Black pearl, pretty little girl,
you've been in the background much too long.
1. The Women’s March D.C.
I walked alongside my dope af (white) gf’s+sis. I was filled with pride and love. #intersectionalfeminism only plz + discovered flaming Cheetos during road trip
2. I prayed with Julia Walsh, Miles G Jackson, Mark Ruffalo + others in a small tent in front of Trump tower on the Eve of 45’s inauguration. We sang #ThisLandIsYourLand alongside thousands incl. Michael Moore, Reverend Al Sharpton, Cher, Shailene Woodly, Rosie Perez, and Alec Baldwin.
3. I traveled abroad despite total heartbreak ‘n actin like I had dollars to spend. Idk what I was thinking, but it changed my life. Berlin. Prague. Vienna. ️ Details to be released in memoir*.
*I’ve started to write my memoir
4. I asked for help. Not an easy thing to do when your friends are badass womyn who work so hard (and are killing it, btw) to make their own dreams a reality, let alone make time to help ME survive. But they did. No questions asked.
5. I wrote. A few summers ago while workshopping a play at the Kenyon College Playwrights conference, a young cis white man told me in a feedback sesh that he didn’t feel “my use of CAPITALIZATION and italics were necessary and to “give the reader the benefit of a doubt” that “they’re smart enough to figure out my intention”. I felt total shame in that room, inadequate. An all-too-familiar experience during my time at Kenyon as one of the very few WOC in the ‘haven’ that is The Hill.
It helped that I got to work on a play by the brilliant Michaela Coel who fed my spirit ten-fold when she performed tons of different vibrant characters as a part of her solo show, Chewing Gum Dreams in the same black box I had spent hours in as a student crafting my stories.
And NOW I have a play in TFTT fest. and I’m so proud of myself for that-and terrified. And now when people ask me what I do, I say I’m an actor and a writer. That feels good. (Keep 🤞🏽 for me on the lifetime of applications to residencies andfellowships!)
So boy bye. imma use ALL the CAPS I WANT
(I STILL LOVE YOU KENYON BUT THAT WAS ROUGH LET'S BE REAL)
7. I persevered. At one point (like yesterday ) I was working five different jobs, standing at the turnstile asking for swipes, eating a bagel a day, and when my internet went out and I couldn’t use google docs before a writing deadline (#millenial), I put pen to paper ‘cause that’s what dad would do, DUH.
8. I wrote, produced, and acted in a teaser for Claire and I's series Dear Sister with the help of Robin Cloud and Keith Randolph Smith. That shit is hard, no joke. And it’s just the beginning. It’s full of heart and funny as hell. (Like us on on fb @FortSistersFilm + insta @fortsisters + twitter @fortsistersfilm for updates in the new year.
10. I shared space. The LGBTQ POC in my life are GD heroes.
* Hye Yun appeared like a sexy fairy shaman godmother, and I never wanna leave her isle of love.
* I felt more safe wearing lingerie in Times Square while laying on the ground with Diana Oh for installation 3/10 of #mylingerieplay than I do walking around in 13 degree weather in my sleeping bag I call a coat. “I def won’t get catcalled cuz I look like a mushroom”, but city streets have a way of surprising you...“damn, you a fine a** piece of Portobello!”
Habaru gani? Ujamaa!
I only have so many dollars to give (‘n honestly I jus been goin’ to the movies ‘cuz ain’t nobody got time for mediocre theater), but these painters, musicians, writers, producers (who-not by coincidence-are mostly POC) can take my money any day.
Our community is vast. I'm humbled by you all.
If you don’t kno these artists, now you kno
Give them all your $
RADICAL DIVA SISTERS
- Diana Oh my lingerie play
- Hye Yun Park BKPI
- Mariah MacCarthy Baby Mama: One Woman's Quest to Give Her Child to Gay People
- Mfoniso Udofia The Ufot Cycle a gift of nostalgia, heartbreak, humor, and family
- Nsangou Njikam Syncing Ink filled my Spirit, gave me life, continues to do so
- Keith A. Wallace The Bitter Game rock on, brother
- Korde A. Tuttle for graveyard shift and our magical when it fell
- My Brown cohort:
- Colette Robert Harriet Holland Social Club in partnership with Mabou Mines + New Georges
- Jonathan A Human Being, Of A Sort (congrats on your last semester. the world is not ready!)
- Jocelyn School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play
- Aeneas Hemphill with a heart of gold and art that reflects/challenges our time
ON CAMERA STUFF
- Robin Cloud of Out Again AND for helping Fort Sisters get #DearSister off the ground
- Michaela Coel Chewing Gum Dreams cuz duh
- Chris Núñez so pumped for your feature. you kno I'm a huge fan. Exterior: A Nameless Desert
- Chris Myers at al-oi Speak up, Stand out, dope apparel
- Robert Lee Newman 10,000 Paintings Project: just say YES! and he'll give you free paintings "The more we support each other the greater we are able to contribute our best self to the world."
- Samora Pinderhughes The Transformations Suite at Lincoln Center blew my mind
- Vuyo for summoning our ancestors through your voice
- The incredibly talented and humble Shawn Randall Symphonics Live
- Sammy Miller and the Congregation Band for bringing me joy and inspiring me to Dance!
- Keith The New Black Fest always blown away and inspired by the community you bring together
- The National Black Theatre for welcoming me into your home as a writer last year for the Keep Soul Alive Reading Series
- NOW AFRICA: Playwrights Festival
- The Movement Theatre Company Harrison’s ASWSLT was lit n that’s no lie
- Chris Myers your relentless spirit producing Interfest NYC a free arts & ideas fest
- Codify Art creates safe + productive artistic space particularly for women, queer, and trans artists of color
- Mirirai Her First Kill bam!
