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Moor To The Story

Everybody who knows me knows I love plays!! Musicals, not so much. Just straight plays. So whenever I get invited to review a play I’m in heaven; especially if it turns out to be good. Well, I went to see The American Moor, written and performed by Keith Hamilton Cobb and it was GREAT!! For starters, I was already a fan of Keith’s. Y’all remember him, he’s widely recognized for his roles as ‘Noah Keefer’ on ABC's All My Children, ‘Tyr Anasazi’ on Gene Rodenberry's Andromeda, and ‘Quincy Abrams’ for the series, Noah's Arc on the Logo Network. The man is just absolutely gorgeous and very well preserved!! However, looks ain’t everything! To keep me engaged, I need to be entertained!! Surprisingly, this play did just that!

 

The American Moor is the exploration of the American Black Male through the metaphor of Shakespeare’s Othello.  The play is about this American man who is recognized for his blackness before anything else. Shocking!! That’s my sarcasm of course. LOL. As a black person, I am soooo aware of the fact that people see our color before they see us. And I don’t mean our black skin because all African American’s don’t have black skin. I mean, who ‘THEY’ think we are. In #TheAmerican Moor, that issue was tackled in such a fresh and unique way. In 78 minutes, the playtakes us on a journey from the hilarious to the heinous, revealing the literally fleeting moments that a large, black stage actor experiences during an audition before a younger white director for the lead role in William Shakespeare’s, #Othello. It’s an excellent exploration of white culture dictating rules of conduct to a non-white, from an often inadvertent place of privilege. Hmmm, White Privilege?? That’s a new notion!! Again, my sarcasm. LOL.

Anywhoo, Keith Hamilton Cobb killed it!! I mean, he took the audience through a roller coaster of emotions as he was making the effort, during the audition, to knock down the walls of stereotypes that the director had no clue was a part of him. Well, at least not at the start. To see this larger than life black man stand on that stage and cry, and shout, and curse, and talk, and plead, was painful, yet inspiring!! When I looked around the room, many of the black men were crying and clapping and cheering, in their own, subtle, but obvious ways. You saw in their faces, in their bodies, in their stillness, that they connected with the man in the audition. But what was more interested was how the white people began to open up to his pain and struggle as well; which is universal.

Although I had seen the roll of Othello played by actors #LawrenceFishburn, #MekhiPhifer and #EamonnWalker, not until this play did I understand Shakespear’s portrayal of the Moor as misogynistic, narcissistic and abusive. In #TheAmericanMoor, the character was fighting with the director in his audition, to be able to see Othello in the way he sees him and not how he wanted him to be seen. POWERFUL!! This play begs the question, do Black Lives Matter??

 

The talkback after was equally as riveting!! It took the discussion about race to a whole ‘nother’ level!! Keith Hamilton Cobb, the director Paul Kwame Johnson, the co-star Josh Tyson who played the director Michal Aaron Miller and also joined by Dr. Akil Khalfani, Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Essex County Community College in Newark, NJ, opened up a wonderful dialogue that was welcoming and eye opening!! “The play pushes the idea about accountability and compassion. How we think about the corporate world and this play,” explains Khalfani. “If we can see the African American as not seen, the question becomes how do you become seen?? Can the actor and Othello avoid the stigma of being blackened?? Avoid being invisible??” Those questions really got the audience’s attention and passionate participation; of all races!!

“Brabanziois a metaphor for how black men walk through the world. The only way to over come that is talk. Which is at the crux of the play,” addresses Hamilton. I'm not making a case here for black people being the only people who aren’t seen. I want everybody to connect and feel what they feel. The struggle that the actor is having is not showing the anger and aggression so that you can be heard. Represent something that isn't the stigma. However there are aspects of blackness that I feel pride-full about and I want people to see.”

“The play was beautifully written. It was Shakespearean,” said Johnson. “My job was to help Keith to go from reality so that the arguments could be clear.”  Which is precisely what happened!! It was amazing to observe a white woman from the audience share that she learned how too people get over their fear of the big black man to begin to have the discussion. That's Keith's hope for The American Moor.

Welp, “You have entered MY WORLD!! Where I tell it MY WAY!!” So for #MoorToThisStory, go to see The American Moor, showing until this Sunday, May 10, 2015, At: The Wild Project 195 East 3rd Street New York, NY 10009 Tickets – 212.352.3101 Questions – 212.465.3446 or log onto phoneixtheatreensemble.org/American-Moor. Also check out www.KeithHamiltonCobb.com for more information.

 

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Drum Roll Please…..I’m Going To Tokyoooo!!

Drum roll please!! I’M GOING TO TOKYOOOOOOO!! In my Oprah voice, I’m going to Tokyo, I’m going to Tokyo, I’m going to Tokyo, I’m going to Tokyo!! #LMFBAO!! Yaaaassssss, Lisa Durden is going to Tokyo y’all!! I’m excited to announce that I am one of only four independent producers, selected from around the nation, to receive the Corporation For Public Broadcasting’s highly competitive fellowship grant, to attend this years International Public Television Screening Conference (Input) in Tokyo, Japan, as a non-presenting US delegate from May 11th – May 15th 2015. WOW!! I know right??

