Monday, December 24, 2012

Okay, there is positively nothing I can say about "The Message" that hasn't been said. The world (me included) absolutely froze in its tracks the week it debuted on radio in June of '82. Hip-hop was once known as party fodder, a fad. "The Message" pulled a 180 and proved it could be a tool of sociopolitical change. Being 11, I was as sheltered as sheltered could get. My cousin had to translate all the street terms and jail talk I had never heard before. (I saw nothing wrong with being a "pip" – they danced real good for Gladys! I just had trouble figuring out why a young girl would need one to make it in the streets.) Even my father had to confess he liked it better than that "hippidy hoppidy" song. And when the last minute of the song came on, my dad saw fit that we should have "the talk." Ah yes, "the talk." The one he's been giving me every year of my life. The rules of safety and survival – not with the streets, but with cops. You just gotta understand that the average black man walks around assuming that most people think he's guilty. So the need to make people feel at ease has been instilled in us at an early age. "If a cop addresses you on the street, you are to address him in clear English with 'Yes, sir.' Any movement made must be sllllloooooooowwww. This is to ensure you do not get shot 'by accident.' Do not run in the neighborhood, because that's suspicious..."

I'm sorry, y'all. As I'm typing this, I'm shaking my head – because on one hand, it's so degrading to see these words and it's so emasculating to abide by them. Then I think about the night a few years ago when I got frisked on the hood of the car and then placed in a cop car while they searched for whatever it was they were looking for, and I kept praying they wouldn't figure out how to open the trunk, because there was no way in hell they'd believe I was the owner of a deluxe Scrabble game and a bunch of psychology books from Borders. They told me there was high theft of mini-coops from the dealership I just happened to be parked at, unaware. I told them the irony was, I had pulled over to take a phone call since it was against the law to talk and drive. Of course, driving that type of car in Orange County left me wide open. It was Super Tuesday in 2008, and I was campaigning before the Grammys. I just kept thinking, "Wow, I broke Dad's promise not to ever be a part of this cliche of a scene just like the last minute of 'The Message.'"

I answered questions as best I could, which was working against me because my natural proper English could be seen as "uppity." Add four cops to the mix who are asking questions like "Assistant?" "Your office?" They must have thought we were all quick-thinking Axel Foleys who can double-talk their way out of being arrested. Eventually I was let go when the rental service verified me as the renter. I drove back to my Beverly Hills hotel livid and angry and helpless and about to lose my head. It is like a jungle, still.

Read more: 
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Beastie Boys - "Hold It, Now Hit It" (acapulco)

I am, frankly, amazed at how much better this is without the track.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

too good for facebook


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Universal ass-whoopin

There are several postings I should have made over the past year and change that I haven't. I can sum them up this way: The Universe has had its existential foot in my ass and I think I asked for it.

It started after getting back onto the stage after a roughly two-year absence. I'd previously come to the conclusion that lack of humility is the greatest enemy to potential, that I hadn't been humble, that I was willing to take any part in a piece - including not being on stage - in order to be a part of a production. I auditioned for a Shakespeare piece and was offered a much larger role than I expected. I tried taking more responsibility in it than I had before (union deputy). I finished the run confident that I'd done some good work, but far from perfect, and believing I had and understanding and more confidence in what my particular skill set is.

Soon after it, I auditioned for two more pieces. The first, I didn't put nearly the work into. I thought I "knew" what was being looked for. I didn't even get a callback. I attributed it to that same hubris.
I asked God to humble me.

There was another play...this time I was offered it, but turned it down in order to work. Mind, this wasn't the work I came here to do, but it paid far better in the short term and I had lived off a credit card while doing the Shakes show. I turned it down.

As I'd taken on more responsibility doing the play, I was interested in doing the same in a management context. I ended up getting that chance thrust upon me far sooner than expected and immediately was dealing with all of its pitfalls. I dealt with it because I thought it might afford me a better chance later on. A chance to travel and work closer to my kinfolk and clear out my credit card debt.
I found myself making the same mistake in this as I had during the show. Not speaking up when I should leading to an injury that case and having to deal with hurt feelings in this one.

So, the spring passed into summer, and that chance to travel never occurred the way I thought I was assured it would. I worked hard and often and was close to finishing my stint with this company when I was offered a chance to manage officially l, be salaried, have time to audition. There was a bug in my ear letting me know I was bring asked to replace a person who'd just left. I'd gotten a chance for several months to see how this company worked and that, in spite of how relaxed it tried to show itself to be, it was as corporate a place as any I'd spent the previous ten years trying to avoid.

I felt I knew what it was....looking at the chance to make the money I didn't get to before, I accepted anyway.

