Wednesday, July 25, 2012


NB: This is a very interactive post and I urge you to click the links--which will open in a new window so as not to impede your reading--and enjoy the fun times! I've decided to take a page from the call girl's book of secrets, but instead of giving the girlfriend experience, I'd like to share the blacktress experience

Hey friends,

Last night mamadukes and I went to see Memphis on Broadway and it was quite the fun evening. Not only did we get along smashingly (she didn't once comment on my need for a wash and set!*) but one of my main gays took us on a backstage tour and we got to meet cast members and see where the magic happens. (Reason #247 to roll with the gay mafia)

Before the show we grabbed dinner at a fancy restaurant in midtown. Because we had a curtain call to get to, we needed service in a New York minute (but less than the length of the Olsen twins film of the same name), and we couldn't get a waiter's attention, even though they were all standing around and chatting like Grey's Anatomy cast members at the nurse's station.

Why aren't y'all working?! It's a fucking HOSPITAL.

Just then, my mom said what I was thinking. "And they say black people don't tip, but if the service was better, it wouldn't be an issue."
"Yes, it's like they think we don't have money or something and don't want to put the effort in!"
Before you think I'm just being a difficult blacktress, let me explain the truth in a way that you can handle.

Other than my excitement over my mom and I connecting and agreeing on something, I'm relaying this little story because it reminds me of an old print ad I was recently sent. And since I had such fun with yesterday's visual essay, I'd like to give it another go.

It's no surprise that McDonald's has long targeted black communities (thanks for the type-II diabetes!). This ad, however, is cute. It's family oriented, it speaks to a specific group in a way that's almost positive, and other than the fact that they urge you to get a large size and that kid's eating a sandwich that's way bigger than it should be, it's good times. Just as the fries are "Golden brown. Delicious." this father and son are also golden brown and delicious!


[imagine i am on stage taking a deep sigh and then staring at the audience silently and knowingly.]

For some reason, in that same year, McDonald's ad execs decided they weren't reaching the right folks. The numbers just weren't looking good. So they had to GO FURTHER. To the place where colored girls have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf:

They say a picture's worth a thousand words, but I actually have no words that could adequately explain the CauCRAYsian mastermind behind this advertisement. Of course, the 1970s ebonics of dropping the 'g' in gerunds is meant to speak to the people, but that's nothing new. (Although they didn't use it throughout the copy, which is just poor form).

Look at the happy family (and the random dude in the booth behind them that they're apparently friends with--you know, because all black people know each other)!!! 

It's the third line that gets me.

You don't have to get dressed up, there's no tipping, and the kids love it. 

THERE'S NO TIPPING?!?!?!?!?!? It's basically saying, "you're cheap and lazy and slovenly, so McDonald's is the perfect place to grab a bite!"

Of course, the fact that I just had my third viewing of the musical about interracial love in 1950s Tennessee isn't helping to quiet my rage, but if this was a tweet, you know how I'd hashtag this!

Although they're still claiming to "do it all for you," this time they're doing it like the scary nanny in The Omen. 

What are your thoughts on this insanity? Please, leave a comment--I can't be alone in this!

*Caucasians, if you don't know what a wash and set is, wiki that

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Visual Essay

The following ecards speak to my heart in a way I could have never imagined:

Sometimes, all you can do is nothing. Am I right?????*

I feel like this is a real "strengths-based" approach to my body image issues.


*Dear god, I hope I'm right, or else I'm on a one-way, downhill road to nowhere. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rackin' Up Rejections!

Don't be alarmed by the sad title--I'm actually in a good place today. 
Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves--I'm in a good place at the present moment. 

After all the lessons and classes and Ben Franklins* I've thrown into voiceover, it seems that my demo isn't quite appealing to folks who pay. Monday night I attended a videogame-focused VO seminar and didn't do my greatest work. Then the agent lectured us all on how we couldn't expect to get representation from our demos and instead needed to rack up a resume......which, he admitted, is tough to do without an agent representing you. 

It's a classic chicken-egg scenario. Or double-edged sword. Or generally annoying. Whichever you prefer!

I have a running spreadsheet of the agents I've contacted, the date, the feedback received, and the date I followed up. It's very well-organized, but no amount of OCD can eclipse my failure. 

But it's okay!!! I was talking to a friend last night who is very happy and positive but not annoying, and she said something that is actually working for me this morning: Instead of seeing it as a failure, consider it a good thing--you're racking up rejections so you can get to the yes!

It's true. I mean, in this reality-tv, "who-wants-to-be-the-biggest-american-idol-inside-the voice of a celebrity rehab" world there's so much instant "success" that it's easy to forget that most people before 2003 just put in the work and put themselves out there--repeatedly. You had to get rejected a billion times, lose Star Search, get yanked off Amateur Night by the Sandman, be told you're talentless by someone in a position of power about 20 times, and then finally have Clive Davis recognize your brilliance. 

Okay, that last part mostly applies to any female singer in the late 80s and early 90s, but you get my point. 

I remember being at a family friend's barbecue in the D when I was about 11 or 12 years old, when Anita Baker came by. I'd heard that my aunt was friends with her over the years, but I didn't really know what that meant (or if it was even true). Well, turns out, they went way back--back to when they both worked in a kitchen at a restaurant. 

Y'all, 8-time Grammy winner Anita Baker spent her 20s washing dishes! Now that's a "Behind the Music" moment. 

Writing about watercolor is my washing dishes. And I just need to be chill. Being rejected is just more fuel for my inevitable Netflix-produced documentary "Blackting is Reacting." 

In addition to clocking 10,000 hours, I've got to get 10,000 rejections....divided 100. Yeah, just 100 rejections--I don't think my psyche could take more. If I could count my romantic history among them, I would have hit the mark years ago, but alas, we're going by career rejections, so we're not even close. 

I can practically hear Destiny's Child crooning in my ear, "you be saying no, no, no, no, no / when it's really yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah."

Of course, that song was about a shady dude and not career rejections, but I think the connection is clear.

*Speaking of Ben Franklin, I'm working on the treatment for my new film Ben Franklin: Zombie Killer/Dream Crusher. It'll star Michael Cane as the only founding father who knew those townsfolk didn't have cholera.

NB-- 7/19/12 Follow-up in a gchat with a fellow strong black woman:

Scribe:  ur post is so positive, love it
me:  thanks, girl. i was having a moment of positivity!
i didn't mention that Anita touched my hair and asked who did my braids (because she could get some)
and i thought i had been touched by god
Scribe:  umm, yea that is essential to the story
thats super awesome
Scribe:  well to me, cuz im Black and I get the whole Anita-Baker-is-god concept

Monday, July 9, 2012

If All Press That Came to See Me Were Gay Men With Petite Dogs

Handing the mic to writer/comedian [Sojourner 'You Can't Handle the' Truth] (“you had me at hello”), who has coined a new term by describing herself as a “Blacktress,” riffed on her “fish out of water” experience here in the Upper Delaware valley (“I am sooo not a nature girl”) and the sea of “lily white” faces in the room. Funny and fresh, [sojourner]’s set “killed” (as they say in comedy) and her act segued nicely into headliner Yannis Pappas’ high energy, hilarious performance that made me an instant fan. ... once again, The Laugh Tour hit a home run. Future dates can be found on the website. Pappas’ observation that the “old days of Catskill comics has been revived” is accurate.

For the full article, holla at the website. I must say, Dharma the dog was so silent during my set, I thought that she didn't approve. Then she let me pet her near her bedazzled turquoise collar and I knew we were cool.