What it is outside people! This is your entertainment commentator, Ma'atology here. All right let's get like diarrhea and go!
Well, this is the weekend where I find out whether I win or not at the Regional Emmy Awards Ceremony that will take place this Saturday at the Hyatt Regency near Union Station. I was nominated for being talent and writer for the Renee Marie piece I had done on Charter Communications last October (I can't believe its been a year already) on the now defunct local cable show REEL Entertainment. I am hopeful that I win, but it's all reassuring for my confidence as a broadcast journalism. Not too many brothers from East Boogie get a chance to hob nob with regional media people and have the possiblility of winning an Emmy. When I told people that I was nominated for an Emmy, the range of repsonses go from disbelief to a congrats with an disbelievable grin. Sometimes it's even hard for me to fathom, but with anything I do, I put my best forward. But with any awards competition, there is polictics involved. In my case, if it wasnt for my former colleague Pete Foggy (who is nominated with me a producer of the Marie piece), I would have been SOL. Charter did not contact me to even tell me I was even nominated. What's up with that? True, I no longer work with them and according to them, I did not fit in their niche and needed training, I should have at least been told that I was nominated. But it is all good, I was able to get a free ticket thanks to Foggy and I will wear my opera coat and bushy Afro and act as though I was supposed to be there. And if I win, I will definitely give my thoughts on how I made it up to the podium. But I digress...Last Friday I attended three functions back to back (seems like old times when I was at the American). First, I attended a play called the Taffetas, a musical about a quartet of sisters from a small town in the 1950's who make their TV debut on DUmont; SPotlight On Music. I peeped it out at the Lemming Aramada, a rathskeller of a place in downtown Belleville that was suited for plays such as this. It was pleasant. The actresses in the play remind you of the Andrew Sisters--sweet, innocent, big grins and eyes, wearing taffeta hoop skirts (thats how they got their name), bobby socks and Shirley Temple shoes. they sang a lot of the Top 10 hits of the 1950s like Mr Sandman, Dedicated to the One I Love, and Mr. Lee. I am a sucker for nostalgia, and this one definitley brought it back--of course back in the 1950s WE were Jim Crowed and trying to get civil rights, but it was an interesting reflection of how TV used to be for those who had the luxury of having a TV. The play plays out until Nov 12. Then I met my buddy Kam at Cafe Eau where the Ralph Butler band performed everything from country, to reggae to rock. It was extremeley packe dup in there, mainly becasue it was too cold to chill outside. Soon after, me and Kam rolled to Toxic to check out rapper Webbie, the 19-year-old from Baton Rouge to perform cuts from his CD Savage Life. I was on the media list (thanks Renee!) and was able to get Kam inside too. It was 20 bones to get up in there and it wa spacked up in there. Not as packed as Ebony Eyez' Cd release party (mainly because EE's was free), but it was just as ghettofabulous. Anyway, before Webbie got on stage, they had artsist and many activitie sgoing on. Hosted by Isis Jones, the artsis who performed prior to Web were All Stars feat. Jus Blac (who performed at Ebony Eyez; party and the same LIke WO-URRRRRRR song) and Da Camp. When they performed they had over 20 people in their camp who were just on stage. What is up with that? Does it take that many people in to represnet and support the artists? And why was D-St. Louis formerly Mr. American Idol contestant and East Boogian D Andre Perriman up there? Is it that serious to get attantion sir? Anyway, the real action happened when it was announced they were having a bad bitch contest in conjuction with Webbie's hit song Bad Bitch. I had a beef with this. Now, the same sisters who say they get pissed if guys call sistas bitches, then turn around and have a bad bitch contest? Hmmm. Well, the sisters who got up there were from the Brooklyn ILL club Bottoms Up where the sistas take it all off. Well, on the Louie side, that is a no-no, but it didnt stop them from getting their twirk on. About 10 sisters from Bottoms Up got on stage, and some started dropping it like it was hot, grinding the floor and even two sisters started toingue kissing each other. I was getting a eye-on myself. LOL. But the trip part about it was fellas throwing dollas, coins, fliers and plastic cups on stage. One of the male hosts, a light skinned cat from the new 95.5 (his name slips me now), was calling the sistas bitches and hoes and I was like degradation at its best. I was getting disgusted by the whole scenario. By the time, Webbie came out (which was close to 2 am), with a Henny bottle in his hand and his constant pulling up of his knee-length jeans each time they fell exposing his bloomers, I heard him flow two songs (neither was Gimme Dat or Bad Bitch) roll out. The crowd was swelling, people were pushing toward the front where Kam and I were and I knew it was time to go (of course, a fight ensued after we left). Now granted, I have no problem with freedom of expression and all and if sisters want to gyrate and dance sexually that's all on them, but the atmosphere of brothas who are drunk , high and their libido is stronger than a panther, there is a guarantee that trouble with cops will take place (and it did). I do not feel comfortable going to a hip-hop concert event and people in the club disrespects a black establishment. I am sure Toxic owner Reno is concerned about thsi because, as many times there have been police coming to Toxic (as well as Plush) becasue of hip-hoppers and thundercats trying to tear the club up, that it will get harder for him to stay open. Come on STL, let's try and behave ourselves when it comes to going to hip-hop events. Act accordingly. Dont tear up your brother's backyard and expecting for noone to clean it up because you all will be the main ones screaming that there is nothing to do in the STL. Oh and speaking of clubs, I hear Club Velvet is closing its doors this coming up Sunday becasue tehy lost their license. Hmm, I wonder what is up with that? Too much Xtacy I reckon? Hmmm.
