Welcome to the B. Blog! What's happening right now with me will ALL be seen here. Upcoming performances, auditions, any and everything to do with my journey as a professional actress.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Raising Awareness, Raising Hope

"Before I begin talking about my acting journey and process with working on Raising Awareness, Raising Hope, I would like to send a special prayer to all the victims and victims' families of the tsunami in Japan. Thru the miracle of hope and promise, the sun will always rise again."

"Today, the great lie is that - women are not equal to men...." That lines is the true definition of what Raising Awareness, Raising Hope represents. Thru the compilation of poems and scenes, this show reinstated, in me, what my true calling is. And it is not only acting, it is informing.

All these women, black and white, we all came together to give a powerhouse performance of women over coming repression and oppression. Purely beautiful. Of course, it was a learning experience for me. It came down to actors vs spoken word artist. True, we are all the same when it comes down to using our words and our emotions to convey message but the process was a little...scattered, if you will. I was stepping into an ongoing show and process. It was a little scary on my end. In my mind, I worried if I'd be able to connect with women in the time that we had to prepare for the show. I believe it was about 2 and a half weeks we had to get ready. But BOY did we get it together or what!?! (smiles)

REMEMBER THIS: Please take care of yourself physically...at all times. Physically, my body was so strained and stressed. Not because of the show, but because I hadn't taken the time to check in with myself first before jumping into another project. But, it was truly worth it. Especially because i had been so down lately about everything. By working with these women, I was able to hear stories and viewpoints from many different perspectives.

Brittney S. Harris as Young Girl# 2
I had to tap in my character work on this show. I portrayed a young girl being forced into marriage by an abusive father, a teenage with HIV from Swaziland, and political leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. It was fun. Especially, this was the first time I got to play around with accents and dialects. As for physicality, the frailty for the little girl was easier to tackle than the fragility of the HIV diagnosed teenager. The underlining trait that all of my characters explored was the trait of vulnerability. I used the method of substitution to relate emotionally to all the characters.

Cast of Raising Awareness, Raising Hope

The show went up at the Venue on 35th Street in Norfolk, VA under the direction and producer Patti A. Wray. I have to admit Patti was the first person to give me a taste of community theatre outside the theatre academic arena. AND I LOVE THE VENUE! It's such an intimate space and for a show like RA-RH the powerful message of the show truly resonated in this space. Grunts of confirmations from the audience, the sniffles from holding back tears, men...MEN! sitting there nodding their heads in agreement with these messages...AWESOME!

Back in Business...

Long time no talk or update. Sometimes as actors we go through dry spells. Like not getting any work or getting cast or calls interested in what you have to offer. Nothing. But I have to admit the absolute worse kind of dry spell is when you are emotionally dry. Deprived. Your spirit for what you love has diminished. Gone. When you step on a stage, it is just a place not a home. When performing drains you as much as not performing. When teaching doesn’t mean a thing. When you are tired of not performing, just so tired that somehow deep down you begin to brainwash yourself to “think” you can’t do this anymore. That’s bullcrap!

Since September of last year, I have been evaluating my talent. Me as a performer. Performing is something that comes natural to me. I felt it and until September 2008 I didn’t give a fuck if no one else did. However, I let…opinions and challenge influence the thick skin that I thought I had. I was questioning everything about me. My ability to speak to others and communicate. It was so tough. I mean it got down to the point I started bringing myself down even more.

Pray? I tried. I couldn’t pray about it. I didn’t want to talk about it. Mainly because I couldn’t describe what I was feeling. Was it that I was bitter I wasn’t getting work or getting cast? No. Was it my faith or lack thereof? No. It was…me. You have to have a solid foundation in yourself in order to be in this business. Why? Because there will always be the ones to bring you down. The ones that question your abilities: your talent, your worth. And this is not all about acting, people. This is about life. But as actor isn’t our job to be a representation life? We are manifestations of life through the form of media. Even though in my neck of the hood I may blend in, I cannot let that set me back.

Trust me, I am not preaching; I am reevaluating.