Thursday, November 6, 2008

Its A New Dawn, Its A New Day In America

Its A New Dawn, A New Day, And I'm feeling good. November 4th 2008 was the best day of my life to date. Today Barak Obama is set to lead this nation to changes for the good.
I was a poll worker for this historic election and the diverse numbers of people who came out to vote was an amazing thing to observe. There were young people coming out to vote for the first time and the percentage of the youth vote had doubled compared to previous elections. There were old women and men in wheelchairs and walking canes determined to surrender their vote by mail envelope and actually come to the polls and click their vote in. The final count for the day was 689 voters that I helped process.
As I drove away from the precinct I headed to the heart of LA to see what the streets were saying. Never in my time on this earth have I seen such joy and celebration for a new President of the United States. There were people in the streets waving at each other, honking their horns, screaming out "Obaaaammmmmaaaaa". There were tough over masculine grown men letting their guard down and allowing themselves to be vulnerable and tears began to fall down their face. From Lemeirt Park to Ladera Center at Magics TGIF to various lounges and clubs everybody was celebrating. The city's heart was beating fast and hard.
When I listened to Barak Speech tears fell down my face. Never had I heard a President after winning still bring it back to the people. All I heard is what "we" still need to do and how "we" have to be responsible as Americans for our own actions and the communities around us. Never have I heard a President acknowledge the groups that didn't vote for him and call out for their help so that "all people" can work together for the greater good. Dr. King believed that "all people" should work together for the greater good of this nation. I have had the opportunity to travel and live abroad and my friends from London from Spain and even an associate from Germany were telling me how happy they were and how America finally picked the right person for the job. Barak Obama is a global president. My colleague from Columbia now living in the states said that finally she felt apart of this place called America. Finally I feel like dreamers can actually live awake. Little children of color who say I want to be president of the United States will not be looked at crazy as if they have unattainable aspiration.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Does Love Have to Hurt?

My friend asked me the other day Does Love Have to Hurt? I was asked do you see it coming? Are their signs? The truth of the matter is when love is in the picture I don't think you ever see heartbroken in the future. I don't think love hurts, I think that falling out of love or not having love when you want it hurts. Breakup hurts, parents divorcing hurts, abandonment hurts. The aftermath of these events hurt as well, not feeling appreciated, not feeling loved, not feeling wanted, not feeling good enough, feeling disrespected... and the list goes on and on to the point where you just don't want to feel anymore.

Although Love is warm and exciting its also unpredictable and thorny. There's no cliffs notes for love and how to sustain it. Sustain is the key word. When thinking of love and longevity, investment, dedication, creativity and openness comes to mind. That excitement and passion you have in the beginning is not enough to sustain for the long haul. You often hear people say communication is key. As I am growing and learning I find that to be the truest statement ever. Just as a good leader needs to know how to follow, a good communicator needs to know how to listen. So often in relationships we are not great communicators. We don't listen for understanding we are simply listening for a pause to start speaking again. Also what we say needs to be thought out way more than we do. Words can hurt just as much as actions. When we criticise we are going against building and contributing toward tearing down the relationship.
Compliments on the other hand are wonderful. Shakespeare's Romeo goes on and on for pages and pages professing his love and admiration for Juliet but for a couple today to just say those three words I Love You is a miracle. When a couple can express their emotions and feelings for each other that is a recipe for long lasting love and passion. Laughing is great. As adults we tend to loose that inner child that can love and live with abandon. A couple who can laugh together and have adventures with each other would have a great lasting friendship. I feel like if friendship and trust is at the core of the relationship it has a chance to last.