- Zhailon Young Amazing Souls + Words on White
- Primer for a Failed Superpower cannot WAIT to see where this goes. with Orion S. Johnstone + Rachel Chavkin + others
- #americanAF curated and produced by Jessica Almasy and Ann Marie Dorr, curated in part by Jeremy O. Harris and Zhailon Levingston (with Phillip Howze + Claire Fort + more)
@ the TOP of 2018
- my short play POPPY is in Season 9 of The Fire This Time Festival (starring sis, Claire!)
- Ngozichukwuka with The Homecoming Queen Jan 10- Feb 11
- Daniel Alexander Jones with Black Light @ Joe's Pub Jan 5 + 6
- Kareem Lucas Black is Beautiful But it Ain't Always Pretty @ UTR Jan 8-14
- Whitney White Macbeth in Stride dir. Caitlin O'Connell Jan 11 + 12
- Donja, Keelay...I got my eyes on you 'n you betta believe I'm gonna come through for ya'll in this next year!
reflections of a mixed-race girl on a quest to find herself
I'm goin' in on my thoughts
but imma keep it brief
cuz ain't nobody got time for all that
S. spirit: Things that are on my heart that pertain to my #blackgirljoy
H. health: from diet to self care, I bring to light simple things I do to make life a bit more easeful
E. examine: dropping some knowledge as I go deeper into understanding who I am
LL. language of love: I’ll end each post with a favorite quote!
Yesterday felt a little bit like a dream. I woke up from a nap dazed. What day is it? Where am I and did I really just make this trip alone? I walked out of my hostel and sat outside at a sweet restaurant next door. The sun was shining, there was a cool breeze. I felt beautiful. At peace. It may have been the jet lag that made my body slow down, or maybe it was my heavy heart (heartache from this break up comes and goes in waves), whatever it was, I felt so alive and present. In that moment I wasn't black, white, mixed, or confused. I was simply me. Present to the tart chardonnay, the sound of birds chirpping, teenage girls road their bikes past in a pack, the hum of a motorcycle, the hard wooden chair that held me up, and the colors.
I could write for days about how the colors popped. Yellows, blues, oranges-a lot of orange. Purple flowers and green trees line the cobblestone sidewalks. I was worried about my German. And by that I mean, I don't speak it at all. But everywhere you turn, there are layers of languages. Portuguese, Italian, Deutsch. I fit in. As my dad would say, "Be cool." I am cool. I feel pretty cool. and then you go to take a sip of water and it spills all down my shirt. Livin' up to my name. (One friend calls me "Mr. Spills".)
I made friends! My first friends abroad are these guys I met in my hostel (EastSeven Berlin on Schwedter Strasse). I'll call them Bo and Charlie to respect their privacy (even tho I kno they'd be thrilled to have a mention in my blog, ha). They're chill. From Portland and Chicago. It's nice to have company. They're going to help me plan the rest of my trip. Maybe Prague, maybe Crete? Who knows. The world is my oyster.
- Jet Lag: No one told me to stay awake the first day you're over here. So, I took a nice dog nap that turned into a death nap (ya know, the ones where your limbs get super heavy and it's hard to stand up).
- Cure for jet lag is to eat, drink, walk a bit, meet friends in your hostel, eat, drink, repeat.
- Where I ate: PUNE, indian restaurant on Oterbanger street. I've never felt more like a disney princess. I literally had birds coming to my table to eat my rice. We shared a meal and I felt like Snow White.
- I'm gluten free. I know, gross! But I'm in Berlin, so I'm cheating. I tried beer for the first time in years yesterday. A Pilsner, I think. Not a big fan, but I'll give it another shot when I venture to a beerhall later this eve. I think if I pair it with Sausage and not Chicken Tikka I might like it better.
- Cure for jet lag is to eat, drink, walk a bit, meet friends in your hostel, eat, drink, repeat.
Stuff that traveling has brought up: How do I get better at making decisions and sticking to them? What excites me about meeting strangers? What do I like and what don’t I like...that’s the most important. Cuz like, I went to a museum yesterday, and as amazing as it was, I was just freakin bored. I’m not a museum person. I never will be, and that’s okay. Today, I’m riding my bike in Tempelhofer Feld and picnicking in the park. Much more my steeze.
Forget about levels of ‘wokeness’, let’s all just breathe and work on being present. Sounds hippy dippy, but it’s real. One of my mentors and friends (who is also my acting teacher) reminded me before I left how important it is for me to ‘fall still’ and allow myself to be in the moment and move through the experience one thing at a time. Easier said than done, but it’s the best advice I could have gotten.
language of love
My heart still hurts. I'm a little confused as to how my relationship ended with my Berlin Beau. To be honest, I've never had someone just ghost on me without an explanation. I'm no longer under any delusions that a relationship with him is possible, although I had hoped friendship might have been a possibility. For the time we spent together, I thought he'd give me some explanation for his decision to completely leave me hanging only days before an international trip to a country in which I don't speak the language, or have any backup plans. Any reason! Like he had a girlfriend all along, dope. What we had was sweet, but honestly. Not. That. Deep. Do you, dude. Or maybe he thought I actually looked like an ogre and was just not attracted to me-I can sometimes look like Shrek, or even if he told me he was so in love with me that the idea of us having to part at the end of my Euro excursion would just be too much so let's end it before it gets too serious, I would understand. But nothing. I think I'm a little crazy, but my friends remind me his actions are not normal. That I deserve better. A friend told me to let him know I won't hold my breath for answer. I did. I'm hurt, but I'm not broken. I'll pick myself up and find peace, and I hope he can do the same.
Today’s quote is from Susan Sontag:
I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list.
Peace and love,