BTW, In the house at Toxic were Cory Spinks, NOIZE City Girls (who were mistaken as BOTTOMS UP girls) and Darryl Williams...
On Saturday, I went to the gym at Ballys in Clayton to work on my swole on, then later that day, I went to some of the Book fair outside of the Muny in Forest Park. It was OK. I met Joy Ward who gave me info to do the story about the book fair (you can check it out at www.westendword.com) and heard a few of the readers including JK Dennis (thanks for the book 9 Lessons for a Meaningful Life and I will definitley get with you on interviewing you). They had vendors, food booths and BOOK-TV Van was there to tape the event. It wasnt much of a crowd the time I got there because it was getting cold. Joiy invited me to dinner afterward with her and some of their lit friends, but I declined. I hate I missed it cause I dont miss out on opportunities like that. Oh well. Later that night, I went to Club Dreams to patronize Maurice G (Thanks for calling me Michael Jackson, too. LOL). It wasnt a big crowd (Jamelle and her girls were passing around Halloween necklaces that lit up AND I got a biz card from a barber named Brutus who was pubbing his shop, Grand Center Barber Shop), but I guess it takes a minute to reestablish a black club when the more popular Club Seven is literally right behind you. Keep your head up Maurice and keep doing what you are doing.
On Sunday, I checked out my buddy Joel King's two one-act plays that he wrote, Me, Don and the Psychiatrist and Meeting in the Ekders Circle. It was a stage reading of the two plays at COCA. It was close to 60 people who witnessed the plays and King asked for us to write down our opinions and feedback on them. The two plays are hilarious! Me, Don and the Psychiatrist is about a married couple who go to a psychistrist to seek help for her man's philandering and hyper sex drive. Shawn Guy (who is looking good these days with her slim and trim self) played the girl, Sadie and Kevin Rolston played Don (the name of the white guy who played the psychiatrist slips me now). I enjoyed this. It was daring and ballsey with the language (Don calls his penis a "Pilates stick" and when she had to pee she sad that her "little girl has to go spit") told from the woman's point of view. It started off with her soliloquy about her problem about going to the shrink, afterward, the play went from action to soliloquy getting the audience involved in her struggle (even had the women in the audience raise their hands after a question about men was raised by Guy's character). It would have been nice to also get Don's point of view, but all along, it was an interesting take about sex, and relationships. Now the second one , Meeting in the Elder's Circle was high-falutin satire on the black church. It tells the story about a lady named Magdelene played by Tann Moore (who toe up thsi role) who stirs up mess talking about people while church service is going on. Picture Tyler Perry's Ma Dea and you have Magdelene but only sexier. I along with audience were rolling all through ths play. I cannot imagine cursing that goe son at a church, but the blaspheme nature of the piece was refreshing and gave interesting commentary about how UnChristian like people are in church. And the cast of characters were just as hilarious. You had a assistant pastor played Sammuel George, who could not read and the only word he knew was THEE (one instance his wife in the play used a walkie talkie devise to read him his sermon to him through hsi earpiece--HILARIOUS), another was a pleasantly plump sister played by Cody Aaron who thought of nothing but food and reminded herself of that everytime she spoke a sentence that may had a reference to food. The other cast memebrs include Olivia Neal as a transsexual. One big laugh came when a white actress in tha play gets in a fight with Magdeline and called her a bitch. I lost it. You talk about FUNNY. This play I definitely can see playing at the same circuits as Tyler Perry's. Add in some famous R&b singers and B-black actors and Joel is on his way. I am very proud of Joel. He used to be in a few of the plays I wrote and directed (mainly the Dutchman in 2002) and he has definitely becoem one of the movers and shakers in the performing arts community in the STL. In the house were J Samuel Davis (WHAT THE DEVIL!!!), Greg Carr, George Best of the Network Group(who helped finance Joel's plays) and on videocamera was Mariah Richardson.
Oh, Greg Carr is having auditions for singers and actors for his play, "Johnnie Taylor is Gone" Dec 2 and 3. For more info call him at 314-323-4053.
My Talk It Up Tv Show is soon to come to life. I am looking at next month for teh shows to be taped. I am working with business partner and producer Tia Hodges on it. And pseaking of Tia, her son, Blake Harris, who is a senior at Priory, spoke to 200+ at the regional meeting of Sigma Pi Phi professional fraternity last Saturday night at the Millenium Hotel. Bill Young, Pres and CEO of Buford, Dickson, Harper & Sparrow invited him and said he was "Phenomenal and beyond Stupendous and Perfect," and that Blake got a standing ovation. You go, Blake. You are definitely going places. For a young man at 17 to be very mature for his age, he is definitely going to be one of the pillars of the 21st century!
Well that is it for now. Next time, I will tell you about my invading the Emmy Awards. I am also going to see the play Luv at Broadcast Center for the Arts, possible J Nicks' party to celebrate his being on Rap City at TOXIC (here we go again) and Philly neo soul singer and songwriter at the 5 Spot at the History Musuem. Until next time, see ya outside!