Gimme That “D”

 

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Relax.

The “D” is for diversity.

The title is to generate the elusive click factor, but as far as I’m concerned the “D” I’m referring to might as well be a fine ass man who all the women (and men) talk about incessantly and want desperately but who, once you get home is just as floppy, flaccid, and ill performing as he wants to be.

I can’t read another well meaning (or not well meaning) think-piece about diversity (or Formation for that matter.) My spirit can’t abide it. My job as an artist is to create, and that’s what I damn well intend to do whether or not I’m pic’t as one of the handful of worthy “Of Colors” who will help usher in a new age of the “D” (remember: diversity not penis), to theatre, film, television, and your Mama’s cocktail party.

I’m exhausted with the whole deal.

The definition shape shifts too quickly for me to keep up.

The reasons why and excuses why not leave me with dry heaves.

And I know theatre houses, film execs,  and et. al with money, you need to make a buck. There must be  a sure return on your investments or it will trigger Armageddon.  That sure return is based on what the audience wants, cause it’s allll about the audience, except … don’t you kinda set the bar for what “great theatre” is with your pic’t people, institutions, and awards. Yeah, you kinda have a say.

And artists (Of Color and otherwise) … REBEL!

Stop sitting around waiting to be pic’t and do something. No, money to do it isn’t easy to come by. Yes, self production is hard as hell. I’ve done it, thankfully before anyone tried to convince me of how crazy the idea was, but there has not been a time in the history of the universe that the capability to reach audiences has been easier (I exaggerate of course.)

Innovate Dammit!

Black creatives have been making a $1 out of 15¢ for years. See:  Melvin Van Peebles career.

I won’t wanna die with a stack of unproduced plays on my desk gathering dust whilst my prostrate body decomposes on the office floor because I collapsed trying to get back to my desk to write one. last. scene.

Don’t let the perpetual intellectual discussions of the idea of diversity remain a circle jerk of the minds that lead to no concrete solutions.

Get out there and …

GET THAT “D”!

… And if you’re pic’t in the process that’s fine too, great even. Just remember, a flower is a flower even if it isn’t pic’t.

Rosie.

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Duly ashamed.

Today, while watching the utterly amazing Jazmine Sullivan perform on Live with Michael and Kelly, I was hit with a bit of insight I felt was worth sharing (do what you will with it, these are just words after all.) Jazimine’s voice gave me goose flesh. It is, possibly, the most soulful of her generation. It harkens back to ye olden days when R&B lived in the solar plexus, and not simply in the all too impatient over stimulated nerve endings of the loins. Her album Reality Show is a pleasant surprise and one that I hope signals a return of the spirit of R&B music from its watery autotuned grave.

Anyway … What was I talking about? Oh! Insight! Yes.

As I listened to her I wondered why in the hell the planet is obsessed with Adele when this fierce unapologetic brown skinned plump girl soulstress could sing Adele’s ass under the table when the was a tween! Then I thought … That’s it! Jazmine has not been duly ashamed of her physicality! Adele, all her black figure disguising clothes (which are hiding not a damn thing) and her misery lauding tunes fit the bill for what American society is comfortable with from “curvy”* women.

(*Curvy is a term I will dissect on another day)

Fat … I mean curvy women can self depreciate, they can be a comedic side kick, and they can bemoan the loss of a man who wasn’t about shit in the first place, but what is hard for our culture to wrap its proverbial head around is us as women who make the call and control their own destinies in their romantic lives. Rarely are we assigned the role of sexy in a way that contradicts the cultures image of what larger society sees as sexy. And when we are, shit like this happens. We can’t bust the windows out of cars, drop a man for somebody new on a whim … We can’t be Jazmine Sullivan, or any other fat woman who owns how fine she is as a matter-of-fact independent of public opinion.

I know these are bold statements, but I stand by them as a fat (not curvy, but fat) woman who has tried every manner of everything to wrap her self image into something the public could be ok with, only to wind up miserable and nearly fatter than when I started. (Why yes, I am talking about an unsuccessful gastric bypass surgery!)

Picking up the pieces left behind after no one, including you, any longer gives a fuck about your weight loss journey has lead me into a pattern of thinking that would have been helpful before the surgeon picked up the knife. Maybe my self-image is some skewed conglomeration of everything  other people told me. Maybe it’s wrapped up in the behaviors incited by and feelings generated around having to engage my body. My big non-conventional body with the stretch marks, bulges in the middle, along the side, and cellulite, oceans of cellulite. What else would cause me to on more than one occasion, order a dress two times too big based solely on my inner perception of what my body looks like. Maybe your self image is a ticky tacky patchwork quilt of other peoples good and bad feelings about you. I would hope not, but maybe it is.

This is the part where I’d like to elect a lil social experiment (you can play along too if you’re game. No worries, I won’t stalk you to see if you’re playing fair 😉 ). I’m gonna try to deal with my body on realistic terms. No overly Zen affirming of it, at first just:

“Hi fat thigh. Thank you for holding me up all these years!”

My thigh won’t likely answer, but I believe it would serve to kind of chip away at the things I believe about my body that are so deeply engrained that there seems no way to dig out. I have to look at it. Just stare it down, and become familiar before I can become the fierce unbridled fat vixen who I get occasional glimpses of, but who I know I am fully on the inside.

But yeah, that was just my insight 😉

Rosie.

Now talk to these ladies Jazmine honey!

This. Is. 40. (or begin again)

Here I am. I’m 40. It’s February 15th 2016 and it has been 40 years since the day I was born. For many obvious reasons this birthday feels ginormous. I’m now officially “old-enough-to-know-better”, or am I? For my money, I’d like to think of my 4th decade as a new beginning ripe for new mistakes, triumphs and understandings. I’m grateful for what my 30s taught me that got me to this level of self awareness and understanding (thank you HP, therapy, recovery, Iyanla, Oprah, and Deepak, friends, family and strangers). The only difference I feel between now and the beginning of my 30s is this unbridled sense of fearlessness. This doesn’t mean I ain’t scurred.

Shit.

I’m terrified.

I want:

A healthy mind, body and spirit.

My family to be whole.

A husband,

One more baby,

A MacAurthur Genius Grant (at some point, I’m realistic … or maybe just a large chunk of money that will grant me the freedom to create … I have paypal if any possibly benefactors are reading),

And a career as a writer that doesn’t involve kissing ass or joining cliques I want no part of.

AND the things more likely to happen, per my current trajectory, are NOT the husband and the kid. Like a cup of Mars water seems more likely than the artsy wedding and the blissful pregnancy that I have envisioned in my mind.

And I feel those things slipping away, but I’m not afraid to endeavor. I’m not afraid to live my way towards the life I want. To keep coming back. To jump into the fire, be burned, then reborn. To rock with the pain. To lean with the joy. To love through it all.

This for me is what 40 means. This for me is what life means. We stop at a certain point. See where we’ve been, look where we’re going and strike out towards the great unknown future.

It’s like one of those annoying ass childhood songs that just keeps going … and going … and going …

Rosie.

p.s. I may actually try to write for this blog a lil more. Whytf not, right?!

There was an old man called Michael Finnegan.

He grew whiskers on his chinnegan.

The wind blew out and blew them in again.

Poor old Michael Finnegan,

Begin again …