For her, the desire was as good as action. ”I’m not one of those people who daydreams,” said Sinclair. ”Once a thought comes into my head, I set about to make a reality of it.”
Her immediate reality was a ticket to New York. ”The American dreamis America’s best seller,” she said. ”I bought it.”
In those early New York days, she found herself a far distance from the career she sought, instead supporting herself by working ”on Wall Street, as a cashier at a theater chain, in the garment district.”
She did begin modeling, and one assignment involved a revue with some acting attached. An agent saw her and suggested she see theatrical impresario Joseph Papp, who needed someone for a show he was casting.
She not only got the role, but continued to work in Papp’s Public Theater for the next three years, where she gained experience and training and met her future husband, Dean Compton, who was production stage manager.
In 1974 she starred in Conrack with Jon Voight, and chose that time to move to California. ”I thought to my clever self,” she said, ”why don’t I run around and see casting agents and if they ask me what I’ve done, I can tell them they can go to the Fox Theatre and see the movie.”
It worked. ”If I had come out here with just a picture and a resume at my age, I don’t think anyone would have paid any attention to me,” she said.
She began to be cast in what she describes as ”serious parts, and they all built a certain kind of career for me. They were all little-bitty parts, but rather interesting, and I took them all and made something nice out of them.” Looking back, she has no regrets about having left home and family.
She spent the first years returning to Jamaica to see the boys between jobs and having them with her for vacations. When they were teenagers, they joined her here. She said, ”We’re very good friends. I feel fortunate I was smart enough to keep the lines of communication open so that, even when upheavals came, we could discuss everything.”
She said part of her satisfaction with her choice lies in the pride the Jamaican community feels in her. She received achievement awards from Jamaican groups in Chicago and Boston, and ”the Jamaican-West Indian- Caribbean community has indicated it is very pleased with me.”