Hello cyberfans! This is Ma'at here tryin to maintain the blog while out of town in Hollywood. Yes, the Land of Lala. I arrived in Los Angeles this past Monday on an American Airline plane, with a lil turbulance, and I am staying with a buddy in the Crenshaw District aka The Jungle. I hear that my hometown fo the STL had about 3 inches of snow and I left right on time for the sunny side of life.
Okay lets get right to it. ...........Last Friday, I had the chance to check out the play Rent that was playing at the Fox Theatre. I went with my business partner Jewelanda Hodges. For those who are not familiar with this play, it is a Broadway Tony Award winning production that deals with a commune of bohemians lving in a run down apartment building dubbed the Alphabet City of New York. Some fo the communers were gay, bisexual, transgendered and HIV-positive. The plot deals with a rich guy named Benny who threatens to shut down the aprtment building to rebuild but promises to not shut it down unless one of the bohomians, maureen, would stop her protest against it. This play is a mix of Bring in the Da Noize, Bring In da Funk meets Jesus Christ Superstar. I really enjoyed this play and the songs in it are extremely powerful (especially the main song, "Seasons of Love" that is introduced in the second act.) This play was very moving and tells the underlying message of no matter how different we are in regards of our race, gender or sexual orientation, we all have the right to be human beings. The cast was great, the singing was superb and the set of a rundown aprtment building was extremely authentic.The only wish was to maybe have some fo the original cast of the play (Taye Diggs for instance) reprise their roles for the traveling tour, but, we always have the DVD of the film for that case.
Last Saturday, I had a photo shoot with photographer Bob Morrison (one of the pics is down below) at Turner School in Kirkwood near Big Bend. It was definitely an experience for me cause this was my first real photo shoot (I did a semi photo shoot with Japhus of Hot Shots about 4 years ago but that was not as elaborate) The shoot took about 4 and a half hours and I did over 100 shots. Some were the regular headshot stuff, then I did some shots of my being in the club and then i did the slave motif shots that were very intense for me. I enjoyed it and it caused me to push myself to do something different. I was very impressed of the turnout (Kudos to my makeup artist Cynarra Rodriguez who worked her magic!)
Last Sunday, I attended local director/actor Joel P.E. King's gospel stageplay, "Meeting at the Elder's circle" at the Jazz Loft on Olive. I attended the 3 oclock showing and I must say, it was definitely a trial for those who attended cause when us early worms got there close to 3 p.m., we got the message that the set had not been set up (Not good). So, we sat near the bar area until they set out some seats near the dance floor where the stage was in order for us to sit. I got my seat and for about an hour, we waited for the show to start.
They tried to stall as much as they could even having the dee-jay to play songs as we entertained ourselves. Therr was one interracial male gay couple who sat next to me who asked me if i was reporting on this play andI told them yes. then, the black guy got a call on his celly and he said, "Yeah, i'm still wauiting for this show to start. I tell you, that's why I hate to attend black shows." In my mind, I was like, "huh?" How could he say that in front of his white male lover? I was too outdone. Some people also started to leave as well. (also not good). Anyway, local poet Chill da Playa who helped with the set, telling the crowd that they were going to get started pretty soon.
At this time, it was going on 4 pm. Around this time, the production, so I thought was about to start, but they had a few opening acts. First up was poet/dancer Black Pearl and Chill doing some spoken word, then a gospel mime dance troupe, GTV, who performed (one fo the female dancers ended up gettin "caught up" in the routine) This was good and all, but I think everyone was waiting for the play to begin. When the play started, it was about a quarter after 4. Now the play was about the trial of one congregation member, Sis Magdeline, played brilliantly and comedically by local actress Alicia Mosely, who spoke highly against her congregation mates and is tried by teh church whether she could still attend the church.
Now THE shocking moment was that actor /director of this play, Joel King, wa splaying one of the "sisters' in the church who was white(The white makeup he used was very clown-like and ghostly which made it even more hilarious) . My mouth flew open when I saw him in drag (It was definitely another dinmension that was occurring). It was a parody of the black church and all of the malapropisms that goes along with it (the holy dancing, the preacher that cannot read, the obese sister who loves to eat at the church functions, etc.). It was avery gutsy move to make fun of the black institution (King even said some folks walked out during the secoind show), but the play was more of a satire, to make one think about the things that is tolerated in the black church. Good job, Joel!
Monday, I geared up to go to L.A. and had my father to take me to airport. But of course there was soem drama before i got to the airport,for one, I forgot one of my bags,so we had t turn back around from Highway 64 to meet my mother near the Hardees on Hartman Lane in O'fallon to get my bag. Then when i got to the airport to check my bags outside at the American Airline, one of my bags was too heavy and I had to pay a 80 dollar fee . Then, the man checking my bag said that I had only 30 minutes to make my plane (which also meant getting searched and all). But I was not hearing none of that).
So I managed to make my plane (I saw Tony Thompson of the Kwame BuidlingGroup standing atthe counter looking nonchalant, whatver was going on there) I had five minutes to board and I did. ...The plane ride was cool but we ran into some crazy turbulence while taking off as teh plane was jumping upand down liek a rollercoaster and that was not cute. I tired to seem cool about it, but my insides was screaming like I was trying to run out of a housefire. Anyway, my plane landed about 11:45 pm pacific Standard time and my friend Keith Underwood picked me up from the airport and took me to his crib in the Crenshaw
District. Next week, i will tell y'all what Ive been doing int he land of LA LA.
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