Pressing On

It’s been a while since I’ve created a post.  Since 2012.  I don’t know why I’ve allowed so much time to pass and not write out loud, as this is cathartic for me.

Some things have changed, while some, sigh, have stayed unfortunately stagnant.  Let’s speak on progression first, professionally. I’ve had more work opportunities for Dream of Dréa.  1) I am a board member for ATL Web Fest.  2) I’ve served as a judge, theatre respondent, and workshop presenter for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (and once an artist has been vetted, the artist will always be able to work).  3) In an effort to have a division dedicated to tax brokerage, I’ve gained credentials to legally prepare taxes.  Tangent point inserted here. I’ve read about a company, the only one in the state of GA with this service, that is a liaison between production companies and taxpayers with high state liabilities. When a production company receives a tax credit for producing work in GA, unless there is a liability, it’s useless to the company. However, the credit can be sold through a brokerage firm to an individual taxpayer.  I was so intrigued about the process that I went through an 80 hr course to get better understanding (and desire more understanding). For some reason, when I read about the process, I was reminded of how folks I grew up with would trade their food stamps (the paper kind) for cash, but not for equal value.  Sounds like the same thing to me, but legal. End tangent. 4) I’ve had more consulting work. I’m so happy I have instituted a “Talk to Dréa fee” to get info from me. I would freely give information away years ago, not knowing my worth.  No more of that.  5) Performing. Sigh. So this is an area that has progressed at a glacial’s pace. Finally saw the work I did for Smucker’s. Did a recording for Atlanta Theatre Festival.  I so hope that play is produced; definitely ready to work more on that character…especially as the story revolves around her and her mental health.  Seriously, that play is some kind of awesome.  I’ve had more modeling requests; though I’m not a model, I’ve accepted a few. Again this area is moving, but geesh, not fast enough.  And this is a transition point to that which is stagnant.

Dependable financial means. Lack of. Oh how depressing it is to think about this. *Honest note: I had to step away from writing for at least 10 mins because I was sickened at the thought of my true financial state* I’m disgusted with myself for missing several weddings, baby showers, and other major life events of my friends for my inability to produce worthwhile financial substance. Me. The precocious girl who began legally working at 15 bagging groceries for customers at Winn Dixie.  Me, who once picked up pecans as a 12 year old, weighed the bags, and had money to buy Christmas present, has yet to have consistent money. Okay. I must transition out of this thought as depression is creeping in.  Heavily.  Something positive needs to happen to get me on the right track.  Wait, something positive has happened. But in a personal area. I met a man…

So I was set to produce a project. That didn’t work out, but someone who expressed an interest in working next to me soon expressed an interest in getting to know me. More than a friend. Geez, I get butterflies when I think of him. It’s still early at this time; don’t want to jinx it. But I will say this: having a friend, who has masculine energy, attractive, fun to hang out with (seriously, this man is so much fun), and can hug me in a way that no other person can hug me to the point my stress evaporates, is medicinal.  I hope he sticks around for a spell.

Journey in my Journal, Entry I

Written late Summer 2010

 

I should not have to pray the same prayer.

Crying the same tears.

Wishing the same wish.

Having the same fears.

I should not have the same thoughts, hoping what once was, never happens again.

I am so tired.  But am I?  

I am numb in movement, numb in mind.  Numb in sight, but His joy divine.

I cannot give up on me.  Can not can not can not      can can can and I am here.

Waiting.  Knowing I am not waste.

Somebody still believes.  In ME.  Get up.  Get moving.  Walk.  Produce.  Liv(e).

 

Sometimes I just need a camera

Today was one of those days that the world would get a kick out of the happenings in my life if a camera were on my person.  

Early morning: fixing a business account error.  I was overcharge on one and bank fees were unnecessarily applied to the other.  Too much time used on that!

Late morning: Prepped for an “opportunity booking” for Army Wives.  Hair looked a messed so had to quickly get it together.

Early afternoon: I was late for my time slot due to getting my hair together.  UGH!  So I worked on the scene til it was my time to be on camera.  I did what I set out to do on at least one take.  The agents were impressed.  Of course being impressed doesn’t always equal being booked.  And I hope I’m booked because that was a really good scene.

Later afternoon: Event to meet the founders of the Gilt Groupe.  Again I was late.  I was so late that I missed them speak altogether!  But I got a chance to get some on the wonderful food.  Oh, and there’s another chance I had…to see someone I use to date (for a lack of a better word) with a young lady.  Something about seeing them really rubbed me the wrong way.  I mean really.  And she was pretty.  Of course he said they weren’t together, but the look in her eyes when he finally introduced us was “Bi— if you look any way seductively to him, I’ll cut you”…of course with a flashy smile.  They left, thank goodness, and I walked back to my car.  Well at least I got free parking :-) 

3 ways to annoy me during an audition.

