Tag Archives: PTSD

SHE CHRONICLES: Absent from Your Work

While studying film in grad school, a lot of my professors had taken on the “grassroots/indie” approach to their art and influenced the students as well.  Meaning, if you want it on the big screen you have to execute guerilla style film making and do everything yourself.  So being a writer and actor, when I first moved to Los Angeles, my natural inking was to write a play, cast it, direct it, produce it, market it, etc.

For me, that robbed me of the time I needed to be creative.  As my luck would have it, I went to a book reading for Ntozake Shange and she said something that saved me from a lot of future stress.  To paraphrase her, ‘write something so good, others will want to perform it, buy it and/or produce it.’  So after studying arts all through high school, undergrad and grad school, I found myself back in the library reading the timeline and art of some of my Sheros.

I sought to study the greats and determine how they were able to create timeless art that others yearned to bring to life and share with their perspective audiences.  That is my mission.  Especially with my play, “Hope’s Return”.

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Back to my roots, Theatre

I am still floating on a cloud where dreams come true…

My art interest started in theatre, as an actress, back in elementary school.  That interest eventually led to writing, in several genres, and performance in poetry or oral tradition of interpretation.  I wrote, produced and directed a one act play in Los Angeles a few years back and I did the same for a one woman show in which I portrayed, Afeni Shakur, the ex-black panther and mother to the late Tupac Shakur.  Anyone can be a playwright by simply writing a play.  My goal had always been to be contacted by a theatre company and sent a contract to collect for Royalty Fee’s.  That finally happened to me in August 2015 and it has been a surreal journey up until the other night when I was handed the tickets and program to the production of my play, Hope’s Return.

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A few years back, I read an article on LaVena Johnson.  An African American soldier who had just graduated from high school in Missouri and enlisted into the army. After only serving eight weeks in Balad, Iraq, Johnson became the first woman to die in Afghanistan or Iraq from the state of Missouri.  Her family was notified that her death was ruled a suicide from a gun shot wound to the right side of her head with a M-16 rifle. Upon her family viewing the body, the gunshot was on the left side of her head along with a black eye, broken nose, several missing teeth, scratches and teeth marks on her upper body, her back and right hand burned, her vaginal area bruised and lacerated and lye had been poured into her vagina.  The Army ruled her death a suicide in 2005.

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