Wednesday, June 30, 2010
When I was living in Atlanta I had the pleasure to meet great poet Maya Angelou. I was visiting my aunt, who is a makeup artist for Chanel at Saks Fifth Ave. I needed my make up done for a gig I was singing at later that night. While I was sitting in my aunt’s chair I heard Ms. Angelou voice saying to me “Oh my, your smile is as pretty as the sunrise in Ghana". Shocked and nervous to be in the presence of such a great woman, I struggled to say the words “thank you”. She was waiting for another woman, who I think was her niece and sat in a makeup chair across from me. My hands were shaking and all train of thought went out the door. As calm and relaxed as she could be she asked me my name. I said Lola, she said that must be a family name, and she was right. I responded by saying “yes", I am named after my grandmother. I told her the reason for having my makeup done was because I would be singing later that night at a night club downtown Atlanta. With excitement she said oh you’re a singer and I replied yes. She insisted I sing for her. I was thrilled when I sang a little piece of the jazz song “Summertime”. The younger woman with her had made her purchase and was ready to leave the store. As Maya Angelou got up leaving the high end department store she leaned over and whispered saying Ms. Lola I have a feeling you’re a whole lot more than a night club singer and as soon as you allow life to become your living map, you’ll soon discover the many, many other gifts God has blessed you with my child. Still nervous and still only able to utter the words thank you, I quickly called my mom and told her who I had just met. Since that day I have often wondered just what she meant about life being my map and curious about other gifts I would discover.
In college I majored in theater. I was so board with music theory I felt if I was going graduate from college I should major in something that would keep my attention and so I did. Although I was a theater major I only considered myself as a singer . Learning the theory and technique of acting I knew it would help me become a better performer on stage while singing but I just never really thought of myself as an actor, until last weekend. It was the premier of my first play since college “Wrecked But Not Totaled”. For several months I have been preparing to play a very interesting character by the name of Lataquniesha (lord she was a hot mess). When I auditioned for the play I audition for the wife (Bridget) and when the director called and told me that she was casting me as this ghetto fabulous, inappropriate, foolish sista girl character Lataquniesha I was very disappointed. After weeks and weeks of rehearsal, and countless nights of watching Martin Lawrence portray Sha Naynay, and Jamie Fox portray Wanda on “In Living Color” I started to become more comfortable with my part in the play. Opening night of the show it was time to see just how well I could convince my friends, family, and strangers that I was Lataquneisha. I told myself that night I had nothing to lose and everything to gain there was no holding back. Well I played my part and at the end of the show I received a standing ovation from friends, family and I whole lot of strangers. I found it very funny for people to ask for my autograph, unsure of its worth I signed away. The show ran for three days and with each day I got better. The last night of the show while taking a bow with my cast mates I heard the words of Maya Angelou, thinking of the day I was sitting in Saks Fifth Avenue, and realized that I was now allowing life to be my map and she was right God had blessed me with more than just a gift of song.
Often times we define ourselves by our surroundings, not willing to explore outside of our comfort zone. We become comfortable with being just a wife, husband, mother, father, teacher, athlete, and jobs we do day to day. I believe we are all more than what the eye can see. If we would have enough faith and allow life to become our map, we’ll be amazed at the many different gifts God has blessed us with. To my friend reading this, I encourage you to stop holding yourself back and explore all that you are.
Til Next Time
Friday, June 18, 2010
In The Mist Of It All
For a long time people believed that Zora Neale Hurston was born in the year of 1901 but she was really born in 1891. Her mother past away when she was 14 and her father quickly remarried and shipped her off to boarding school. For some unknown reason her father and step mother stopped paying her tuition, and she was kicked out of school. Although she had been put out of school she at just 15 she was determined to finish school and go to college. She worked as a maid for a few years. While working on the job she came across a scholarship application for another boarding school. Because she was so passionate about completing school she lied about her age and changed her birthday from 1891 to 1901. As my friend Crystal would say, black don’t crack. I’m guessing Zora had that same theory and managed to pass for a younger Zora graduating high school at age of 26 not looking a day over 16. Despite her family and her road blocks Zora Neale Hurston graduated high school becoming a world famous folklorist, anthropologist, and a legend of the Harlem Renaissance.