People are made to be loved, Things are made to be used. Its hard but if you love like you have never been hurt maybe life can be lived in a full way. So to my friend yes sometimes love can hurt but I would rather have love than not.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Im Gonna Stand

My First Poem: Written in 2002
I remember the frist time that I realized that being black was seen as being different. I am not talking about my nappy roots black, my big lips and hips kind of black, my got the holy ghost, eyes rolling, hand clapping, eating collard greens and mac and cheese. No I am talking about a different feeling. A disconnected feeling from "others" that dont look like me, my race, my ethnicity, my check this box if you are this , kind of me. Im talking about my unpopular complection me. Trying to ignore preconceived perceptions of what i am suppose to be. How many times do I have to chant Black Is Beautiful, Black Is Beautiful, Black Is Beautiful just to love me, myself and I. I. I have learned that my place in society is the very element that contributes to my daily struggle for my spirit to survive. I am trying to unlearn that feeling of inferiority as a so called minority of any given circumstance. Trying to overstand this black self as a socially constructed fiction and create my own "herstory" composition. "Ive got the skin with the tan thats grand, not from sunnin in the sand but from the motherland". New age, dark maids and exotic characters bulged eyes staring at me in the idiot box, saying yes a massa but fuck all that cause ill be your Nefertti but NOT your Aunt Jamaima. Sometimes I feel like im on the break of insanity but my present mind continually organizes my past mind and I slow dance for awhile and realize that everything will be fine with just a little time.
I will not bow down to my racism

I will not bow down to explotation

I will not bow down to injustice

Im gonna stand, Im gonna stand

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What A Day, What A Day!

So I had two auditions today. One for an ongoing show related to Kaiser and the other one for a musical. The first one went well, I was confident with my monologue. I mean I nailed it. My song was fab, its been one of my audition songs for years. You know how you have one of those audition pieces that just can never go wrong its apart of you, that's what it was. There was an interview afterward and I felt really comfortable with that as well, I was just in a good place and I was comfortable in my skin.
So I get on the crowded 405 to get to my second audition. Side note: (I never thought I would say this but I miss the subway in NY because even though it would be really smelly and crowded around this time and you try not to look in the little kids faces wanting money for candy "basketball team uniform" or the ladies with their hello kitty trinkets or the homeless guy with his cat and homeless jokes or the black muslems with their newspapers or the kids dancing and flipping in the middle of the subway car, I could get to about 3 auditions in one day and not have to worry about LA traffic. LA traffic would not be horrible if people knew how to drive. Why do people merge in and out of lanes as if the bumper to bumper traffic is going to disappear in the next lane. LA traffic would also be bearable if gas wasn't so expensive and I could turn on the AC.)
Anyway I'm sitting in traffic in my hot car and my makeup is getting all shiny (the cover girl look I had in the morning is non-existent now lol) and I don't have a blue tooth yet for the new hands free law so I cant even pass the time with friends on the phone. I tryed to use my speaker phone but that's a hassle because I can barely hear people and I end up asking people to repeat what they have to say like 5 times. So I finally get to the audition and there must have been every musical theater actor in the world there. I love musical theater but sometimes the environment could be a little, whats a word ummm overwhelming. I think like 20 people asked me "so what have you been in". This one girl even asked my age and all the girls gasped. But I humbly replied my "REAL AGE" I know that's a no no in Hollywood right but whatever.Side note: I wish the media would not stress age and size reduction. Women should embrace their beauty at every age and weight. God made the miracle called woman who can carry a life and birth it into the world with different shapes and colors and she should be adored not ridiculed and made to feel less than wonderful.) My commercial age range is 15 to 25 but I'm a couple of years older. I mean come on Stacy Dash was far from high school age in "Clueless" lol and she looks great. I'm younger than that I just thought it was funny that all the girls gasped like she made a racial remark. By the way I was 1 out of 6 black people at the audition and there were about 150+ people there. 3 hours later my name was called, not to audition but to turn in my headshot and contact info sheet. I think 30 min later I went in for my audition. My song for this audition is another piece I use but its always transposed a few octaves down. Let me tell you I have not had to sing first soprano in a few years lol. The audition was a mess, I almost laughed on the way out because I felt like it had to have been the worst audition I had ever given ever lol, but I wanted to remain as professional as I could. Honestly I wanted my headshot back lol. I did not want casting to have a record of my face to go with that audition.
My acting teacher in grad school use to say "If its bad, it happened 100 years ago If its good, it happened 100 years ago" In this business his quote stays with me always. It helps me to be stress free with the rejection, off performance nights, horrific audition experiences and it helps you to stay level headed with great performances and overflow of compliments and rave reviews.
Awe what a day, what a day, but I would not trade it for anything in the world! I LOVE IT, I SIMPLY LOVE IT!