Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Love and Basketball

All is not fair between Love and Sports!

There was only one thing I could think about doing after an exhausting week with the play and illness...spending time with my man. I recalled during the end of the second show how anxious I was to get everyone packed as soon as possible so we could hit the road. Because on the other side of that hour drive to DC was my Pookie waiting for me...or so I thought. I got back really late and went straight to my Dads and passed out. Easter Sunday was up next so I knew I couldn't see my boo until church and quality time with my Dad was complete. But I made it through and was on my way to his moms house. I'm thinking "Yes! I'm finally gonna wrap my arms around this man and kiss him until my lips fall off". I wont say unfortunately because I love spending time with his family. His sister is a true character and keeps me laughing, like gut busting laughing. So I'll say unexpectedly, I walked in to find the ladies of the family engrossed in chatter so I joined in. At some point throughout the convo my honey biscuit disappeared into the living room because the game had started. And here we go! I knew the rest of this night was going to be a constant battle between myself and the final game of the night when the Lakers played. I had faith though, I was confident that my Schnookems was just as excited to see me as I was him. WRONG!!!!! I wrap up the lady chit chat with his family and head upstairs to steal a few minutes of alone time. I received a stale hug and kiss as he peaked over my shoulder to watch the tube. The rest of the time at his moms house consisted of dinner, laughs, and potential interventions to help his addiction to all things Sports related. Let's add electronics onto that intervention too, Cuz if its a debate about either, he's your go to expert. Moving on, its time to say goodbyes and stuff. So you know I'm thinking "Oh yeah, finally gonna get some Q-T-Quality Time with my sugarplum". Ha ha, wrong again! He's making plans with his boys to watch the final game at a bar and my face is on the ground for the duration of the night. He was determined to watch this game out of the house and the most affection I would receive that night is rubbing elbows at the table over cocktails and man talk. Negative! I made a decision to go our own ways that night because I surely didn't want to be a sourpuss the whole night. Even though we see each other once a week, sometimes less, I was the bigger person to sacrifice my wants, right??? *shoulder shrug*

I drove home with my bottom lip poked out but I was very proud of myself for deciding to leave without making a big stink of things. Previously, he would have heard my mouth until the sun came up about how he should be spending time with me. Thank the Lord for censoring my lips. Speaking of my Lord, Do you think you could speed up this basketball season or like magically make the Lakers disappear? Because I'd really like to have my man back in my life but I'm convinced I'm going to strangle him if I get kicked to the curb one more time for this team! Thank you Heavenly Father, Please and Thank you!
ha ha just kidding...well sort of kinda!

Peace yall!
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Monday, April 25, 2011

My First Play

The phrase "Postpartum Depression" comes to mind as I think about my first play. I know this sounds a bit negative, but as I was writing in my journal that's exactly how I felt. These last two weeks have been so intense and full of anxiety it was equivalent to the nine months of pregnancy. I was excited about the end result of all the preparation and sacrifice it required. Lack of sleep, headaches, and loss of appetite were a few symptoms that accompanied my anxiety. Not to mention I was still recovering from strep throat. Now that I gave birth to my first play, I've been running as far as away, from that 75 page script and any mention of the play, as possible. I've been wondering if this is normal or if I wore myself out with the double duty of actress and project manager. I'm probably just so exhausted physically and mentally from all the commitment it required up front that I just need a break. I'll get back to the theatre world tomorrow with a new 27 page script to study. The director is running two plays simultaneously so I have a role in this one as well. At some point they will both run in NYC together and that will surely make my head spin but I'm ready for it or I will be ready for it. Today my brain can't handle anymore scripts. I'm reading my monologue at our Open Mic tonight but thank God I already have that embedded into my memory. Whew!

