Finding My Way To Love

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dating & Auditioning

In the world of dating both parties are auditioning for the part known as “the one”. “The one” can be a long list of things. Like “the one” who you will agree to go on a second date with. It can also mean “the one” (guy/ girl) you unfriend on facebook, unfollow on twitter and put a restraining order on because you realize you just met CRAZY. I casted the Titan as “The Love Of My Life” and he gave me the reoccurring role known as the “Jump off”. In as much as I hate to admit it, it’s the truth. Each time we’d end a scene with each other, I would somehow return as the “Jump Off” hoping that my performance would be good enough to land the part as his “One and Only Love”. Sad to say, it never happened. Every date I bring myself to go on I always hope for this to be it, for the spark to flame, and for him to be that one guy I will forever date as my husband and me as his wife. So far I’m not having much luck. Andre 3000 said it best: All the world is a stage we’re just actors playing different parts (I ‘m sure I am quoting him wrong...very wrong).

There was an audition to be an act at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans this year. Confident, I woke up early Sunday morning and manage to be the first person in line for the audition. I have auditioned for hundreds of shows and I was pretty sure that I would do well. When I went in for my audition I sang “Saving All My Love” by Whitney Houston ( I know this song like the back of my hand, and can sing like no other). As I was singing my voice started to go out. The next thing I noticed that there was no sound coming out. I was so embarrassed and knew I had totally bombed the audition. I was so frustrated, it was just a few weeks ago that I manage to rock an entire strip club unprepared and here I am prepared and I totally screwed up. I didn’t tell my friends because I didn’t want to answer a hundred questions asking me why, nor did I want some generic advice. I just went home and crawled back into bed wishing the whole day had never happen. All I wanted to do was do well enough to get to the second round. I didn’t even manage to do that (I am way too old to make mistakes like this). Being the dramatic woman that I am I laid in my bed and cried. I thought about how I’ve worked so hard and I have yet to see the fruits of my labor. While wallowing in my sorrow I receive a call from a friend from Dallas who was visiting Atlanta. She was catching a late flight and wanted to know if we could meet up. I really wasn’t up to it and I explained why. She wouldn’t take no for an answer and so I went over to where she was staying and told her about my tragic day. I was prepared for her to ask me a hundred questions but she didn’t. She asked me if I wanted a drink I told her that I had given up liquor for lent, and she said well let’s have a joint … WEED!?!?!?, I thought? I don’t smoke. Her response was; look, you need something. We laughed and for the second time in my life I smoked (don’t judge me). As we smoked I thought about the “what if’s”…what if I get so high I can’t come down, or what if the neighbors smell the weed call the police and we go to jail (Dear God, I’m too cute to go to jail), what if I enjoy this so much that I become addicted to it and it opens the flood gates to other drugs, then I’ll have to move back home and my mother will be so ashamed of me, my smile is my thing and teeth are the first thing you lose as a crack head. I’d never marry Shaun Phillips and I would be the crack head aunt that my niece and nephew laugh about. In the midst of my panic attack I manage to calm down, enjoy my high and vowed to never do this mess again (lol).

Dating and auditioning are exhausting. Each date I hope that I can cast the man I’m having dinner with as the man of my dreams and he cast me as the woman of his dreams. So far I’m just dating with dreams. It’s the same with auditioning. Each audition I go on I pray Dear God, please let this be the one, the one audition that gets me my big break. I don’t know maybe Jocelyn was right, life is hard and we don’t get what we want. If she is remotely right why do I still believe in a life that I may never have? After my pity party I went home and went to sleep. I woke up the next morning, went to the gym and realized shit happens. Even at 30 I am going to make huge mistakes in auditions, and some dates may not end in holy matrimony. But it’s a new day and I am sticking with plan A, even with all its mistakes and frustrations.

To my friend that is feeling like an absolute failure and just is not sure if dreaming and believing is worth all the heartache, please know that we both will never know if we give up now. We ( meaning you and I ) decided to stick with plan A and believe in true passionate, crazy love ( hoping mine comes in the package of Shaun Phillips…lol) and therefore we just have to embrace our struggle til the bitter end.

