Saturday, September 24, 2011

Manifest Saturday

Every since I was a little girl I have always loved speaking in public and performing. I used to imagine myself as one of the dancers in the TV show Fame (I really adore that show.) I would practice my autograph in red markers on sheets of paper all over the house. My earliest performance experiences came from two sources: 1. The Church 2. Elementary School

CHURCH: I grew up my entire life (my mama went into labor with me while sitting in church)in a Penecostal, high energy explosion of a church, that encouraged children as soon as they could stand to recite bible verses, Christmas monologues and Easter poetry for elaborate holiday programs. From this experience, I gained so much confidence and begin a love for performing in public. I am honestly not afraid to speak in front of any size audience. I believe this also nurtured my love of street theatre and guerilla art. My Lady Terror spectacles have had me reciting poetry on a bullhorn in front of Chicago liquor stores on busy Saturday nights and leading a one woman poetry marathon of Gwendolyn Brooks poems at Bud Billiken, which is one of the largest and oldest parades in the country. Bud Billiken

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Because of the fearless behavior I exhibited performing in front of packed pews at church, I was always volunteering for the essay competitions, spelling bees and talent shows. As a natural writer and lover of the stage, I had amazing teachers who saw this in me and nurtured it. I was chosen many times for anything that involved a volunteer from a classroom to speak at school assemblies and events. I was the go to girl and still remember the joy I felt while waiting back stage for my cue. I loved the darkness behind the heavy velvet curtains at Lowell Longfellow Elementary in a suburb of Chicago. One of my proud moments is organizing a dance group in to perform at the annual 6th grade talent show. We danced to "Nasty Boys" by Janet Jackson and yes, I still remember most of the routine.

So, to make a long story short: I was born to communicate. I love performing. I love the art of connecting with another person through emotions and words. I love the power of theater and art to change lives and communities. I have been manifesting this for a long time.

I moved to Atlanta from Chicago a year and a half ago and since I landed here I have felt this overwhelming and strong feeling that my God given gift of writing and performing will be VERY successful. It has been stronger than any other time in my life. I have constant repeated visions while sleeping and awake of myself performing on a large and beautiful stage to a packed house. The vision is so real that I literally can see every detail of the stage, the lighting patterns, the spotlight, the folds in the curatins, the color of the seats, the music playing in the lobby during intermission, my outfit, my friends and famiy in the front row and a packed house of at least 1,000 people. Its a nagging and surreal feeling and it has been sustaining me through the unemployment and financial woes that have been around since I moved here. I'm focused and motivated because even if I wanted to give up, when I close my eyes its that clear vision of me pursuing my passions that keeps me going.

My new weekly blog post "Manifest Saturday" will become a list of all the things that I love about theater, social justice and performing. It will help me stay committed to making a career and living from the LADY TERROR mission. I keep hearing the quote from one of my favorite artists and the soul of Elmo the puppet, Kevin Clash. In the trailer to the new documentary "Being Elmo" he spoke passionately about how everyone told him he could never make a living being a puppeteer and how it was the only thing that he loved as long as he could remember. "Don't worry about people telling you that you are crazy and that you can't make money living your dream. Just keep doing what you love and the money will come." Soon come.

Oh, here is a link to the trailer for BEING ELMO. Its so heartwarming and inspiring.

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Artist Statement

I create art for the ones who lost their voice a long time ago. I believe that impromptu spectacles can bring awareness to social justice issues that paralyze our communities. Lady Terror examines the relationship between public space and performance space and also explores ranting as a medium to address social issues and as a tool to empower communities. My art is local and neighborhood specific in its execution but global in its ideas around poverty, injustice and violence.