In the world of entertainment auditions can come at the drop of a dime, meaning I must be prepared at all times. Just like dating, a lady has to be ready for dinner at moment’s notice. Tuesday a mom from the foundation I volunteer for, and fellow cast mate in the play “Wrecked But Not Totaled called and told me that an independent film was having auditions for all roles in Fort Worth. I was so excited to hear the news, but then I thought myself, Forth Worth! Dang that’s far how in the world am I going to get out there? Daylon couldn’t take me he was working, so was my mom, and my sister has two kids ,I think that says it all. So I called my out of work cousin who has my aunts car, who is always having a bad day, bad week, bad month, and bad year. After I asked her for a ride she sent me a text telling me the car had no air, she aint got no gas or gas money and other pity party travesties After reading her long sad story I simply said never mind God is good. Not discouraged by my cousin’s discouragement I said a silent prayer “Lord I really want to at least audition for the film”. Now I used my last $4 to get to the foundation and it was going to cost me an additional $3.50 to catch the train to Fort Worth. By faith I caught the bus to downtown Dallas, and got on the TRE to Forth Worth. Just my luck I get on the train and the train officers were checking for tickets. Oh lord I don’t have a ticket! My heart started beating fast and I began to suite like nobody’s business. By the time the officer got to me the train alarm went off and the officer ran off the train to check out the problem. As the officer got off the train the train took off, I quickly took in a deep breath and said to myself “Thank Ya Jesus”. I finally made it Forth Worth but I still had to get on the bus, #10 to be exact. I walked over to the bus and sitting in the driver set was an overweight, jheri curl wearing, gold teeth having, loud talking male bus driver. As dramatic as I could be, I told the bus driver my story, I mean I had tears and all (lol). He sucked his teeth and said okay but I can only give you a pass one way. I wiped the fake tears from my eyes and with a big smile I said thank you. He asked me for the block number I needed to get off at and I told him the 39th block, he said the bus only goes to the 29th block. I told him that was fine and he let me off at the 29th block. I get off the bus at the 29th block surrounded by every luxury car dealership known to man. I looked down at my feet and told them, one day soon I am going to put in one of these fancy rides but until then, feet don’t fail me now (lol). As I walked the 10 blocks in the hot sun I had a “Amber Rose” moment ( Oh God please send me very rich man that will buy me a car, and love me with all his heart and claim my fame later) I know it’s sad but every now and I again I’d give anything to just be rescued by Mr. Fine and Wealthy (lol). I mean shoot I’ll learn how to ride like Ciara if that’s what it takes (lmao). Don’t judge me!
Finally I made it to the audition. While waiting to be called in, I met a nice lady, who was from Dallas. We talked and after the audition she offered to take me to the Dallas train station. I was so thankful because I didn’t have any money for a transfer back to Dallas. When I got on the Dallas train I bowed my head and said thank you God for just allowing me to audition. A few days later I received and email from the film producers offering me a part in the film.
Life happens and in spite of the hick ups and hang ups Zora manged to do all she set out to do. I plan to do the very same thing. So when life happens remember its worth it and Yolanda Adams sang it best, He kept me in the mist of it all
Til Next Time,
Monday, June 14, 2010
Simply Lola: Waiting For “ I Do”
A few weeks ago two of my good friends called with the same life changing news. Both said yes to the men that asked for their hand in marriage. One of my friends talked with so much excitement she kept gasping for air. I finally asked her to stop, breath and then talk. In the midst of her excitement, she paused and said: “I’m sorry Lola is my story making you feel bad? I responded and said: Girl no, I mean I have the freedom to color with whomever I want using very color in my *box* while you are stuck with the same ole paintbrush (lol). We both laughed and she continued her story. If the truth be told I know she’ll miss no longer having “options or moments” anymore. A Moment is good girl code for when her morals and values are just not giving her the results she wants. She throws them in a closet and sets out for a liberating experience of her choice of painter, leaving all her wholesome worries behind for a bad girl good time (lol). Good girls only talk bad about bad girls because in secret we want to be them. We only hate groupies and video vixens because we can’t become them. We were hugged and loved as children, we were told to be strong black women, only to graduate from college now working a job we hate, wishing we were Amber Rose driving a luxury car, wearing designer clothes we can’t pronounce and just kicking it as an occupation…sorry tangent. FYI: The single girl that disagrees with this theory is the groupie we hate.
