Tuesday, November 16, 2010

To God Be The Glory

So I don't think I ever told you guys the story of how I landed my very first professional show in New York City.

It's simple. Basically, God gave it to me.

And I'm not kidding. Literally, fell out of the sky, into my lap because He knew I needed and wanted me to meet certain people and have something to do creatively when Joy passed.

A more detailed version of it goes like this:

I saw a casting for a young 16 year old daughter for a play that was based in the church (uh duh...I could play that with my eyes closed), innocent, smart..etc. And I submitted for it last summer when I used to buy Backstage...I didn't hear anything back from them.

When I finally decided to move here, I was invited to a birthday party for a casting director and I reluctantly agreed...this casting director and I started talking and eventually he told me he was casting a show that he thought I would be perfect for. He even showed me the picture of the lady that would play my mom and said we looked alike (we do). Now...this is hindsight, but still. the playwright/director of the show was actually at the party but she came after I left. Two other members of the cast were at the party too, but I didn't know them.

Moving on, I send my info to the casting director and he calls me in for an audition that week, I knew I did a good job so I wasn't surprised when they called me back for a call back. At this callback is when I met crazy, JJB, who would stay in my life forever! That's besides the point, he and I did our scene together and I felt really good about it. I knew the casting director, the director liked me (I could just tell) and JJB and I hit it off on stage. I was feeling really good about the show until about a week later, everyone received notification about their part except me. (Remember the moving men from an earlier post...two of them I actually met during the auditions and we've stayed close til this day-ain't that sweet?)

Anywho, so I was kinda bummed about not getting the role but something inside me wouldn't let it go. Every time my phone rang I just thought it was the director calling me and telling me I got the part-even after they had gone into rehearsals and someone else was cast. Until finally the exact same scenario that I kept playing over and over in my head, became my reality. Some people got shifted around, and I ended up with my role. It's seriously true...the favor of God is on my life. I can't explain it, I can't tell you why he's chosen me but he has...and let me tell ya-I APPRECIATE IT! PLEASE DON'T LET IT STOP!

I had an amazing time onstage at the Billie Holiday Theater last year...it was one of the greatest, most tragic, busiest, most extreme times of my life and I will never forget it. But the reason I'm bringing it up tonight is because it just won SEVEN AUDELCO AWARDS TONIGHT! Can you believe it??!?! Seven, like seven actual awards for one production! Who does that!??!

Yvette Heyliger- Best Playwright
Patrice Davidson-Set Design
Yvonne Farrow-Lead Actress in a Dramatic Role
Jerome Preston Bates-Lead Actor in a Dramatic Role
Johnnie Mae-Best Supporting Actress
Jamil AC Mangan-Best Supporting Actor
And The Billie Holiday Theater for best production of the year.

Like, the crazy part about it is, that my very first play is a multiple award winning show! What? Like for real? Ok God, I know you love me and you want me to be prosperous and live a great life but you're just spoiling me with this one. My first show and I'm working with people that have done some incredible stuff...I'm slightly in awe and sometimes have to remind myself that I am indeed living this life. It's a crazy, hectic one at times but I guess I"m off to a great start if the first show I'm apart of wins 7 awards in one night, in case I didn't mention it.

I'm excited to see what the future holds...I would love my next post to be about a fantastic role on a new television series so fingers crossed and prayers prayed ok...if God can give me this show (that won...ok I think you got it) and I wasn't even originally cast...then I'm sure he can pour out more roles for me. I'm excited and I"m inspired by the work that my fellow actors have done

Much love tonight,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Take the shackles off my feet so I can DANCE

Today I heard the silliest (stupidest) thing I've ever heard in my life.

Him-"I don't want to have kids because there's no guarantee that parents will stay together."

Are you serious? Did those words truly just come out of your mouth? I'm so outdone.

True indeed 72% of black children are born to single mothers...but the reason that you don't want to produce life is because you're afraid to fail at a successful marriage?

I would have had a lot more respect for what came out of this brother's mouth if his reasoning had been a little more-well smarter-perhaps for medical reasons (not wanting to pass on an illness), selfish reasons (he doesn't want to parent because he wants all the focus on himself-forever) I would even accept that one. Because that's a lot more honest and fair to the child. But to say I don't want to parent a well educated, responsible child is because I'm afraid I will be like 50% of people that get married is, I"m sorry, but a bit ridiculous. I think I would understand (still think bad thoughts about him) if he said I don't want to get married because of this statistic. But to base his decision on the mere fact that people that really shouldn't be having children are, and driving up the negative statistic, is a bit baffling.

