Is anyone out there? Sometimes I want to ask myself, what the hell am I doing? I have to remind myself to follow my own path, but sometimes, this “own path shit” gets lonely. I mean lonely as I have no professional peers, besides my right hand wonder-twinn Bassey Ikpi. She is one of the few people I started out with and am still in constant contact with. I know how this happened. I started out with a lot of poets, slamming, and touring. But now, I’m not really in that loop anymore. Whenever I reach out to those people they make it very clear that the past does not define the present. It’s too bad, cause it would be good to have a base of folks I could talk to about the things I was trying to do. The place I’m at now, is a mixture of performance poetry and hip-hop theatre. Because I didn’t start off with the Hip-Hop Theatre cats, I don’t know them well and there seems to be a certain level of distrust. We are all decidedly protective of our own little worlds. Meanwhile I’m knocking on both doors trying to make it happen. All of this happened when I started reading people I know
Enough of the whining.
I do have a strong group around me. My peeps, Larry Knight, David Pugh… incredible poets/writers. I don’t think either one of them realize how talented they are. Quite honestly, because they don’t realize how good they are, I don’t feel like they are living up to their potential. But they will. It just takes a bit for the realization to hit home. I can see Larry beginning to come into his own in performance. Before he started working with my director Barbara, he was good. Good words, great voice. Now he has all of that including soul. He’s broken out of the confines his great voice put him in, and found the soul of his work. Every time we perform together, I am somewhat amazed at his growth. I don’t think he even notices, he just does it. David was much more polished when he started working with Barbs but I think that is part of David’s problem. He is an incredible performer, but he needs to dig deeper. I know D, carries a lot of pain with him. It’s written all over his face, and I think it stops him from digging deep, and being honest on stage. So now he gives great performances, but there is no vulnerability. It’s like watching Superman beat up bank robbers. To the average human, men with guns are a big deal, but to Supes? Nada. Now, let Lex pull out some Kryptonite, and you have good drama. David is flawless, but sometimes on stage, I’m looking to see the flawed human we all are. That being said, there aren’t many people in the world that can rock like David. I have seen women wiggling in there seats listening to him. The three of us on stage is gunpowder, and Barbara is the match.
What to say about Babszilla? She drives me crazy, but has been such a good friend, she drives me to work as hard as I do and sometimes there is little money for both of us at the end of the rainbow. She took me from a poet that speed through all his poems into what I am today, and I still have a ways to go. I’m still learning consistency. I think I have it, but I need a higher level of consistency. Everything I do on stage comes from her proding and pushing. She told me when we first started working together, that I had the package, but just needed to learn how to use it. In the last four years she has patiently held me by the hand as I jumped head first into my art. I’ve picked up other professional friends like Holly Bass who has become a sister to me, and a few others. My boy Ian who does all my graphics and web stuff at no cost, has supported me from day one. On the days when I want to quit he always gives me this look of, “What the hell are you thinking” I couldn’t do half the shit I do without him pushing me along. And then there is Stacie. All the words I could write on this page could not sum up how she has supported me, but per her request, I will refrain from writing about her on this blog. All in all, these people keep me afloat.
Even still, on days like today, I feel like: Where am I going? I mean in my heart I know this path that has being created in front of me is where I need to go, it’s the manifest destiny that I know is there, but sometimes can’t see the end result. The thing is, I’ve been walking down this road for a long time but honestly don’t really know where it’s heading. I keep myself going, because I’m not doing this for the destination, as much as I am doing it for the work. Primarily, I’m scared to think of the end. Because if I do, it may distract me from the work, but maybe the work is the end. Maybe, I don’t need the lofty goals, and just the work. The uncertainty of one foot in front of the other is very similar to how I wrote poems. With poems I never know where they are going to go, but I’ve learned the key with poetry, for me, is to not worry about where the poem is going, but trust that it is going.