When I was a little girl I wanted to be Janet Jackson and to marry Michael Jackson (stranger things have happened). In high school, I still wanted to be Janet Jackson but decided my high school sweet heart was a better choice for marriage. He went to OU and I went to CAU. Somewhere between the alphabet and freshman, orientation he discovered if all else fails, he could always go back to black and ventured out to the world of White, Asian, and Indian women. I discovered that Georgia Tech had a very nice looking defensive line and decided feel the pressure of being sacked by a noise guard. Senior year of college was the year of major investments. I invested in a real –estate investor giving all that I had and still not having enough to close the deal in Holy Matrimony. After my stock failed with him I bought into a young ambitious business owner, a former high school basketball superstar, and the one and only…the Titan(oh memories). I loved each an every one of them as if I had finally found the one, while they loved other things besides me. Frustrated with my failed marital bliss outcome I wondered what it was about me that just was not loveable. I chose them, why didn’t they choose me? I’m giving the best of what I have, so why is love so difficult. What is there not to love about my bright smile, funny personality, and fabulous style? Boy, I tell ya men! All this fabulousity, and still no “I Do” (tragic just tragic). It’s funny I’ve read every book and followed all the rules to life and love, only to find there are no rules to life or love…it just happens
I am sure there is single girl that can relate to my history of disappointments and is asking the same question “What do I do until “I do” comes along”. While I find that being depressed about it just makes the wait longer and stalking your past loves will get you a restraining order, I took an idea from O magazine, and created a love list. It narrows the search. I find it best to continue to enjoy life doing what I love acting, singing and writing. Eventually the stars will a line themselves and I will be more than enough for my love list and I will say “I DO” to Mr. Right for me.
So to my single friend standing at 30’s door or living in 30’s house with no “I Do” in sight, my suggestions to you is:
• Create a love list; at least you will have an idea of who you will want to say “I Do” too
• Continue to do what you love to do
• Be the happy bridesmaid, and feel honored as the Maid of Honor
• Enjoy “moments” of coloring with your choice of painter, (remember the bigger the brush the longer the stock, no one likes to watch the paint dry...lol) Your married friends will hate you for all the fun you’re having
• Lastly, know when “ I Do” does come along you’ll no longer wish for the life of Amber Rose but thankful that love actually comes to those how wait.
Now there will be times that you’ll need a tub of cookies and cream ice cream, and tears will come every now and again, but know I’m yet holding on too
Til Next Time
Thursday, June 10, 2010
As a child I had to wear the clothes my momma bought me. Most of the time she put me in what she thought looked best for a little girl my age. I can remember the worst Easter I ever had was because she bought me a dress that made me look like an ornament for christmas tree( it was spring why was I looking like a winter disasters...lol).I ask my mother: Why wont you let me wear the pretty blue dress, she looked at me and said you are 10 not 15 and you will look and dress like a 10 year old,as usual she won the war on what I would wear.(aww memories)
Willow the daughter of Will and Jada Smith was spotted at her big brothers premier movie (Karate Kid). She was sporting the very popular look for young adults (picture is to left). I think she looks absolutely cute, if she were a young adult but shes 10.I am all for freedom of expression but @ 10 I think it should be done in a way that we still know that your child is 10 going on 11 not 10 going on 20. I mean kids will be kids but parents have to give them a pace to grow up and not grow up to fast…just my thoughts I could be wrong. So tell me your thoughts on Miss Willow's.