I suppose I should mention some details about the experience so you can understand why I'm exhausted. The play is a tour first of all, so the first show was in Virginia and the travel alone was draining. As Project Manager, I was responsible for keeping tabs on the cast to ensure everyone arrived to the theatre. The original lead character backed out of the play at the last minute which left the understudy to perform. I believe this was his first play as well and Lord Have Mercy on him because it was very apparent. I remember at one point doing tech rehearsal, hours before the show, I was almost to tears with frustration. This guy struggled to memorize his lines and it made for a very challenging rehearsal for a newbie like me. It's not enough to have your lines memorized in this situation, I had to be prepared to feed him cues to get him back on track with his lines. At one point he went completely blank and just walked off stage and I froze. How can you feed lines to your scene partner if they're running off stage? Thank goodness it was rehearsal, so the fact that I just stood there like a deer caught in headlights wasn't so bad. I learned from that experience QUICK and brainstormed ways to improvise if it happened again. Thankfully by the time the first show started, he had most of his lines down and the cast as a whole improvised throughout the hour and a half show to feed him cues for his lines. This was a rough start to my theatre career but I'm glad to start with a challenge, so anything less than this will be a walk in the park. I was more nervous during rehearsals than I was during the two shows, weird but hey it was all a learning experience. My challenge moving forward will be to find a balance between the commercial and drama worlds. I pretty much shut down my schedule to anything other than this play last week and I don't have the luxury of doing that each time I have a show. God has blessed me financially so it was cool this time around.

Overall, I truly enjoyed the experience and did a pretty good job. I'm ready to submit myself to more projects and see where this road leads. I'm sure my feelings of postpartum will be short lived and I'll be eager to get back on the stage in no time. Up next is a commercial shoot this Thursday and I'm glad to be working in my comfort zone this week. My brain hurts and I need an easy breezy week. I'm off to prepare for my monologue reading.

Peace yall!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ask Seek Knock!

Whew! It's been ten days since my last post and I have so many drafted entries and thoughts running through my mind. But I just couldn't find the time to sit down and type. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of synchronicity with opportunities and challenges. I got picked up for another play and had to let go of an understudy assignment for another. I came down with strep throat again, lost my voice this time, and experienced the worst pain out of all six times I’ve had it (we'll discuss why six times later). I booked two commercial shoots and had to juggle that in between preparing for the new play which starts this Saturday :-O Crazy I know. I’ve had rehearsal everyday twice a day and I took on a project manager role for the play. The director resides out of town and we desperately needed a central contact person in the NYC side and who else would raise their hand but ME? (Shaking my head at my own self) But I take it all in stride because this has been one of the best experiences of my creative career thus far. I've learned so much from the director and my fellow cast members in the past weeks.

I recalled numerous conversations held with theatre folks, that I didn’t see myself in the area of theatre until my older years as an actress. I would say "I’m not trained, I don’t have time for that commitment, and I've never done any drama work so I’m fine with waiting my turn for the theatre world and will focus on film and TV in the meantime". Ha ha jokes on me because the Universe clearly had other plans in mind for my career. I've been so busy that I haven’t had much time to reflect until now... I'm doing a play yall!!! Like a real live, on stage for all to see every nook and cranny of my talent, PLAY! Oh my gracious! I just knew I had it all figured out didn’t I? NOT!!! Just goes to show that I am not in the driver seat of this thing called my Life. But it’s cool and I’m rolling with it. I’m not scared to walk through open doors especially when they're placed right in front of me. I could have dodged it and justified my way back to the complacency of my commercial world but nope, I’m rising to the challenge. And a challenge it has been. I have never worked harder for any performance in my career up to this point. I’m reading my 75 page script everyday all day, it goes where I go. It’s on my iPad, my phones, and I got a hard copy. Highlighters and pens right by my side to mark up and breakdown my character. One night I was so immersed in the script that I began to dream about the lines, I woke up in a panic and felt the need to rush back to the script and rehearse some more.

I've been going through it but it’s all a blessing and I thank God for the new opportunity and unexpected shift in my career. Ask, Seek, and Knock! I asked for new ways to stretch my creativity, I sought out postings on the casting websites, and when the opportunity was in front of me I knocked on that door and stepped right on through pushing my way to the front. Amen, Hallelujah, Praise God and then some!!! Peak behind every potential opportunity yall and don’t be afraid to jump out there and do something new. I'm about continuous improvement and I'm in this thang for the long haul so I'm ready for this season and looking for more open doors.

Peace yall!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Miss Potato Head

Yall remember Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head? The toys that had removable body parts; nose, eyes, hands, feet, hat, lips and such.