Till Next Time
Simply Lola

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Friend Who Died Alone

Last Friday I went with my aunt to go check on one of her closest friends that had minor surgery a few weeks ago. When we got to my aunt's friend’s house we found her dead (tragedy). We called the ambulance and they quickly rushed her dead body to the hospital. We later were told that she died from a blood clot, and that she had been dead for 10 days (10 whole days, OMG, tragic just tragic). My aunt was devastated and I panicked. To hear that this woman had been dead for 10 days and no one knew, meant she lived and died alone. It freaked me out so much that I immediately agreed to go on a date with a guy that met at Kats Cafe, a place I sing at on Thursday nights. Against my better judgment of being the least bit attracted to him. Seeing the single middle age woman dead in her home all alone, I figure I needed to make the most of my options.

The date started with brunch after church on Sunday. The Omega man stood tall, brown skin, simple dresser that is easily annoyed by unintentional rude acts of others. He just recently divorced his wife of two years in September of last year (RED FLAG). The former college nose guard (who doesn’t really watch football, another RED FlAG) owns the apartment complex that he currently lives in. It’s only a four unit complex but I still thought it was kind of cool, I mean how many Black men you know own the complex they live in, not many (lol). Anyway, brunch turned into a nice walk in the park, then coffee at a local coffee shop, followed by a stroll around Lenox Mall, ending with dinner at a restaurant called “The Club House”. While walking around the mall I drifted off into this fancy jewelry store, Bvlgari. The sales lady noticed me admiring the beautiful flawless diamond rings and said to me “we’re about to close, but I want you to try on this ring we have out front on display. I told the lady I could barely afford gas let alone diamonds. She laughed at my funny yet very true statement and insisted I still take the ring out for a spin. As she slide the $700,000 5 carrot flawless diamond down my left ring finger, I gasped for air. I closed my eyes and pictured Shaun Phillips saying, Lola will you marry me and I’d say with excitement…Yes! Day dreaming about my magical moment I was quickly interrupted by simple date asking me if I was ready to go (and, I’m back to reality lol).

For the most part we talked about our different spiritual and political point of views, and our previous relationships. From what I could gather Mr. Omega misses the dog he and his ex wife shared more than he misses his ex wife. Over all I had a good time. Daylon would be proud I made a new friend. With very different points of views and the fact that he doesn’t really watch much football or wants to remarry anytime soon, I knew he wasn’t the one.

That night I opened my dresser drawer pulling out my pajamas, getting ready for bed and noticed my silver bullet. Right then and there, I realized the closest thing I had to satisfying my needs of affection required double A batteries (Lord, this Can Not be the rest of my life). Annoyed, I slammed the drawer. My body dripping wet from my shower, with a towel wrapped around me I threw myself backwards on to the bed, stirring at the ceiling. I thought about my aunt’s dead friend. In as much as I’d like to believe that if I got Jesus than that’s enough, it’s not. Jesus spirit resides in my heart, I want someone to reside in my bed, next to me every night for as long as we both shall live, until death do us part. Frustrated still stirring at the ceiling I panicked, thinking, what if I am the friend Monica, or Crystal finds dead all alone in a small creepy one bed room apartment, what if that’s me ( Oh Jesus, TAKE ME NOW!!!). Before I lost my mind, I peeled myself off my bed and finish getting ready for bed. In the darkness of my room I hear a car drive by. Having its head lights shed enough light through my window for me to see my vision board, I slowly gained peace of mind. Confident in what I was seeing, I closed my eyes and I whispered thank you God, I won’t die alone.

To my single friend that is worried about being the friend your friends will find dead alone in a creepy apartment. Please worry if you think all we need is each other. Let’s be honest, you don’t want me and I don’t want you. I encourage you to make the most out of your options. Eventually you and I both will kiss the right frog (preferably different frogs) that will turn into the perfectly imperfect prince we’ve always longed for.

Til Next Time
Simply Lola

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Conquering Magic City

On Tuesday Atlanta’s popular radio station V103 hosted a private listening party for Chris Brown new album (FAME) at 595 North. Unsure if I was going to be able to attend, I called my friend Jai in hopes of her being able to get me an extra wristband of the party. Sure enough Jai got me in the place to be. When I first arrived it hit me, Chris Brown(better known as Brezzy) has definitely gone BLOND. Its one thing to hear about his hair change but it’s another thing to actually see his new blond look up close and personal. I quickly got over the new Blond Chris Brown and noticed other famous faces at the party, like Polow tha Don, Akon, and Ludicris just to name a few. Chris Brezzy performed a few of his new hits and showed much appreciation to his fans for their support. The album sounds pretty good. Most of the songs are centered round the title (FAME), so it’s like the great, the good, and the ugly (there’s not much bad really when you’re rick…lol).

