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  1. When we left off last week:  During my expensive one-on-one session with the Casting Director at the top of my “To Meet, Impress, And Star In Her Next Project” list, my thoughts wandered in my head like an unleashed puppy in a brisket boutique.     

    Even with random bouts of severe childhood asthma I’d never missed a day of school or assignment from kindergarten to 8th grade.  I had been not just a girl scout but my troop leader. 

     “Always be prepared”, was more than a motto, for me it was a way of life.  So why today was I not prepared for my appointment with this woman, Twinkie Byrd who on IMDb has 33 films listed after her designation, Casting Director?  Do I present a 2 minute monologue, dazzle her in a-be-myself interview or ace a cold reading for my few minutes with Twinkie?  Yes, Twinkie is her name – google her!  I was flummoxed by her cool, commanding beauty and distracted by the silence that consumed the tiny studio in which we sat. She finally stopped marking my resume which under her pen began to look like a Basquiat reproduction.

    Hold up, hold up!  Did she just ask me where I saw myself?  “In the scene when a Fellini movie gets really weird?” would have escaped my lips if I’d not been preoccupied with a fulminating stroll down memory 
    (If /Then) lane.

    If after yet another 2nd (or 3rd!) meeting regarding collaborating with a writer, I finally mentioned a Letter Of Agreement and got a baffled expression in response or if one more person (who asked me to direct her project) said, “Oh, I’ve never paid a director before.”  I was going to; well really Passion (not just another one of seven voices in my head, but a fully functioning physical manifestation of a theater director diva with her own business cards, curriculum vitae and website: Passion was going to throw that AUDELCO Board of Directors Outstanding Pioneer Award out the window.  Wait, that can’t happen because I never actually got the physical Outstanding Pioneer Award!  Outstanding is great!  Award is great!  Was it the word pioneer that made the accolade sound like I was an ancient theatrical Harriet Tubman?  


    Yes, like TV adds 10 pounds, the honor of pioneer adds three decades.  But leave it to my lack of daddy love to compel my accepting the tribute, mostly to get a long coveted football size crystal like gewgaw engraved with my name.  I stuffed my ambivalent feelings about the AUDELCO Award in my rococo emotional armoire, already filled with conflicting sentiments, regrets and unanswered questions about my father; like who is he, why did he abandon me, and how 40 years later do I finally get the court appointed child support from a man who’s been dead and buried for more than a decade? 

    I navigated the twinkling staircase on the stage of Harlem’s premiere performance space, Aaron Davis Hall (now Harlem Stage) in front of hundreds in the audience to receive my award.  No one actually mentioned to me or to the fashionably attired thespian filled auditorium, what I’d done to achieve the status of Outstanding Pioneer.  Most of these theater folk didn’t even know I did stand-up comedy, and here I was on stage overwhelmed by the (long desired and yet now surprisingly) vague recognition Passion was finally receiving from her theater community.  More importantly, that jewel faceted award, that I had viewed with envy in the home or office of a black glitterati, would be concrete confirmation of my stellar sensibilities as a director.  

    Little did I know, the ceremonial object I got on stage was purely ceremonial.  With applause resounding, I exited to the wings and the glittering bauble was snatched from my hands by a harried assistant stage manager.  In a surreal flash I went from being overcome with gratitude to WTF???  Stunned and empty handed I somehow found my way home with no engraved gem like AUDELCO Award,  no plaque, not even a paper certificate saying the honor had been bestowed.  Twinkie’s repeated question brought my attention back to the present and our interview.  “Where do I see myself?”  Empty handed, on the sidelines, in the dust watching erstwhile comedy pals


    get guffaws and applause on TV.

    To be continued…

  2. 4 comments:

    1. Unknown said...

      You are among the very best who takes the sting out of evil doings whose humor helps others find strength in their own truth.

    2. the father thing -- we are again sisters.

    3. Sharon Renay said...

      Twinkies are a thing of the past. Passion knows no bounds!!

    4. She So Funny said...

      Fabulous... Written with so much passion.

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