What is that ask?? #CPB, the biggest funder of public broadcasting that promotes the growth and development of public media in communities throughout America, launched an extensive submissions process where I was selected as one of four innovators in the field of television production from around the nation, to receive a fellowship, to convene at the #Input conference in Tokyo, Japan; an annual week long television showcase where the rules of broadcasting are challenged and redefined by the delegates. This event is the only international conference that focuses specifically on the innovative programs produced by public as opposed to commercial broadcasters. This is an AMAZING OPPORTUNITY

The International Public Television Screening Conference (Input), was created to promote the exchange of television programs, ideas, and production techniques among broadcasters around the world. As a delegate, the goal is for us to challenge and motivate producers to improve the quality of public service broadcasting worldwide. We will participate in discussion sessions with the presenting filmmakers, to debate production approaches and subject matter in relation to public television's mission. I’m honored to have been selected as one of the four CPB INPUT Fellows for 2015, to participate in this elite “Think Tank,” to engage in the intense scrutiny of craft and dialogue among concerned television professionals on an international level. As a content creator, I’m looking forward to the exchange of program ideas and technologies, which will be invaluable tools to use, as I develop programming and produce stories about my community, for public television on a local and national level.

Now, here’s a little backstory. Advancing my career as a content creator is my ongoing mission!! 2014 was a particularly tough year for me because I was at a crossroads professionally. For some strange reason, I slipped into a lull where I was looking for validation from others for the great work that I’ve done as a producer. THAT WAS A BIG MISTAKE!! Yes, recognition is nice!! BUT IT’S NOT NECESSARY!! As #Oprah says, “what I know for sure” is, DON’T GET ANGRY BECAUSE PEOPLE DON’T SEE YOUR VALUE!! DON’T WASTE TIME WITH THOSE WHO DON’T SEE YOUR VALUE!! They don’t have to see your value!! It’s not their job to see your value!! YOU NEED TO KNOW YOUR OWN VALUE!! That’s it and that’s all!! Once you are secure in that notion, YOU WILL ORGANICALLY ATTRACT THOSE WHO SEE IT TOO!! BOOM!!

Growing up poor!! Sometimes cold!! Sometimes hungry!! Created a deep, crippling, fear of poverty!! Which has been my Achilles Heel when faced with making hard career decisions that challenge my financial stability. In Steve Harvey’s book, Act Like A Success Think Like A Success, he said, “jump off the cliff because the parachute will open!!” Well, I did!! And it did!! Leading me to one of the best career changing decisions I've made in 2014; accepting the contract as Broadcast Manager for The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC). When I received an email from the Executive Director, Leslie Fields-Cruz, inviting me to apply for the position, I was secretly thinking, “is she nuts!!” LOL. Yes, I had the qualifications, but I never saw myself on the broadcast side of television. After talking to my biggest confidant and supporter, my sister, Daphne Turner, she encouraged me to go for it!! I was one of several potential candidates that Leslie vetted for the position and after interviews with her and other key individuals at #NBPC, I was selected to fill the position in December 2014. YAAAAY ME!! I gotta tellya, in a short five month, my career trajectory as a producer is advancing in ways that I could not have imagined!! If I had not overcome my fear of failure and remained stagnant, I WOULD NOT be on my way to Tokyo!! That I know for sure!!

Being selected as a CPB INPUT Fellow for Tokyo 2015, is not just important to my professional development as a content creator, this opportunity serves as a reminder that, ‘YOU MUST CLOSE SOME DOORS!! IF YOU WANT OTHER DOORS TO OPEN!!’ I only wish my mother Margaret Durden was living to see it. This would have made her soooo happy!!

For more information about Input log onto their website at www.input-tv.org

Welp, “You have entered MY WORLD!! Where I tell it MY WAY!!”

 Image/s via input-tv.org

Levitra is the perfect physic for helping men to sustain an erection. How you can find detailed data and how quick does cialis work? It may have varied brands, but only one ATC Code. Nowadays, for a lot of guys, bringing up the question in the first place is the toughest step. How long does it take for cialis to work? Diabetes, stress, some diseases, and several remedies can reduce your libido. Sometimes stress may affect physical soundness, including performance.

Read more...

Good For You Bruce Jenner!! Good for You!!