My friend Jai is a well respected radio producer in Atlanta, so she knows everybody. She was kind enough to introduce me to V103 radio personality Greg Street. It was so cool to meet him finally since I grew up listening to him in Dallas on 100.3 jams (old school… it’s 6 o’clock it’s time for Greg Street to Rock (lol). Jai told me that he host Industry Night at Magic City and encouraged me to go on Wednesday. I thought to myself, isn’t that a strip club? She told me a lot of local producers and various A&R reps go, in hopes of discovering hot new talent. All I could think about was, IT’S A STRIP CLUB!?!?!. She insisted I go because most of the talent that attends the event was rappers and hardly ever do singers come out. Later that night, I thought about it while getting ready for bed and realize that Magic City couldn”t be too bad. It’s the strip club of all strip clubs. It’s the strip club that put Atlanta on the map. In fact it is so popular that its mentioned in more rap songs than drug dealers pushing weight…well maybe not that many times , but it’s up there(lol). Plus the strip club is where Young Jezzy got his big push (that may not be the best analogy, but whatever works (lol). The decision had been made I was going to Magic City.

When I arrived to Magic City the next night I was greeted by Big Buff, the security guard (his name says it all). Dressed in all black, he padded me down, checked my ID, made small talk and introduced me to the intimating lady behind the front door booth as Lola, the singer. I notice a sign that read $15 for entry. I asked if that was the charge for Industry Night, she responded “it’s the charge for every night” (lol). As intimidating as the lady was, she cut me a deal. She said, “if you sing tonight I wont charge you”. I took the deal (what the hell did I do that for. I came to network, not sing!, I didn’t even have a instrumental track with me). Panicking, not sure how I was going to pull this off, I started to think about my options. I remembered I had my demo I recorded in college in the car. I l listen to it from time to time as a form of encouragement, and motivation. I went to my car, got the CD and handed it to the DJ. Relieved that I had come up with a plan I sat down and took a deep breath and then I realized I had another problem. I am about to sing at Magic City (I mean really who sings in a strip club). I know “they say” be prepared to sing at any given time but I am pretty sure they weren’t talking about Magic City. I had given up alcohol for lent, so a much needed drink was completely out of the question. I found a seat directly in front of the exit, wanting to just run out the place all together, I stayed put waiting for Jai to show up. While waiting for Jai, a guy asked if he could buy me a dance, I politely declined his offer,queity singing I need you now by "Smokie Norful" . When she arrived she could tell I was so nervous and was about pass out. I told her I hadn’t really interacted with anyone because I committed to singing after some new rap group. Jai was excited and proud (I was noxious). Jai could see my lack of confidence and reminded me of the time in college that she came to hear me sing at a club outside of Auburn Alabama. The town was so small that the name of the night club was called “The Club”. She said to me now if you can sing at a place where outside plumbing is a way of life then this strip club should be cake walk. I laughed and felt relieved by her words of encouragement and I relaxed, just a little.

I watched the featured rap group perform on stage and saw that the dancers were dancing during his show. I figured it was part of the rap group’s act and thought nothing of it. The DJ called my name next (it’s show time, I thought). The DJ instructed me to stand at the end of the stage because they were having mic problems. When I got on stage I notice that the dancers were still on stage. I kindly leaned over and asked Big Buff if the dancers would be dancing while I sang. He nodded with a smile, yes (OMG, Houston we have a problem). For all who have never been to Magic City, the stage is shape like an over sized capital letter “I or H depending on how you look at it. The dancers (naked) danced right in the center of this over sized I/H, and I was standing on the edge of the stage closest to the bar, and DJ booth. As I stood at the edge of the stage (and did NOT move the whole time) closed my eyes, and clinched the microphone like it was a Baptist Christians bible. The track started and I begin to sing. I sang the first song I had ever written and recorded titled “Tonight”. As I started to sing, I started to relax enough to open my eyes. I noticed people stopping to listen. I saw the bar tender stop serving drinks, then the few dancers on the floor stopped dancing. The cook leaned out the kitchen window, the front entry door swung open and the intimidating lady watched with amazement. Jai knew the words to the song, so she was in the corner just singing away like a proud momma (lol). But the craziest part was when this man out of nowhere just threw a fist full of money on stage (he made it rain, too funny for words). I finished the song and felt relieved and very proud I conquered something that seemed like the impossible. Some of the dancers asked for a copy of my song , while the local producers asked for my information. I felt like the main attraction for a few minutes, until Jai and I left. The DJ told me he fucks with my music; yes those were his exact words. The whole night was unbelievible.

