*Updated with productions stills and link to reviews 6/25/2018
Opening night is fast approaching!
These feelings of excitement, adrenaline, and readiness to share was you've been working on that accompany an opening night of live theatre have been so elusive. Theatre was my first love. Before I'd ever dreamed of hearing "Rolling, rolling. Action. Cut" There was, "Cross down stage. Quiet backstage. Places."
And here we are in tech week for The Goddesses Guide: Adura For the Women of African Diaspora. We will play in a 50-seat house, a la black box theatre. My first experience with black box was in a theatre production at Kennesaw State University performing excerpts from the show Don't Bother Me, I Cant Cope as a guest student actress. The audience is right in your face. There's no space for mistakes, no room for non-focus or overacting. The style of acting required of black box theatre is equivalent to that required of camera work. The moments must be real, subtle yet intentioned, powerful yet controlled. For The Goddesses Guide our audience becomes the story. We communicate directly to and about everyone in the room at varying times during the 50 minute show.
I play the Yoruba Orisha, Oya. She is the goddess of change, finances, life and death, of truth. She is a powerful goddess whose influence is felt through the weather - one of the most tangible indications of great change. Our playwright, Camille Jenkins has positioned her as the goddess who resists the idea of creating a guide for the women in America. In The Goddess Guide, Oya struggles with her feelings of detachment from the women of the african diaspora. She is wrought with disappointment as she watches the goings-on from afar. She is at a loss considering if and how her guidance would be received and more importantly appreciated for a people who are "disconnected from their past."
The play also features Oba, the goddess of family, loyalty and motherhood played by Olu Agora. Also making an appearance is Oshun, the goddess of love, sex, relationships, and beauty played by Brianna Hunt. These sisters have much to figure out together. It will not be easy.
The Goddesses Guide presents many provocative questions:
How do women of the African Diaspora thrive in the west?
What is the importance of maintaining a connection with our African Heritage?
What do we risk if we do not?
How do the Yoruba Goddesses reflect our issues and conflicts with identity and purpose?
How would we change our actions or thoughts if we knew we were being guided?
If you are in LA, I hope that you will come out and see this dynamic show!
PHYSICS - a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.
The other day I woke up with artist woes. It was one of those days you wake up trying to rationalize why you've chosen a life of uncertainty. A life defined by rejection. And you are wholly unsuccessful.
You've forgotten all of the triumphs.
You are not remembering the strokes of luck.
You can't feel momentum. Only inertia.
You grasp for the sensation of being on top of the world.
You question your talent.
You wonder if Coelho was on shrooms when he wrote the Alchemist.
You are only hyper aware of what is not happening.
You congratulate your friend of a friend who just bought her first house.
You nod with polite agreement as the young woman you just met at a mutual friend's birthday dinner (who makes a comfortable six figures in the oil and gas sector) complains about the cost of living on the west coast. Yeah, no shit.
And you wonder... Is it too late to be a flight attendant? Probably not. You think, I would probably be a shark at real estate. You fantasize about what life would look like if you cut your losses now...
But I'm stuck. Stuck by this pull in my gut. Stuck by an unwillingness to quit. Stuck by the certainty that nothing other than this curse to be a living, breathing, thinking, stinking creative will ever fulfill me.
That was a few days ago. And if there was a happy ending, I would have already written it.
enisha b jane
In my own words.