I was journaling this morning and I thanked God for everything. These eyes that see things differently and look for the positive in every tribulation. These hands that reach out for new opportunities to learn more and help others. My spiritual ears that are learning to listen for the God in everything. Especially these lips that need a guard to man the door and let only words of love exit (Psalms 141:3). Each day I'm working at keeping my mouth shut and waiting on God to tell me when to speak and what to say. New feet on a path leading to some of my greatest and most fulfilling accomplishments. My parts are being renewed and refreshed daily and I'm so thankful to be in this new body, this new season, this refreshing mindset.

I'm like a walking talking Miss Potato Head, popping off old parts and pressing in the new lips, eyes, ears, feet and hands. Hallelujah!

Peace yall!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Unmovable and Unshakable Peace

I received this email forward from a special lady in my life. It was so inspiring, reassuring, and right on time that I feel the need to share. Enjoy!

Philippians 4:6-7 (New Living Translation)
6 "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell
God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
7 Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in
Christ Jesus."

John 14:27 (New King James Version)
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 16:33 (New King James Version)
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

We are living in confusing, difficult and frightening times, where people are losing jobs, the government is in jeopardy of shutting down, the country is fighting senseless wars, people are being forced in many cases to leave their homes because they may be facing a foreclosure and because of all of these things people may even feel like they are losing their minds and even worse their peace.  It is during these times that we need to draw upon the fruits of the spirit.

In particular, Galatians 5:22 speaks about joy and peace (as well as
others) being fruits of the spirit.  As a result, we need to take time to reflect on the good times we have had and draw on that joy and peace.  When you work on developing fruit in the good times, you have a reserve for difficult times.  This may not be something we have done in the past but as we mature in our Christian lives; we learn how to draw on the peace than can only come from the Prince of Peace that lives inside of us.

As a child of God, we need to know how to be steady no matter what the
circumstances.  Allow His peace to guard your heart and mind as you become prepared to handle times of crisis when they come.   Face it; life in today's world can be stressful, frustrating and frightening.

But as a Christian we do not have to operate on the worlds system of worry and fear.  Yes, we will face difficult and trying situations, but we can also refuse to be worried, agitated, disturbed and upset(See John 14:27).  Therefore, even in the midst of our problems, we can be happy, confident, cheerful and courageous.

Yes, some days are going to be more frustrating and worrisome than others.  But when you come to the end of one of those tiresome and frustrating days, we should take time to spend with God.  We need to thank him for his overwhelming joy and peace and thank him for overcoming the world on our behalf.  No, our situations may not have changed today, but you will find that just purely reflecting on his
goodness will calm your spirit and prepare you for the days of peace that are definitely sure to come!

A Prayer for Today

Lord, help me to have joy and peace in you during these tough, tough times I am facing today.  Lord, help me to have unshakable and unmovable peace today even during the issues and situations I may be facing today.  Lord, I know you have overcome the world on my behalf and I thank you and will do my best to be "of Good Cheer" today.
Lord, it is so very easy for me to become frustrated, down and depressed in these times but, today I am changing my perspective and am going to replace those thoughts with happiness, peacefulness and confidence because I know you are working things out on my behalf.

Yes, things may not change overnight, but I will focus on the peace that passeth all understanding.  Lord, I will focus on the good times I have had because I know at just the right time – those good times will again happen in my life.  So Lord, I will continue to draw on your word, your peace and joy and be patient and wait as I know my breakthrough is definitely on the way.  Thank You Lord for my unshakable, unmovable peace today!

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Peace yall!

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Security Blanket

Am I going to let go of this well paid 5-year job? How often will I see my boyfriend, who lives in DC, if I fully commit to NYC? What about the note on my truck I will rarely drive? What about my church, my Pastor, my spiritual circle of friends? This was me remembering how stressed I was over the decisions I had to make at the turn of the year. I made so many excuses throughout 2010 that kept me traveling back and forth, exhausted, and not really planting my feet in either state. By the time the new year came around I knew I had to make permanent decisions on NYC becoming my full-time playground. If not then I may as well pack up my apartment and move back to DC.