So I had an audition my agent sent me on earlier this week.  When I arrived, there to sewere 3 actors seated and an assistant checking in actors.  I took a seat and looked at my sides one more time.  Then…I had to suppress an urge to throw my shoe in her direction.  You know, that one particular person getting on your last nerve!  I now present my list of ways to annoy me during an audition; all based off of one particular actor:

1) Being disrespectful of the space with actors wanting quiet time by running your mouth about your personal affairs.

2) Creating silly debates in an effort to engage other actors to talk to you.

3) After leaving your audition, do not reenter the space where actors are prepping and say “I hope ya’ll do well…but not too well to do better than me”.  To do any of the above mentioned statements,  you deserve to be karate chopped in the throat. 

Next time, shut the hell up!  And take your sideline conversation with cha!  

Screenplay registered, now onto a public reading.

Very happy to say my screenplay From Ophelia to Omega has been registered under Writers  Guild of America.  I now need to print out at least 3 copies and bind them.  One goes to a contact of Darton College (Albany, GA) Theatre Department who has informed me that March 17th would be available to have a reading in their theatre that seats 420.  I might also be able to collaborate with Albany State University’s students in their theatre program.  I’m eager to hear the story and to share it with those in attendance.  The second goes to my tentative Directory of Photography as he has expressed a strong interest in filling that role.  I’ve seen his work and I believe he would be perfect.  The third copy will be on stand by for me.  After the reading, I’ll have a better idea if there are changes that need to be made and register under Library of Congress. Note: WGA registration lasts only 5 years.  I also need to have some art prepared for the film’s poster or any other press releases.  In need of supplies like:

  • 110 lb cardstock
  • 3 hole punch paper
  • brass fasteners
  • washers for fasteners
  • mallet
  • a really good printer
I’m so excited!  There’s something about Spring that really increases my creative thoughts.

I Have a Dream

Today the country celebrated the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King.  I did not stay at home as I knew today was a day ON not a day off.  My day began with meeting my Sorority sisters of the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in downtown Atlanta as I was appointed to be a contact person for the chapter.  We marched in the MLK Parade from Peachtree Street to Auburn Avenue to the King Center.   I could have continued to hang out, but I knew I needed to begin round 3 of editing F.O.T.O.   Yes, I’m on round 3, but let digress for a moment and go back to the previous rounds on what has happened.

The first round began as a dream from my mom, co-writer, Vallerie Lewis.  She told me about the historical women she thought should be in the story.  We narrowed her list to half.  From there we developed a skeleton of the breakdown of scenes and what each scene should accomplish.  She wrote the dialogue in book format, just so she could get the story as she dreamed it could be.  Then I took her story and put it in standard format for screenplays.  

The second round centered on creating the story fit for a screen and also employed my writing talents more than ever.  This round was laborious as I had to focus on where the story is going, even when I had no clue.  I prayed, my mom prayed, and glory be to God, it began to take it’s own direction.  We went through each scene (at least 20),  and that was an experience.  Some scenes were a breeze to write, some were frustratingly difficult.  Some scenes I laughed hysterically through and others I cried…hard.  Alas there is a story to F.O.T.O.  and I’m curious what will happen next.

That brings me to this 3rd round: critically reading the entire script.  I’ve asked a dear friend of my to read and trust her opinion on how it can be improved.  I have realized as I go through this round that the story is more than what it has started out to be.  It has this side commentary that’s really interesting.  I am in love with this project.  It’s so weird and lovely.  As I edit, I realize it’s more of an ode to a friend who loves her friend and wants to see her happy; certainly an angle I didn’t expect.  I thought it was about something else, and it is about that, but it has an element that’s reminiscent of a film called “The Witches” with Angelica Houston.  Where someone is watching you and your desires and when the time comes to help, she gives her all to make sure desires are met.  Again, it’s weird.  Now I will leave my tangent and return to what I began this post about…remembering Dr. King.

I am one degree of separation from Dr. King through my pastor, Rev. Dr. Cameron M. Alexander and it could be the reason I feel intimately connected with the message presented.  He was asked to deliver a message for the ecumenical service at Ebenezer Baptist Church and I took away a particular word,  which is to reach my fullest potential.  Dr. King didn’t accept the lack of resources available to him as a barrier to where he was going.  He kept pressing on.  He lived to his potential.  I am guilty of being stagnant when what I see in my surrounding doesn’t compel to proceed.  Everyday I see sunshine is to be better than I was previously.  I should live as certainly my privileges came with a price.  I drink water (clean water) and did not have to pump it from a well.  I can graduate from a college that only began accepting Black people 50 years ago (and I have).  I can create a film and it doesn’t have to go through a studio to have it made.  It is imperative I live to my potential.  I declare F.O.T.O. to be the vehicle for people to see more of my potential.  It’s in me.  It’s been confirmed.

