Dedicated to Bernard
Project Runway fans listen up. This isn't the first time that I have heard this rumor. Austin's No Spring Chicken.
I finally saw the movie Ray last night. While the acting was great, the film was your standard musician's biopic. Great genius comes up from nothing to become a huge success while being a womanizer and drug addict.
There was a small scene in the movie that stood out to me. I believe it was meant to be a brief flash of the kind of person Ray Charles was behind the scenes. The scene takes place in a small room in New York City. Ray is listening to gospel music and reading the bible when Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic records offers him a recording contract. Upon Mr. Ertegun's arrival, Ray loses his temper because he is "at church." I loved that moment. Here is this guy all alone in his tiny apartment having church, feeding his own spiritual needs in a way that seems appropriate to him.
Now on the other end of the spectrum is the Super March for Jesus held yesterday in Jacksonville in honor of the upcoming Super Bowl. Here we have a complete spectacle devoid of any real spiritual significance but loaded with political muscle and outright tasteless showiness. Ronald McDonald would be a more suitable center for this parade than the christ. Ask yourself Jacksonville, FL: Would Jesus really march in this parade?
This is the first publicity photo from my new show "Straight and Nappy presents Straight and Nappy." The show opens March 26th and runs Saturdays at 9 pm in Donny's Skybox, 4th floor Piper's Alley, Chicago.
Straight and Nappy is Rebecca Jackson and Pip Lilly.
I was so lost and so sad in the fall of 1998.
First, there was the day I returned from London to Chicago - October 12, 1998. It was also the day that Matthew Shepard died. I remember because there were so many memorials and I had no clue what was happening. Once my friends explained to me what had happened it saddened me deeply.
Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Mitch caused devastating floods in Central America.
Less than two weeks after that I turned 30 years old. Although I planned to move to New York to continue my career in theatre, I decided to stay in Chicago. I moved into a studio apartment. I was unemployed, lost, and depressed. Special Note: My actual 30th birthday was a really good night. I went to the opening of the musical Ragtime at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago. I was also a special guest at one of the largest and swankiest opening night theatre parties that I had ever attended with great food and an open bar.
I had to get over my depression. I couldn't bring back Matt Shepard. I couldn't turn back the hand of time although I briefly considered lying about my age. What I could do was try to help the flooding victims of Hurricane Mitch. So, I gathered up 2 bags of clothes and a full box of shoes to give the Red Cross. The clothing was a great idea. It did make me feel better for a short while.
I am still waiting to see some sort of follow-up on the national news about Hondurans after the flood. I expect to see some Central American teen wearing some fabulous 90's vintage YMLA shirt (yes, in my early days of fagdom, no shirt was tight enough or shiny enough for me). I have to say that I still miss my shoes. Of all the sacrifices that I have ever made, giving up my Ferragamos, Keds, and Converse All-Stars has to be one of the greatest.
Please continue to donate to victims of the Christmas Tsunami and don't forget those in Somalia.
My Mom is visiting this weekend from Peoria. Yesterday, we ate at The Bagel at Old Orchard Shopping Center. We watched Amelie on DVD. I fixed dinner: Chicken Mole, Spanish rice, black beans, and Mexican corn bread.
Today, Mom went with me while I rehearsed for my new show entitled Straight and Nappy.
After my rehearsal, we made our way to Evanston to see Hotel Rwanda starring Don Cheadle. This is one of the most important movies that I have seen in years. First, this is a story that was not told well or often enough in America. I remember hearing a news blurb about genocide and civil war in Rwanda but I knew nothing about what was going on there. Over a period of 100 days, almost one million Rwandans were murdered. As I sat in the movie theatre, I couldn't help but wonder how did this information slip by me? I tell you how. The western world didn't care because it was happening in Africa.
Please, please, please see this movie. A portion of the proceeds for this film will go to help Rwandan refugees that are still displaced from this awful human tragedy.
I have been involved with Chicago's famed Improv/Sketch Comedy Troupe The Second City for four years now. I have been a member of the National Touring Company. I have understudied and performed on the ETC and Mainstage show. I have taught through the training center both on and off-site.
Now I will be performing with the Outreach and Diversity arm of The Second City and I couldn't be more excited. The name of the show is WORDS. And my comedy duo, Straight and Nappy, is one of the featured guests.
I had a rehearsal for it last night and there are really talented brothers and sisters participating this year (as in past years).
The show will be at 9 pm Saturdays in February.
And as an added bonus, the man in the picture is me.