Why not be the change he wants to see in the world? Make his son or daughter in the 28% of children and stay with his wife? Why not want something DIFFERENT for your kids that what other families have? Why not commit yourself to being the best father that you can and BE THERE for your child? Don't cop out...don't blame a statistic as to the reason why you do or do not do something. If our ancestors had that same mentality, we would all still be in chains picking cotton! Christopher Columbus would still be in Spain. Barack Obama would still be in Chicago. And Michael Jordan would be in North Carolina somewhere.

Perhaps I'm a little sensitive and it's not that deep but this issue really irritated me. Perhaps because I get annoyed when people complain and quit over silly things. The career choice, shoot my whole life choice in general, is about the craziest one that I could have come up with.

An Actress AND a commercial and print model?!!!? Really? Because only a handful of people want to do that. Not that there aren't about 20,000 NEW people PER YEAR attempting to get into the entertainment industry....did I say PER YEAR? Many of them with BAs in theater, film, tv...some graduating from MFA programs around the country. Then factor in how many people from overseas want to throw themselves into the pool. Then, oh lest we forget, the singers, models, reality stars and athletes that want to take their stab at film, tv, and whatever else they can snap up. Cuz these numbers aren't daunting at all.

And this man just said, he can't raise a child because why? I forgot the reason cuz it was so stupid.

Just because someone failed at something doesn't mean that I'm going to. I will not judge myself or anyone else based off what someone else has or has not done. You've gotta live your life for you. Do what you think is necessary for YOUR personal survival. That's what I plan to do...live life for Lenore...freely, fearlessly, COERLESSLY. I think you should do the same for yourself.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Did you guys ever see this?

My first hosting job EVER...kinda just 'fell' into it...was pretty fun though.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Xbox Kinect event in Times Sq. New York w/ Ne-Yo & 600 dancers

Just wanna remember the moment. When I danced with 599 other people in the middle of Times Square :) CRAZY

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I've Got Joy...deep deep down in my heart

Dear Joy,

I can't believe tomorrow makes 1 year exactly since you left us. So much has changed yet so much has stayed the same. I want to believe that I'll have a great day tomorrow but...I'm super nervous that I won't. With every passing day...we grieve. For me personally...the hardest thing to do is to Really think about you and Really look at a picture of you or of us (you know I have so many).

I just can't.

If I Really think about you then I have to Really think about the fact that you're gone and Really think about how violently you left this planet. And most times I just don't want to do that. I hope you don't take that to mean that I don't miss you, that I don't want you here, or most importantly that I don't love you...because that's simply not true. It's kinda like I get paralyzed when I think about you...the world stops, I can't pull it together and my emotions and thoughts are all over the place...in essence I'm a mess. I'm not sure that the best way to handle your death is to bury it deep down inside me and pretend that I just haven't spoken to you in a long time, but I honestly don't know how else to do it. How do I live in a world that you don't. How do I exist, let alone succeed in a place where he lives and his trial hasn't even started? I mean it's been a year. A WHOLE YEAR! And nothing. He hasn't been punished for what he did, and I'm not even sure that the verdict a judge could deliver would be punishment enough for what he did to you.

I'm mad Joy. I'm so angry at him, at the situation, at you not being here. The unfairness of it all makes me sick to my stomach. He stole you away from us and didn't think twice about it. I'm mad at myself for insisting that you come up here against his wishes and even planning that stupid trip in the first place. I'm sorry I did it. I wish I could take it back. I don't even like planning things anymore for us to get together (crazy right) it just doesn't seem right-and for fear that something like this might happen again. I'm in a crazy place. But I keep it to myself. I don't really talk about it. Not what happened, not how we're dealing, not anything. I think I'm tricking myself into forgetting. We shouldn't even start talking about forgiveness...I don't even know how to begin that one.

When I think about you, I smile.
When I think about you, I cry.

I think that's how life is gonna be from now on tho. You remain a huge part of who I am and a driving force behind what I want to accomplish. You are forever in my heart. You are a friend, a sister, a confidante, and none of that has changed. Thank you for loving me thru my craziness, thank you for being there for me.

With all my heart I love you. And I will love you always.

"I'm so mad at what the devil did, but I'm glad you in Jesus' arm."

Rest sweet angel.

Joy Alexandria Owens
April 9, 1985-November 3, 2010