So we rolled into NY on a cold Sunday morning and set up in our matchbox of a hotel room with dreams of having a successful NY run of Griot. As I sit in my hotel in Baltimore I realize that we did everything we set out to do. What good it will do us, as far as getting the show into other venues in NYC is anyone’s guess, but right now, I’m just happy to have put together a great show. The staff at the BPAC were incredible. They took care of everything in a professional manner, but that makes their treatment of us sound very steril. They were full of love and encouragement and did everything in their power to make the show a success.
One of the aspects of a show like “Griot” is the heavy educational aspect of the piece, we knew this was an asset when coming to the college so we set it up with several professors at the school, and I went to several classes and discussed the play. It’s so ironic to me, that I have never taken a college course, but I seem to find myself teaching college classes often. Most of the professors who assigned the play came to see it themselves, and they loved the work. We were able to have real discussions in the class on the play. It made me realize all the work I’ve done researching the historical information that made up the play. When I was in the middle of doing all the work, I didn’t really have the opportunity to reflect. I just read everything I could get my hands on, and continued to push the concept of the piece along.
Now that most of the work (as far as the writing is concerned) is done, I can look back and be somewhat proud that things have worked out the way they have. I’ve been blessed. I feel like the play is a ministry in a sense. I also think it’s a little vein to talk like that. I’m uncomfortable with the concept that God has personally said to me, “This is my will.” Weird coming from the son of a Baptist preacher, but I’m just not comfortable speaking in those terms. Still, if the play reaches people, and moves them into a realization, or grounds them in the past with an eye towards the future, I think God’s okay with that. I know I could not have written it without some divine intervention.
Several of my New York peoples came to the show, Bassey, Sabrina, Syreeta, Alexa, Katie, Paul Devlin, Evert Eden, Will Cantler. It meant a lot for me to look out and see there faces. New York is one of those places that forget you, if your not there every second. The fact that these and many more people came out, made me feel like I was loved.
This is just the beginning. We have so much farther to go with this piece I’m anxious to see what road it puts us on.