Sunday, March 17, 2019

Happy Birthday, Mama/St. Patrick's Day



In my family, remembering our mother's birthday was simple because it fell on St. Patrick's Day!

March 17th is such a great birthdate, the entire country celebrates it!

So, if she was alive, she'd be celebrating her blessed 87th!

She's been physically gone for 34 years...

But lives on VIVIDLY in our hearts!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

We Fall Down


All over news broadcasts and social media famous people are being brought to their knees.

Scandal after scandal after scandal.






Michael Jackson! Again!!!

And there are a host of others. But this post is about how there seems to be a conspiracy theory that "the man" aka white people, are deliberately targeting famous black men. 

Black icons.

To prove their point, they're saying that famous black men are arrested, and their reputations destroyed in ways white men who commit the same or similar offenses are not.

People have mentioned Woody Allen, Harvey Weinstein, Elvis Presley, etc. All white men who have allegedly committed offenses that the country denounces, yet, have not been crucified in tv interviews and had their artistic contributions to the world eradicated from various forms of media display.

What I know for sure is that the disparity in punishments doled out to blacks and whites is a real issue. 

I believe that wholeheartedly. 

But I don't want to take the heat off the offenders. Whatever their race. 

The fact still remains that if an offense has been committed, there's a price to be paid.

And another fact remains: whatever it is we do, regardless how heinous, we can turn our lives around.

We can pick ourselves up from the depths of despair and work our butts off toward making a positive change!

I believe that wholeheartedly.

As humans, we fall down.

But the truth is, we don't have to stay down. 

We can get up.

Jussie can get up.

R. Kelly can get up.

Michael Jackson's professional legacy can get up.

For a saint is just a sinner who fell down...

And got up.

I believe that wholeheartedly.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Go Union!!!!!!




It has become glaringly obvious that unless an actor is a marquee name, he will be paid as little as possible by producers.

Period!

SAG-AFTRA has had an ongoing fight with several commercial advertising agencies that simply do NOT want to pay SAG-AFTRA members what their contribution to commercials is worth!

A decade ago, a commercial actor could earn enough money to purchase a house. Today, if we're not spokesmen for a product, we'd have to book a dozen or more spots in one calendar year to live semi-comfortably in L.A.

When I was bumped up to a principal performer on a Nespresso commercial featuring George Clooney and Danny DeVito, I just knew I was gonna make bank.

WRONG!

I might have made $15K on that spot. If that! And it ran nonstop!!!!!!

One agency that has parted ways with a SAG contract stands out ahead of the others.

BARTLE BOGAL HEGARTY, do the right thing!!!!!

When You Make an Ad, Make it Union!!!

#StrikeBBH

@BBHblacksheep

Monday, February 25, 2019

And The Oscar for Best Picture Goes To...


GREEN BOOK!

Today, entertainment journalists and couch critics have flooded the internet with all the reasons in the world why the film should NOT have won its Oscar for Best Picture.

I can't stand when people do that! I mean, damn, whether or not a film is good or bad is purely SUBJECTIVE! People complain as if their "learned" opinions represent FACT.

They DON'T!

They represent an OPINION.

Period!

I don't have a dog in this fight, but for me, the most interesting thing about Green Book is that the director, producers and Mahershala Ali (who walked away with an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor) decided to portray Dr. Donald Shirley more like Roscoe Lee Browne than the person he was much more like...

LITTLE RICHARD!

Well, I reckon they had their reasons.

I'll have to catch the film soon.

THIS is the REAL Dr. Donald Shirley:

By George, I Think I've Got It


I just stumbled across a Facebook posting that truly moved me. It was one man's first-person account.

His name is Ryan O'Connor.

He doesn't give the names of the two gentleman about whom he spoke.

But I know who they are.

Correction: I know who the one was. And who the other is.

Ryan's words:

"I was once employed as a personal assistant to a well known actor. He was black and he was gay. He wasn’t “out”, which was sort of bizarre because he was best known for playing an extremely flamboyant queer character on television. 

This man also suffered from alcoholism and drug addiction. 

He was in a lot of pain. 

Physically. 
Spiritually. 

My job was essentially to keep him alive between film shoots and rehab stints. This was before I got sober myself and it was probably one of the darkest periods of my life, especially in hindsight. 

I couldn’t fathom how someone who had so much, and represented so much to both black and queer culture, could be so ashamed of himself and actively abuse himself and his loved ones. 

