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With little education and no job skills, Sidney survived the tough streets of New York City by washing dishes. One day, he answered a job ad for actors, figuring it couldn't be any harder than being a dishwasher or parking cars. Sidney showed up with his thick Bahamian accent and could hardly read. The director threw him out, telling him he'd never be more than a dishwasher. Sidney was shocked that the director not only knew he was not an actor, but that he even sized up what he actually did for a living. He called that assessment "a death sentence for my soul."

Looking back, Sidney says he never would have pursued acting if the director had not shown him the door. "I went back and I decided that I was going to become an actor to show him that he was wrong about me," he says.

Sidney went home, deciding to tackle his thick accent first. At night, Sidney listened to the radio and picked out different voices to emulate. One radio host stood out—Norman Brokenshire. "It was distinctly American but with a very British flavor," Sidney says. "Every word he spoke, every sentence he made, I would repeat it. By the end of six months, I was ready for an audition."