Today I got the word that I had been chosen to recieve a grant from the State of Florida!!!!! The Grant is the Individual Artist Fellowship. I applied for the interdisciplinary Artist category. This is the first year that I have applied for grants, four in total. I haven't applied before, because i didn't really see the importance of it. I always thought the money would be nice, but it wasn't big enough incentive, as I figured most of the big money grants, I would not recieve. It's only been in the last year, (when money has been tight) and I began thinking that in order to break through to the "bigger leagues" I need to find something that translated in the acedemic world. Thus a Grant on the resume looks really good. So I started applying. I feel pretty confident in saying that the other Grants are long shots, but right now, I'm really happy about the one i just recieved.
Figuring out how to spend the money wisely is now the next chore. I've got so many ideas about what I want to do, but all of them eat the award of 5,000 grand pretty quickly.
In the meantime, GRIOT has begun it's production cycle again. I am sooo blessed to work with talented folks like David, Larry, and Barbara. We do some magical things together. I can see how all of us have grown since the last time we performed the piece. The two new part of the the play seem to be going well, but we haven't tried them with an audience yet. Barb and I have perfected our working relationship in reguards to GRIOT. Initially it was hard for both of us. For me as the head writer, I had a vision I wanted to keep intact, and at times would step on Bab's directing toes. On her part she at times, unintentionally limited my creativy by pushing us forward, when I wanted to create more with a piece. This time out, I'm being very aware of the postion she's in and she is giving me more freedom.
Currently, I'm in the process of sending out Griot packages to everyone and their momma trying to get some interest from different folks before we get to NY so we can get them out to see the play. It's our hope to use the piece asa vehicle to get a run in NY. Today, I'm going to start targeting poeple outside the box, and get them to come. By this, I mean people like Camille Cosby, (Bill's wife) this is the type of show she would love and as a producer of the "Having Our Say" I think it would be a great idea to have her come out. All of it is a long shot, but so was the Grant.
As far as CHALK is concerned, I'm somewhat lukewarm on it. Things aren't working out the way I had hoped they would. I have to sit down in the near future and get back on the planning. I think the major problem with the progress of the piece is me. With all the other projects I'm involved with, I am the engine that pushes the work forward. With Chalk, I was taking a back seat and letting others do some of the work. I did this primarily because I need to work on other things. But it is becoming evident, that I need to roll my sleeves up and jump back into the fray.
Still working on the screenplay. In the middle of writing, I had to move, so things have not been as steady as I'd like as far as the pace of writing, but on a whole the piece is still moving forward, and at this point, that's all I really need.