor for the play he starred in, My Planeet. This masterpiece also won the Aardklop award for best student production and best overall production.
Oh, and by the way, when he is not busy acting, writing and making music, he is working on his BSc degree in microbiology and physiology.
Balancing studies and art
“I wanted to study drama but my parents dug their heels in and told me to focus on a profession that would enable me to make a living,” says the Kroonstad native.
“A lot of people find it strange that I am studying for a BSc while I also love the arts, but I think my heart gravitates more towards the arts than the BSc, although it is going well with my studies.”
He also has a passion for bonsai trees and painting (“although I am not very good at it”) and is at his happiest watching a performance of Singing in the Rain at Monte Casino or #Huishou starring Nadia Valvekens and Cintaine Schutte.
Acting is like breathing
His acting inspirations include South African stage and screen legends such as Lizz Meiring, Sandra Prinsloo, Frank Opperman and Marius Weyers.
“Every actor’s big love is the stage but I wouldn’t mind playing a role in a soap opera like 7de Laan,” he says with excitement.
“I’m wired for the arts. It’s my oxygen. I’ll die if I’m denied the opportunity to get on the stage. Like Lizz Meiring said: ‘We are all children who want to hold concerts’.”
In 2019, Jay-Dee Conradie made his film debut when he played the role of a doctor in the short movie Hope.
Jay-Dee Conradie drums away with his band, Glimpse.
shines on every stage