While my first writing love is poetry, my first on stage love is the theatre. My BA is in theatre from Grambling State University and I performed all through high school and college in various genres. I ultimately moved to Los Angeles with the dual mission to become an actress and writer. As I continued to write, I fell in love with the dance of words in poetry and began to perform as a performance poet. The rest is history. I’m not sure if I chose poetry or if poetry chose me but we damn sure got married!
My full circle story… June of 2016 I received a call that an upcoming television show needed a writer of poetry for the series because the lead character parlayed as a poet in her downtime. The show, “Rebel”, is backed by executive producer and oscar nominated/emmy award winning director, John Singleton. Without hesitation, I accepted! And a few weeks later, I was told that I was being written in as the lead actresses’ poetry rival. Having not prayed on being an actress in years, they were being answered some 15 years later. So off to Los Angeles I went…
Two of my poems had already been accepted and taped for the series so I was showing up as not only an actor for an episode but a writer. MIND BLOWING!!! I was so nervous that my lines would not stick in my memory. I was so nervous, I shut down and was totally shy and quiet on set. But I was there and had to perform.
Not once did I feel like I didn’t deserve it. I’ve worked my butt off for years! In theatre, I was always the first one in the building and off book before called to do so. The same for poetry performances. While I have had a steady career in the arts, the rejections have been innumerable. I have had detours and had to become a full time store manager in retail and substitute teacher to part time artist and then back to full time artist. From the beginning of this, I felt like I deserved this. I felt, this has my name on it. This is mine.
My first day on set was so overwhelming. People whisking by you with no eye contact, wires everywhere, some parts of set dark and the others light and guess what?…. I got a trailer. For some reason I expected to have a fancy shared green room but I had a small quaint trailer with my name and everything.
I roughed through the first day (and I mean rough…) and my second day of shooting was much easier. I eventually flew back to Los Angeles to tape a small part in another episode as well. So, I had to polish off that part of my bio that read, actor. And now, I am excited to share with you that the show will air March 28th on BET and the closing poem performed by the lead actress was written by yours truly, me. I filmed for episode 7 and 10 and will keep you posted closer to the dates that it airs.
(after dinner, in my trailer on the set of “Rebel”)
So if you’ve heard it once, you’ll hear it again. Stay true to your dreams and what you want because dreams don’t expire! That prayer, that meditation is going to be answered when the time is right not when you want it.