Is she a little girl growing up, or a little girl growing up to fast?
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Okay so remember at the beginning of the year I told you guys I was in a play. Well its "Show Time"!!!
The stage play "Wrecked But Not Totaled" will open up June 25th through the 27th @ the Waxahachie Theater. Oh don't worry its not that far and its well worth the drive...lol.
Pre Sale tickets are discounted for a limited time
VIP (Dinner) $25
General (no dinner) $15
Saturday and Sunday 3pm & 7pm
Yes I have tickets!
2000 Civic Center Lane
Wazahachie, TX 75165
Thanks everyone for your prayers and support. I am very excited to be part of this great production and I hope each and everyone of you can attend.
See ya there
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Moments of Friendly Reminders
When I was living in Atlanta, I attended the Drake mix tape album release party. It was Drake’s first time ever performing (more like headlining) in Atlanta. It was a very private event it was weird but exciting to be sitting next to people like Jermaine Dupri, Young Joc, and Usher. Everyone was itching for a piece of the newfound movement rapper. Drake was the new child born to save Hip Hop. Lost in the shuffle, I begin to feel very out of place. Right when I started to make my exit, my former manager introduced me to the famous skateboarder Stevie (can’t remember his last name), he’s the owner and founder of DGK (Dirty Ghetto Kids). Anyway, he asked me did I grow up singing in church; I told him yeah and that my father is a pastor of a church. Long story short, he later explained how he never told anyone what he was about to tell me; that one of his favorite artist was Yolanda Adams. He talked to me about when he was homeless in California and in really tough times he would close his eyes and listen to her songs just to get through his struggle. I asked him what made him stay in California homeless and not just go back to Philly. He told me going back home wasn’t an option, not as long as he had his end goal in mind. After hearing his story, I was amazed to hear just how far he had come. It broke my heart to tell him I wasn’t a gospel singer (lol). Still feeling a little out of place and self conscious, in my peach strapless forever 21 dress, I decided to leave the all exclusive VIP Drake party. The super star skateboarder ran outside and said “I hope you don’t mind singing a little piece of one of Yolanda’s song”, I agreed and sang the first verse to the “In the mist of it all”. He looked at me and said you have a gift keep using it. I smile and said thanks.
Last week I started to visualize myself as a failure; nothing I was doing was good enough. It was if I was back in my Forever 21 dress just not fitting in where I wanted to be, and then I ran into my liberating moment Saturday night at the Andre Gurode Celebrity party (he was the coloring experience I had, we were perfect strangers...lol) He asked me how I was doing; I lied and said I was great. When the truth was, I have been feeling like I am losing my mind. He told me that he reads my blogs and wanted to know why I hadn’t written anything lately. I lied again and said I had been so busy with other things. The truth is, I just haven’t felt like I had anything to write about; somewhat lost in life’s directions. He explained to me how he thought I was very funny and creative and if no else is reading my blogs or listening to my music he is. He encouraged me to not stop doing all the things I do and that it will pay off somehow, someway, soon. I thanked him and we went our separate ways.
On my way home, I thought about what Mr. Liberation said to me; both he and Steve know very little about me. How is it that they can see what I sometimes lose sight of? I believe that every now and again we all get in rut and are not sure of what to do with ourselves. It’s as if we lose ourselves in the crowd of confusion and can no longer see ourselves. Then there are moments in our lives that give us just enough to keep going. At the Drake party it was Steve and on Saturday it was Mr. Liberation.
So to my friend that is reading my words and is feeling that all your hard work is worthless, remember there is something in you and to keep going. Don’t worry about the past, it’s over, take the lessons you’ve learned from your mistakes and apply them today. Just like my friendly ‘reminders’ reminded me to keep going, I encourage you to do the same. We both may be lost in our direction, but soon and very soon we will find our way.
Til Next Time