In short it was what it I thought it was and I found out I didn't have the wherewithal to put on the mask that would carry me through.

And as much as I felt like I was being used as the scapegoat that I knew I was being hired to be, I didn't leave when I could have because I did not want to be a quitter. I wanted to complete the job I said I would do.
Which, of course, meant I was asked to leave.
The best part? Not only did I not make the money I hoped to, I ended getting charged over 500 bux in bank fees for using my account to buy supplies for said company. But, hey, my decision, right?
I spend up what money I have left from that and manage to get cast on a certain primetime police drama. Instead of using that money to start the transition away from here that I'd planned for the previous two years, I decide to hang around and see if I can get something going with regard to my "career".

This lead to further humility - going back to an agent I hadn't spoken to in years (that one seemed like a good exercise, actually), auditioning for a chance to go to Scotland only to find out that it was filled without my consideration, getting cast in a small role in a play I'd already done with a lead I was....annoyed by....and staying in that play instead of asking out when I knew I wouldn't enjoy it.

(one day I will follow my own advice)

Since Scotland didn't work out, I accepted a lead role in another piece.
A week and a half later, Scotland was an option again. I chose the piece I'd already committed to.
This somehow signalled the demons which had previously been absent on the project to suddenly make themselves apparent. Jealousy, silliness, acrimony....and I hate how I dealt with it. Almost as soon as I had made the decision to stay with the show, I regretted it. I could never really enjoy it after that. I felt self-conscious in performance. I couldn't wait to get the run over. It wasn't even 10 shows.

I didn't have a good performance or even audition after that least 3.

And then I get an audition for another network police drama.

When I go to it, after putting the hard work that I had been afraid to in the few months prior, I'm told there isn't one for that show, that I should call my agent.

(In front of a group of waiting actors. Embarrassing? Yes.)

Then, on my first foray into the city after The Storm of the Century, my bicycle is stolen when lock it up improperly and conspicuously.

(more hubris...but I find it related to a lot of oral clatter I'd made earlier...had I bit talked so much, maybe I would have arrived earlier and found a better place to lock and felt I had time to lock it properly. That said, bike thieves do the work of the eviL onE)

Last week, after finally getting a day of work for the first time in abouts month, my car was towed (for bogus tickets that I should have seen a judge about...but yeah, whichever).

Today I have discovered that I have lost my phone.

(found a day later, 'neath my mass of mess)

I'm tired...and quite humbled.

I have, in fact, asked God to stop with the humble stick.

And yet -

I met a guy on the boat soon to share an alma mater with me looking to go back and do grad study in the same field I am considering.
I just found out a lady in my building is a musician. I didn't know there were other artists in the building.
I helped somebody buy a pretty sweet bike.
Some one just messaged my that she is seeing me "everywhere".

After this summer it took me a minute to figure out why things seemed to keep "happening to me". I was literally asking why I was being humbled. It took me until about the end of the summer to remember that I had asked for it.
Now if I could just get some clarity on what it is I have left to learn.
Whatever is the case. my ass is tired.


Monday, December 17, 2012

I just looked at my October posts

and realized how long it took me to finally make it to the orientation at the Actor's Work Fund.

(over a month....which is bad considering I haven't really had anything else to do on a Monday...also bad because I'd tried since then but couldn't manage to make it on time....and just missed the Job search meeting this past Thursday because I didn't add it to my calendar.)

I am massively unorganized.

I think it might be killing me.

(and in other parentheticals, in addition to having my bicycle stolen the week after a super storm AND deciding to buy a bike over eBay that has turned out to be not as advertised, my car was towed for unfair tickets - one including a bold lie - and a red light ticket I didn't even know the registration had expired which I didn't know because I never got a renewal notice!! has now caused said car to have to remain in the tow lot and accrue "storage fees" and I have no money to pay the rent...or pay the cc bill for the card that I'd usually use to pay in this situation.)

(in the past I've encouraged people to experience New York. You know what....don't.)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

I arrived back

in NYC at roughly this time 2 days ago.

It has taken rougly 48hrs for me to hate the city all over again.

I do admit, however, that it is Manhattan that truly draws the fire of my ire.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Thank you AA flight 732

for showing me how exciting a no-viz landing at night into LGA can be.

Was all ready

To congratulate DFW on the high quality of its downtempo soundtrack.

That's was when I realized I had accidentally started the internet radio on my phone.

I just left

and I already miss the Barbazon.

I just looked in the refrigerator

and discovered two cans of Bud Light.

When I asked the maternal unit who's drinking Bud Lights, she informed me they belong to my father.

I have never

EVER seen or known my father to drink alcohol. At all. Not even socially.

It is literally the end of the world as I know it. 

Blog Archive