All it took was one huge leap of Faith to let go of the job that justified all the other excuses. Now three months later, I don't even think about that job or the money. I was, however, attempting to hold onto some of the other reasons to have continued my weekly commute, hence my last entry about missing my Boo and crying like a baby because of the distance. I miss him, my Dad, my best girlfriends, and my Chevy. But the one thing I found myself holding onto the most was my church home in Southern Maryland. I was talking with a friend and told her how it felt weird to be a leader in several of the community activities sponsored by a church but avoiding becoming a member of this church. This was a conversation I've had with myself as well over the past month. It's natural for people to ask if I attend the church, especially since I'm one of the leaders. But I wouldn't consider the thought of leaving my church in MD. I felt early on that God was placing this church presence into my life because he knew I would not stay in NY and grow as a believer without a spiritual circle here. I'd attended a few evening services but didn't feel it was for me and yet I became more involved in leading church activities to feed my spirit. I became very resistant to considering this church as my new home even as I began to pray and state often that I was seeking a new church home. I was still saying in my mind "Do I really belong up here in NY? What about my church, my boyfriend, my dad, my truck!". Even though doors were opening consistently around me, I still refused to completely let go of my roots in DC and the fear of starting over in NY continued to haunt me. One of the youth leaders invited me to morning service this past Friday and I quickly responded "OK" knowing that I had no intentions of going because I have a church...Four hours away but Whatever. The rest of that day and the next I tossed the idea around in my head of going to church on Sunday morning and battled with my excuses not to go. Even as my alarm went off Sunday morning, I snoozed it, complained about my aching body from dance class the day before, and came very close to going back to bed. But something came over me and nudged my butt out of bed and I went to morning service. The experience was not as unfulfilling as I had made the evening service out to be and I left feeling like my spirit was fed. I reconnected with an old acquaintance, met some new folks, and shared hugs with other friends that I've met through the community activities. I really did feel at home there and I am now considering being a regular morning service attendee. WA-HOO!

I fought so hard to hold on to the last bit of my DC life and resisted the open arms of this church family. The activities that I co-lead are the major sources of my joy these days so I'd be a fool not to receive God's subtle hints to embrace this group. So the moral to this story is...well I'm not sure what it is. I can only say that I'm learning from my stubborn ways and resistance to step out of my own ways and into His ways. He knows best and I'm not here in the big city by accident. I'm leaving the security of my DC blankie behind and growing up a bit in the Big Apple. Maybe the lesson is simply to "Trust God".

Peace yall!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


"I'm in a long distance relationship with the greatest man I've ever known."

As I started to type that statement and discuss my relationship with a certain someone, I paused. Let me rephrase, I'm in a long distance relationship with the best man my heart has known here on this Earth. I had to change that around a bit because God is the best man that I've ever known. But the confusion between the two men is exactly my discussion for this entry.

Last night, I cried and cried, pulled myself together and cried some more. I was longing to be near my physical man and the desire kept eating away at me and all I could do was cry about it. Well at that moment, Crying was all I wanted to do. Prayer is always an option. However, at that moment I chose not to pray, I chose to let my frustration attack me, self pity to dig in, and self doubt to poke holes in my confidence. I didn't know what was wrong with me and I why I kept crying, my heart wanted him here and she couldn't have it so she threw a "hissy fit". While experiencing this dramatic moment, I heard whispers from God saying "Lean on me BJ, you should be leaning on me". I knew this voice was correct but I still chose to lean on the lack of my physical man's presence and cried some more. Gee whiz that was a lot of tears! But maybe everything came out in those tears and not just my sadness. I have oodles upon oodles of joyful tears to cry even for my man because he is a great person and I'm thankful to have him as a friend and more. So maybe I cried so hard and so long for reasons other than missing him. Not sure, but this I do know. When God whispered to me and said lean on HIM, I should've listened. I know better than to put too much trust in Man especially before trusting God and his plan. I had a weak moment and leaned on the physical and not the spiritual. That is a decision I will pray to be forgiven for and strengthened from because it was a lesson. I woke this morning feeling a bit foolish because I'm always convicted when I step against God's plan for me and the simple things I know I should or shouldn't be doing. I do love my physical man but I love God and myself more. Finding that balance to love them both and put God first is one of the hardest things I will accomplish. But I understand the reward in it and will diligently seek that guidance.

"Lean FORWARD unto the Lord will all your heart and understanding... And He shall guide thy paths." This is my version of Proverbs 3:5-6. While I trust I can count on my man to be there, I've learned from my past not to put all my hope and trust in a person. Doing this now would be taking steps backwards and I'm all about receiving the blessings of the future God has promised me. I'm Leaning Forward on God and not backwards on Man.

Peace yall!

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