Gratitude

Today is Thanksgiving and I’m grateful.  I have clean water and I had a peaceful night’s rest.  I was able to wake up this morning, dress myself, and cook.  I have healthy and active parents, gifted siblings, loving family members, and committed friends.  I say this because I know sometimes I don’t consider the “little things” when I’m caught up in what I wish I could have or annoyed by those things not going the way I want.  I know I have a way to go and become frustrated that I’m not there yet, but right now, I must express my gratitude.

On another note, I’ve begun looking for venues to host the world premier of “From Ophelia to Omega”.  There’s a venue I visited in Midtown and the space is gorgeous!  The main issue I have is that the stage is very small and there’s no back stage.  But once I rent the space, I control the ticket prices.  No sharing a percentage of the sales of my tickets with this particular venue.  I would also like to have food available for patrons, but I can only use their vendors.  As I consider the brand of my company, I cannot cheapen it by holding events in some ratchet space.  I ask myself “Would Gucci hold an event here?”  If I hesitate too long, I must move on.  So Dream of Dréa must raise the necessary funds to make the event worthy.  2012 already looking great!

Next Project

I’m happy to say the “50th Anniversary Legends and Leaders Black Tie Celebration” went great!  I didn’t have the technical problems in the actual show that I had in run throughs.  Thank Goodness!  The only thing I wished could have happened was playing the credits at the beginning of the presentation.  I didn’t clearly communicate to one of the actors to begin.  But it’s okay as I held my logo for a much longer time on the projector screen to not distract from the scene.  The actors looked AMAZING thanks to Shilla Benning.  She is wonderful.  She came hours before the start of the program and was able to get their costumes together.  Awesome!  Candace Sargent worked on recreating the “Regal 20” sweaters and Melissa Foulger helped, even in her ball gown.  I also have to menion Billy Konkel and Alexander, in the sound booth and the stage tech respectively, as they helped tremendously.  A production is a group effort and I will make mention of every name connected to its success as often as I can.

In the commemorative program, my logo is placed in the “Pioneer Sponsorship Level” (the highest level), next to BP, and InSpire Magazine.  That’s good.  My brand is recognizable (at least to those who attended the event).  The ad that Yolande Thame created was also placed in the program and it is absolutely fabulous!  I’m told it will also be placed in Inspire Magazine.  Also, I have received press as Rolling Out Magazine wrote about the event and included my contribution.  http://rollingout.com/news-politics/community/georgia-techs-first-black-graduates-celebrate-legends-and-leaders-and-50-years-since-school-integration/

I sincerely hope more opportunities arise from this event.  I’m ready for more projects!

I’m sleepy but still up

So, I no longer need to look for another actor to complete one of the scenes.  Thanks to Stephanie Ray, the actor she sent to me this evening is beyond awesome.  He combined two characters into one.  He was practically off book by the end of the rehearsal and he’s got his blocking and executing his beats.  So thankful for him.  Now I just need items like costumes, cut out of hands, poster board size of trailblazer names, to make scenes pop.  Actually, I have a list of things needed.  I have to pray over those items so they come to fruition.

In other news, I’ve been in training to work with a company to do live infomercials per say.  What I love is to be taught how to get people to move in a non threatening manner, the really cool PLASTIC items to make fabulous food designs, and how to add value to an inanimate object.  The trainer is just fabulous, in that he is super patient, poised, and well put together.  What I DON’T like is the possibility to have to travel almost an hour to presentations in stores.  For instance today, I learned I have to travel to Jefferson, GA.  Where da hayle is that?  I’m from Georgia, lived in Atlanta for a while, and never have I heard of a town in GA with the namesake of that popular TV show with George and Weezy.  Well it’s on the same plane as Athens, GA.  Also, I have the option to either go to the 9-3 or 3-9 shift, which is cool, but I’m supposed to be there 30 mins prior to the start time, and did I mention Atlanta traffic is horrific!  The source of my complaint is the lack of gas money needed to get there and back.  Argh!  If I had the money, I would have to complain.  But if I had money, I wouldn’t consider traveling to a place like Jefferson, GA.  And if I had money, (just going on a tangent here), I would so pay a licensed cosmetologist to take care of my hair!  I thank God my all of my hair, and I am eager to see financial increase come into my life so someone else can take care of it for me.  Since I am the face of my business, I must look excellent at all times!  I digress; I need to get back on task.  I’m sleepy but still up trying to do work.