It’s been two(2) years since I decided to move back to New York. Since then I have achieved some success.
At the same time, I find it funny how in pursuit of my dream I would allow doubt to enter my mind. I recently was cast in an amazing new production of ‘Othello’ set during the end of the Black Panther Party movement. As an Actor I relish the opportunity to work on historical pieces, as well as the classics. This seemed to be a perfect fit. However, once the rehearsal process began I started to doubt myself. I had never done Shakespeare outside of a class. I kept asking myself “am I good enough”. Unfortunately I wasn’t getting paid for this project. And on top of all that it was snowing ALOT.
Every excuse plagued me to the point of me regretting I had accepted the role of ‘Michael Cassio’. My self doubt, and pity had marred the many days and hours of rehearsal. This lasted until one of my cast mates told me how much my work had inspired her. I was shocked. In my despair I forgot my personal mission as an artist. My job no matter the pay scale is to be an inspiration to others.
As the show continues for the next three(3) weeks I am reminded and encouraged that my work matters, and that I have all I need to be the best I can be.
The snow began to fall after a succesful run of the off-Broadway world premiere of ‘Defacing Michael Jackson’ closed. Literally and figuraitively. That strange feeling of “what now” came over me on my way to an audition in the city recently. It is always a startling reminder that the work is never done as an actor. Or rather there is always an opportunity to express my gift. Whether it be on stage, film, television or the audition room.
As winter drops in with its full force this is a perfect time to fine tune skills, assess goals, and make new plans. I look forward to 2014, but right now I appreciate the opportunity to check in with myself and make sure I have a clear vision as to where I am headed.
I started this blog last year to chronicle my journey as an Artist and Citizen of the world. I wanted to capture my insights and lessons learned as I pursued my Acting career. I left a career in Finance to pursue my passion. From the title of this page you can guess what my goals are.
As I pursued my goal I have had some trials, and set backs. I have met some great people along the way. Coaches, actors, and new friends that have pushed, guided and helped me become the artist I am today.
It’s with great joy that I can say that after a little more than 2 years of returning back to New York I have booked my first Off-Broadway show. ‘Defacing Michael Jackson’ playing at the famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe is a dynamic project that I am proud to be a part of. This show is an actors dream. It is my dream and I am humbled to see it manifested.
I am happy to see where the train has stopped at this point in time, and I look forward to where it takes me.
August has been a month of Transition for me. I recently took a walk in the park. There were kids playing, riding bikes, and laughing. Mothers and Fathers eating on the park benches. Old men having intense conversations.
One kids mom yelled at him for playing where she told him not to. He pouted and was mad. Then less than a minute later he walked over and said “sorry mommy”, and was off playing and having fun. Another boy was running and as children do he fell. He got up and was crying. His mom came and picked him up. And yes a few minutes later he was off playing in the grass.
As I walked home I thought to myself, life would be much more pleasurable if as an adult I responded the same way. Of course things will hurt, but I don’t have to replay it in my mind. I only have to live it once and go on having fun.
I realized that if I lose a loved one, a job, or don’t get the role I want I still have permission to go back out there and enjoy life. As Summer transitions into Fall take this opportunity to drop all the baggage and smile.
Recently I was asked to particpate in a reading of a play relating to the Civil Rights Movement. In the play my character states that “we need police, who police and governments that govern.” It amazes me that lines written for a time period that seems and at times feels so long ago could be so poignant today. In the wake of the Trayvon Martin case I am left feeling numb. All the sages of the day talk about the power of intention, attraction and all that and I wonder how that applies today? In the mist of it all how do we forgive? And move forward? The thought came to me while rereading the play and my character states “we will move on, but without you.” That has a lot of room for interpretation. But depending on one group to respect, love, protect, care for, and enfranshise another I no longer feel is the answer. Frederick Douglas words come to mind when he said “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”. Supporting minority owned banks, businesses etc may be the way to go. Along with being politically involved. But no matter what we do as a race we must press on. Triumph over Tragedy. Eyes on the Prize.