As I got ready for bed that night, I was very please and impressed with my accomplishment. It wasn’t the fact that I had sang at a strip club, it was the fact that as a professional singer I survived the most unpredictable circumstances. It helps to have a friend that there for support as well. Thanks Jai.

Life can put you in the craziest situations, if you survive them, you’ll become more confident in yourself than you ever were. To my friend that is in an awkward situation, do what you have to do to survive and in the end you’ll laugh about how it wasn’t so bad.

Til Next Time
Simply Lola

Monday, March 14, 2011

“Sticking With Plan A”

Growing up most of us were taught to always have a plan B just in case plan A doesn't workout. For a single woman with a biological clock that's ticking Plan B is the guy you marry because you know he loves you and will do anything in the world for you, but is tragically unattractive. You force yourself to believe that size doesn't matter, although you seem to wear out the batteries in your vibrator more than your loving husband. Plan B is a safe haven with very little to no challenges, topped off with a routine that hardly ever changes. You don't talk much to plan B ,but when you do you're usually complaining about something he's doing or not doing, which turns into an argument about absolutely nothing. The truth is you're just frustrated because you really want to be with plan A.

Last week I went to Dallas to celebrate both my dad and niece's birthday. My mother threw a very fancy black tie surprise birthday party for my dad, and I skated the night away celebrating my niece turning six years old. Between the two birthday parties I managed to squeeze in some party time with my two good friends Chinedu and Robyn. Being that the both of them had to be at work very early, they were good sports about hanging out with me until whew hours of the night . When I wasn't partying like a rock star with my friends I was having good laughs with my little sister. I was looking forward to hanging out with my other friends but with scheduling conflicts it just didn't happen. I did however pick out a fabulous dress for my cousin for her big birthday bash coming up. In as much as I didn't get to see all the people I was excepting to see I had a good time,but for some reason Dallas just didn't feel like home anymore. Of course my family and friends are there and they love me very much, but for some reason I felt as if Dallas was no longer a good fit for me. It was as if I could feel my relationship with the big D (home of the Dallas Cowboys) ending. Kind of like my on and off again relationship with Titan (I guess he's not the only thing I'm letting go of).

My whole life I've always known that when nothing is working out for me, I could always go home. In secret I always knew the last time I moved back home that Marcus Spears wasn't going to be doing much with his record label. After meeting his best friend and business partner Gamar Crain, I knew my big dream would still just be a big dream and nothing more. But like a woman in love with Mr. Wrong, I just lived on denial street, hoping my gut feeling wasn't right. Don't get me wrong, I honestly believe their intentions to work with me were good, but I just wasn't a business venture priority at the time. The truth is I needed an excuse to come home. I couldn't bare my struggle in Atlanta anymore and when the opportunity presented itself , I took it. I have never given my all to my hearts desire because I always knew I had Dallas to fall back on. When I got on the plane to come back to Atlanta, I told myself Dallas is no longer an option. I made the decision to move back to Atlanta and pursue my career as a performer and that is exactly what I'm going to do. I can't throw up my hands and quit because I fall on hard times. I have failed so many times in my 30 years of living, and I have managed to survive every one of my failures. When I boarded the plane I knew my relationship with Dallas was over. So with tears in my eyes while feeling the plane take off, I simply closed my eyes and said good bye for good, but promising to visit ( I think I tweeted, and facebooked it as

My friend Omari once told me to embrace the struggle, because plan B sucks. My plan B was Dallas. Dallas doesn't suck but not giving me a chance does. To my friend that is considering plan B, stick with plan A. You'll have some adjusting to do in order for plan A to work. You're even going to fail, struggle, cry , and ask the question “Why Lord, Why”? But in the end it will be worth it.

Til Next Time
Simply Lola