Hey Shining Starrs. This week I will be on stage again. This time as 'A Mother in Theory' as part of the Black Latina Movement's Summer Series 2016. The series consists of three plays, "Of Mothers and Men," "The Colors of Love" and "Black Latina the Play."
I don't want to give my story away, but let's just say the Creator has a way of tossing you something to show you who you truly are.
I often share with you guys to give you insight into who I am and to help you too. So for those that may be unaware, in my childhood, teen years and early 20's I experienced several incidents of sexual trauma. I don't wish to go into detail, but it was none to pretty and made me none to nice for a long time. I was bitter, broken and intimately damaged from the collective situations and it truly took me until my mid-to-late 30's to find peace, comfort and pleasure in intimacy with the opposite sex. I share this with you because when I played Temperence Hedgepeth this Spring at the August Wilson Center for Performing arts in Pittsburgh in "You Wouldn't Expect," I was forced to relive a bit of that trauma each time I played the role. At first I ran from it, then I remembered my training, stared the pain straight in the eye and used it. And guess what, it was more cathartic than some of my therapy sessions.
In this play, "Of Mothers and Men," I also am faced with a character dealing with trauma. Now I personally have never dealt with this particular subject, BUT many of my friends and family members have. And over the years I used to think of myself as, of all disrespectful things, better than others, because I'd never experienced that situation. Who the hell did I think that I was?!!! Smh But many times, hurt people can use the hurt of others to try to appease themselves. And that was me for a long time.
This role allowed me to raise the mirror to myself and see my false piety. I realized that not only was my attitude disrespectful and insensitive, it was silly. Because it wasn't doing better that had me avoid the situation, it was luck and grace! And my attitude, I distinctly recall, really hurt someone I love very much one time. I can never take the words I said back, but this play will allow me to show her that I get it now, and that I see how very brave and smart she was.
Art is supposed to do this. Art should grow you. As an actor, if you are taking the time to judge your character, then shame on you! You are there to drop in, indulge the character you are portraying and play it in truth and as genuine as possible. I pray that the audience sees this woman I play - actually that each of the actresses play - for who they are. Beautiful, flawed but true to real life.
I thank Crystal Romanand The Black Latina Movement for providing me another cathartic therapy session in my work. And for counting me talented enough to pull it off. And to those that I've ever judged, know or unknown...I truly am sorry. You are beyond brave and beyond amazing to know and do what is best for you and yours!
If you are in the NY Metro Area, come see me in, "Of Mothers and Men" this week at The Wild Project on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. Shows are Thursday, August 25th at 8pm, Friday, August 26th at 6pm and Saturday, August 27th at 3pm. For tix and more info click HERE. Also, for my interview on PIX11 News with Marissa Torres about the play click HERE, my role and Crystal's Black Latina Movement, as well as all the shows in the Sunmer Series 2016.
Now, what about you Shining Starrs? How has your art or that of others caused you to grow and expand? Tell me! I want to know and hear of your experiences.
Always a work in progress...
~ Miss O
Miss O on PIX11 News talking Black Latina Movement's Of Mother's & Men