His talent was immense and his heart, when not diluted with Grey Goose, was so warm. He would ramble a lot. I often felt it was his favorite part about drinking. The blacked out rambling. I would pick him up off the floor and take him to the bedroom, or drag him from the couch to the car service waiting outside. Whenever he was “conscious” he would ramble. Almost always his ramblings would have two themes. His family telling him he was too much and show business, black show business specifically, telling him he was not enough. 

He carried a deep responsibility to his family and his community. But, every day I saw him crumble beneath that responsibility and hate himself for being a failure. He would sometimes beam with pride when he talked to me because I enjoyed his stories about theatre school and actors he got to work with that we both admired. He was so funny and so smart. His shame was so deep. He couldn’t get out from underneath it. As the day turned in to night, day after day, the shame just caved in on him until he suffocated. 

When I was told he was dead, I wasn’t surprised. He had called me a week before and I didn’t answer. I was newly sober and listening to him drunkenly ramble no longer moved me. He died in a hospital from liver and heart failure. 

Physical. 
Spiritual. 

The past few days I’ve been thinking about him as this other queer, black actor, with the same peers, is in the spotlight. Too much. Not enough. Too much. Not enough. 

I loathe his actions. 
I will never fathom his motivations. 
I am sorry for his loneliness."

Physical and spiritual balance are key to a life well-lived.

By George, I think I've got it.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Only Person You Can Truly Trust Is...



After actor/singer Jussie Smollett turned himself into authorities this morning, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson conducted a press conference, detailing Jussie's involvement in what clearly looks like a hoax. Back in January, he claimed he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him!

Since that "attack," police have discovered that he was lying through his straight, white teeth!



He hired two, musclebound brothers to "rough him up." But the police say the guys were gentle with him. He likely self-inflicted the scratches on his face.

Police even have a copy of the $3,500.00 check he paid the brothers.

A check???? What person under 60 still writes checks?

Apparently, Jussie! Geez, Louise!

Oh! Jussie was probably also responsible for sending the threatening letter on his life that arrived at the Empire studios. I tell ya, the dude was on a mission!

Read about all the great detective work HERE.

And the press conference appears below!

Even with all the irrefutable evidence, that damn Jussie Smollett is STILL crying that he's innocent!!!!!!

What a piece of WORK!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

I'm Going All The Way



The summer of 1994 was all right by me. I was a young and tender 30 years blessed. I was living alone in a sorta ritzy, high-rise condo building in Jersey City.

Doorman. Check!

Pool. Check!

And a White Castle directly across the street! Check!

I was working as a women's clothing Sales Specialist at MACY*S Herald Square.

Just livin' my happy life!

My gig at MACY*S had me workin' every other weekend. So, on my weekends off, I made sure to hit up my favorite dance spot, SOUND FACTORY! The joint was HOT! It didn't open until 1AM, but I liked arriving at 2AM or so. Yes, I took a disco nap before leaving my house, 'cause I knew I'd probably be at the club until 9AM!

Yep! It was like a full-time job!!!!!

There was no alcohol sold, so customers drank water and juice, and ate whatever snacks management provided. From what I've heard over the years, folks were doing all kinds of drugs in the place, but I never saw anybody taking them. Not one person.

The two DJs everybody loved most were Junior Vasquez and Frankie Knuckles (RIP). I liked 'em both, but Frankie Knuckles was my fave! His remix of The Pressure by Sounds Of Blackness was the BOMB! We'd dance like crazy people when that song came on.

My first introduction to Sounds Of Blackness was their song Optimistic. The song was played nonstop on urban radio. Although a few women had featured vocals on the track, it was Ann Nesby who provided the gospel flavor. And her voice is the one I fell in love with when I bought the group's album, Africa to America; the journey of the Drum.

Although I liked all the album's tracks, my favorite was I'm Going All The Way.

The song lifted me when I felt down.

It made me feel GOOOOOOD about being ALIVE!

It fortified my HOPE!

I listened to that song every, dang day!

And today...

VALENTINE'S DAY...

I'm STILL listening to the song.

And LOVIN' it!

"Whatever it takes to make it, 
I’m going all the way. (Yeah) 
I may be down sometimes, (Sometimes) 
But I won’t be down always. 
(Not every day, Some days, oh, but not always) 
Whatever it takes to make it, (Whatever it takes...) 
I’m going all the way. 
(All the way, Wherever all the way is, that’s where I’m going) 
I may be down sometimes (down down sometimes…) 
I won’t be down always (I won’t be down always, no way, no way)."