Last night When I got off work I had received a message about a play that I needed to see and in that last moment while sitting on the bus I decided to buy a ticket . The Last Jimmy a well written and crafted play by 4 young men Carl”Dice Raw” Jenkins,Ozzie Jones, Phillip Sean Brown, and Wadud Ahmad was a story that resonates in today’s times as it speaks on the life of a young man,played by Raw himself that is going through a mental fight with self to recognize a realize that although life’s challenges may contain plotted points to hold one back in the end it is up to the individual to see through the blur and affirm ones growth to happen as it stands to also help those that may need that same help too. With great acting from Carlo Campbell (you were a real jerk) as the prosecutor and Phillip Sean Brown as the defendant, there constant battle of wits and words over Raws awareness in how he is being judged and convicted without thought brought me to understand how we can be the destroyers of our own destiny if your not paying attention to the signs. With Domini Quinn Superstar as the courtroom Crier, he stood to be the many actions of so many lost souls that accept there place over overall feeling as if there is nothing more then this but in the end even he recognizes his worth is more then being seen as a sellout.
To me The Last Jimmy isn’t just a prisoner of a cell but of ones life. Often we can look at where we are and what we do in a job and feel like there is no way out Again this is a story that I feel will make you think open your eyes and understand that America has a lot of layers to it and none more felt then the jimmy’s.
I found out something today that most men didn’t know existed and it’s called defending womanhood. So I took my usual walk to Dunkin Donuts to get a cup of tea when my ears could ignore the conversation behind the counter. Thee young ladies are talking about the weekend when one said to the other so when we going to hook up. The other young lady said to her I told you before no and the other young lady then becomes persistent. Come on you know you want to try when all of a sudden the other young lady gets upset and says look I am not I to women please don’t come at me like that ever again and then walks away from the counter to the back.
For this conversation it sparked something that I am sure is a mist. Often we here about people being homophobic but what about those that aren’t but find themselves having to defend their womanhood due to increased pressure by those that have the mentally that “they can make you change sides.”
Now none of this has to do with attacking a community but because she (meaning any woman) may choose not to be into women doesn’t give those that are the right to put pressure on one to assume they are or can be changed. I have talked to a few female friends of mine over the years about this subject but I must be honest I wasn’t paying attention. It has been the norm in life (or should I say because of entertainment) to believe that all women are attracted to one another but that is far from the truth. Think about it do you see men openly pressing up on other straight men (no) because it could possible lead to something violent. I don’t know about you guys but society is messed up that defending your womanhood can get to this type of point.
Last night was a great beginning for us a writers as we went to the PDC Playwrights Happy Hour at FergiesPub. I have been here many times but this time was special as it was a first time presenting new works by myself Antoine Stroman,Henderson Sealy,Demetrius Ford and Ra Wilson. I must admit my nerves were getting the best of me before this day as we began this story sometime last year. Being for brothers we were doing something that we were all probably not us to and that’s writing with others and bringing a cohesiveness to a story that as Antoine said has not been explored in mainstream theater before.
We sat in a group with others reading a story of ethnic hardship and utilizing members in the group to read dialogue that spoke diversity within a group but was also as real as it can get. Handing out parts to each person was easy but I felt I needed to prepare the readers by letting them know the dialogue would contain explicits and vulgarities. In the end the group loved the way the story was coming together and gave us pointers on how to further explore the depths of the characters. Well fellas we have a story to finish and our beginning is one to grow on.
It’s supposed to be spring at least that’s what we were told.. Well it’s Friday and instead of going home or doing anything like rehearsal or preparing for next weeks show I decided to just go do something different. I purchased tickets to an event in Penns Landing but it’s cold and standing outside in it isn’t for me. My 2nd choice for tonight was to hit The Prince for a theatrical dance show but I was told that a friend of mine Sam was in a play so I jumped online got a ticket and thought to myself wow it’s a moment just for me…
In a place that was once the Women’s Kensington Hospital the ancestry of women speak. Drum like a lady Latrice and Jamillah allowed the sounds of the drum to bring in the spirits as the crowd couldn’t help but participate as the heard the drum of the mothers like it was the heart beat of our beginning of rhythm. Showing us rhythm through beat boxing bring the people together through life of rhythm.
But song can be created through woven rhythm as well as Lynda Grace shows in her she utilizes fiber woven vessels to create a medium ancestry speaking from a past life of mothers wombs to life’s moments of meeting individuals from scrap metal collectors to the black lives matters experience. Beginning from the grandmother showing her and watching her knit, her knitting was a form of community seeing that words can build a shield.
Although they have meet in conjunction with this project the art that speaks through Lynda’s has has extended into the photography of Sheenas.
Sheena Garcia speaks through pictures with stories ranging from single mothers protecting their sons and seeing the need to hold on to a sons life with a black and white imagery that leaves you understanding why these lives matter.
The owner of this building Betsey Casanas maybe short in stature but her calling as an artist speaks to a higher level as she opens the doorway into her culture with demential artistry that looks as alive as the the cock story tale that began the piece. Engulfed in enjoyment roots energy and culture the people came in the building getting a story fluid with diversity but in the end containing a wholeness that only these women could spin.
Some performances are made off of just talent a person believing that to be an actor is all about just learning how to nail the line. Truth is its about more than that in many cases it’s about the unwritten words that show in facial expressions the crinkle in your voice the eyes drawing the audience in.
For Nichole Spain she has drawn off that energy to latch people into another descent of acting and theater that most look at as passé. Truth is it is here where actors have to rely on the courage within the soul of self and not just the ability to speak because here your emotions must become believable.
In this world she can find her comfort but it is only when she believes in self that all else will not matter and the ticket brought on this day is marked sold because all now believe.
In every moment we often have to take steps that speak to us years to the day of actual doing. The stage was set black light no sound no movement but we stood in a booth awaiting words to begin the tunes. Jody and I looked at each other then she said play it. The track came on and a voice spoke. Out from the darkness walked a young lady tall thin but strong in stance.
The story had begun with a journey of engagement streaming between childhood to adulthood. She spoke of her times wanting to be free and in those moments the freedom was noticeable through leaps and bounds of a younger version in a tutu prancing with fun bringing life to the eyes that watched until they found moments within the story to tear.
In the mist of this we began to feel our own spiritual movement understand that this story has more than one meaning. In the end many say this as a gospel of not just a dancers life but all as the music and dim lights came outpouring cheers filled the room and three generations of one took a bow Justine understood that this wasn’t the dancers last dance…