Finding My Way To Love

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fathoming Faith

Fathoming Faith

In the book “Think & Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill states: Faith is the “eternal elixir” which gives life, power, and action to the impulse of thought. My move back to Dallas I had faith that “Weekes Entertainment” would honor their commitment in investing in my music career, and it was a complete failure. The only big investment they made as avoiding my calls and never following though with commitments that were made to complete my project. It was complete hell, I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why I had so much faith in them and they had absolutely none in me (the biggest coward move ever). There I was doing a song and a dance and there they where not even noticing. …tragic just tragic. After a dream I had about the Titan I had faith in knowing the he was the “one”. I did several songs and dances, a few ending up in coloring activities but nothing solid. I believed that the harder I danced and sang the faster he would move his damn feet and make me his woman. Oh I was the woman alright the woman that he never had faith in.

As I am writing I’ve noticed a pattern in my acts of faith, all my actions of faith have been in others and not myself. I do believe that faith is all I need, but more importantly its where I place my faith. I’ve believed that the Titan was the “one” I believed that he would love me, and with his love I would be able to love myself. I believed that “Weekes Entertainment would really work and invest in me, and with their investment I would know I was good enough to be the star I’ve always wanted to be. It’s now that I know that faith only works at its best when its an action driven by me. I can only control me, I am the master of my fate. I have spent some much time wondering why faith wasn’t working for me when the answer is simple. I had faith, but not faith in me.

One of my favorite movies is “Ali”. Will Smith plays Muhammad Ail a man convinced, no matter what he was the worlds greatest boxer. He had faith in himself that he was greatest before he won his first fight, he had faith he was the greatest when they stripped him of his title and wouldn’t allow him to box, he was still the greatest even when he lost a fight. It was as if he was a man that had no room for doubt. Today, Ali is still the greatest, even without being in a boxing ring. He’s the greatest because although faith and fear may have occupied one thought, his action was always a faithful movement.

So here is the thing about faith, it’s a confident emotion that never changes. It’s always knowing that you are the greatest at whatever it is you do. The good thing about knowing that you are the greatest at what you do is knowing that there is only one of you. Faith, yes it works but it only works in you.

Til Next Time
Simply Lola

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Simply Lola: Becoming Popular

As an intern at Def Jam/Disturbing Da Peace I did many different gofer jobs. Like making lunch runs for the office, getting fries from Philly Connection for Ludacris, answering the phones and listen to every unsigned rapper in the world rap on the phone and ask me if their shit was hot, in my most sarcastic tone I would respond by saying, yeah sure your shit is hot , good luck and just hang up. I sometimes had to play security when unfamiliar groupies would lie and say Luda or a label executive was expecting their arrival. Frustrated with my crappie workload, I wore the many hats with one goal in mind and that was to become a signed artist on the popular label. I figure it couldn’t be that hard because Black Berry Malaises Boy (Bobby Valentino’s nick name at CAU) got a deal and he was the least popular of the girls on campus. Many at CAU however, loved me; I was involved in school activities and was always singing at an event on campus. So when there was a need for a female artist I was confident that I would be considered. I remember the day as if it were yesterday I walked in the small office building directly towards Chaka Zulu (Ludacris manager) office and knocked on the door. I was nervous but I knew this had to be my big break, a chance of a lifetime. His assistant told me to come in. I took a deep breath, and walked in the crowded office. On the couch was the big boss of Ebony Sun Management Jeff, an up and coming rapper named “titty boy” worse name ever, and some A&R guy. Still very nervous I stood at the door and in a shy voice said, I heard that label was looking for a female artist to sign and I would like to be considered. Not really moved by my presence or my words I walked over to Chaka stereo system and asked if I could play them what I had recorded. It was a senior in college and I had only recorded one song titled “Tonight”. The song played for about 30 seconds and I was asked to pause the song. Chaka said I had a nice voice, pleased by his response I smiled as a way of saying thank you. Jeff unmoved by my attempt and waved me off and said they’d get back to me. A few days went by and I asked Portia (an executive for the label) if there were any word on them signing a female singer. She said yeah, they just signed a girl by the name of Sherfa. I could feel my heart drop into my stomach and my tears making its way down my face. Portia close the door to her office gave me a hug and said (Lola, don’t cry you have a great voice, but its not what’s popular right know) she continued to say the music game is tough and you never know one day the music game just may change and my sound might have a voice .

The word that stuck with me from that day forth was “popular”. I figured in ordered for my dreams to come true I had to make my sound popular. Therefore, I spent many years trying to do just that. I stopped being passionate about music and singing and started to become obsessed with being a popular singer. I made every attempt to sound like Brandy, Beyonce, Monica, and who ever else was “popular” at the time. It became so much of an obsession that even in my dating life I would do my best to transform into what the “popular” woman looked like. I even cut my hair short so that I would resemble Halle Berry, I mean she was listed as the most beautiful woman in the world. I found myself doing whatever it took to look like and be like the “popular” single singer, so much as to become bulimic. It was not until a few weeks ago while recording a song I wrote that I realized my obsession with being “popular” was ruining my life.

I was listening to the final cut of what I recorded my vocal arranger Eric, said it sounded good but he needed me to be more expressive in my delivery. Unsure of what he meant I asked him to explain. He told me that he wanted to hear how I (Lola) feels about what I am singing about, and even went on to say since I wrote the song I should tell the story.

The next morning as I was washing my face, I thought about what Eric said to me. I looked in the mirror and realized I was exhausted with forcing myself to look and sing like the “popular people”. I opened my bathroom cabinet got out my diet pills and flushed them down the toilet. I got dressed and made the decision that I just wanted to be myself. I no longer had a burning desire to be “Popular”, but I developed that burning desire to just be the best Lola I can be.

The revelation for my life came to me overnight, but the change for my life will take its course one day at time. To my friend who is reading my words there is only one you, do not sell this world short.

Til Next Time

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Simply Lola: More Than Meets The Eye

"Wrecked But Not Totaled" Day2

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
Simply Lola