For weeks and weeks and weeks, ABC had been teasing the 20/20 exclusive interview of Bruce Jenner with Diane Sawyer. The build up was juicy!! And for those who know me know, I’m addicted to television so I MUST tune in!! Specials like this are must see TV, so I literally schedule them in my calendar because I don’t want to make a mistake and miss it. I was ret ta go!! I was set ta go!! And bam!! Murphy’s law hit!! I had to work that night!! Yes, Friday, April 24, 2015, the same night as the premiere of the 20/20 exclusive interview of Bruce Jenner with Diane Sawyer. DISASTER!! When I found that out I screamed Nooooooowah!! I was so distraught, earlier that day, I wrote a plea on Facebook that went something like this, “OMG!! I'm gonna miss the #BruceJennerABC Exclusive #DianeSawyer interview tonight at 9pm on #ABC. DISASTER!! I won't be home in time to see it; I'll be moderating a film panel. Heeeeeelp!! What to do!!?? What to do!!?? What to do!!??? Can you Millennials tell me where else I can see this??? Hulu?? Netflix?? Where!!?? Where!!?? Wheeeeeere!!?? Y'all know I'm addicted to television and I MUST see this #BruceJenner interview TONIGHT or I'll die!!! Ok, I'm being dramatic. LOL. No, I won't die but I need my fix!! I'm jonsing!!” LOL. A lot of people responded with suggestions but it turns out that none of them were able to advise me on how to watch the interview on Friday. So I was forced to watch it on Hulu the next day. I wasn’t happy about it because I love to tweet during the show as I watch, but oh well, I had to get over myself. LOL.

The interview was two hours of pure perfection!! Diane Sawyer asked the tough questions and Bruce Jenner answered them succinctly with a smooth, smile!! I really enjoyed their exchange. It was very comfortable and familiar. There was no pretense or pomp and circumstance. Bruce had a glow about him! Bruce appeared very self-assured! I really got the feeling that he was happy to finally be free!! I’m buggin that a lot of people are asking, why now?? I say, about time!! People need to understand something, Bruce Jenner is 65 years old and men in his time COULD NOT have entertained the thought of publically transitioning to a woman because our culture wasn't ready yet!!" Hell, we’re not ready now!! Yes, there were a couple of mavericks who did it. But to get sexual reassignment surgery back then was not only barbaric, it would have also been professional suicide for Bruce; especially because he was ‘The World’s Greatest Athlete!!’ His face was on the cover of Wheaties boxes!! Let's face it, people expected him to be a “man!!” Whatever the hell that means!! Sexual reassignment surgery?? NOPE!! IT WASN’T HAPPENING!! 

I more than understand why Bruce Jenner lived a double life as a man when his soul, heart and mind was a woman. I totally get it!! What made me sad was that he struggled with this since he was a little boy. Over the years he’s been sneaking on women’s clothing to feel normal!! To feel happy!! Even if for a brief moment. He even stopped and started hormone therapy intermittently over the years but abandoned the process because he felt very conflicted and guilty as he looked into his young children’s eyes. He just didn’t want to take them though that kind of pain. That’s admirable! Now his kids are grown and Bruce is ‘doing him!!’ YAAASSS!! And I’m loving it!!

Most of his 10 children are supportive of his transition. Four of his biological kids spoke to Diane Sawyer and they all were relieved to FINALLY know why their dad had been acting strangely over the years. One of his sons shared a recollection from his childhood where he was so afraid of his dad turning into a woman that he began crying about it. Although his two biological daughters, Kendall and Kylie, didn’t make an appearance, they did send a statement professing their love and support for their dad. He said that #KimKardashian even gave him style tips. LOL. WOW, having that kind of unconditional love is essential and rare!! AWESOME!! However, Bruce did share that Khloe is having the hardest time with it. That’s understandable as well. It’s great that Bruce isn’t tripping about it. She will come around organically and when that time comes, he said he will be ready to have that conversation with her.

There was no stone unturned in this interview. Bruce even explained how sexual orientation and gender identity are not the same things. I get that but I must admit, I still wanted to know, once she completes her sexual reassignment surgery, who she will date; a woman or a man?? It's was a bit disappointing that Bruce didn’t share what her name will be once her process is complete. So for now I will continue to call her Bruce. But the next time we see her, she will emerge as a woman; wearing her cute, little black dress!! Her last words were, “I’m saying goodbye to peoples perceptions of me. This is not me!!” To that I say, Good For You Bruce Jenner!! Good for You!! 

As many of you may or may not know, I’m the host of my self-titled talk show called The Lisa Durden Show where I discuss pop culture, politics and social issues. And watching the Bruce Jenner interview reminded me of an episode I did called, “Who’s Killing The LGBTQ Community.” Where I invited a panel of young people on to talk about their struggles with gender identity and the dangers they face living in a heterosexual world. It was eye opening!! So I’ve provided the link to the entire one-hour show for y’all to watch because it’s very apropos.

Welp, “You have entered MY WORLD!! Where I tell it MY WAY!!”

 Image/s via eonline.com, zap2it.com and radaronline.com

Levitra is the perfect medicine for helping men to sustain an erection. How you can find detailed information and how quick does cialis work? It may have varied brands, but only one ATC Code. Nowadays, for a lot of guys, bringing up the question in the first place is the toughest step. How long does it take for cialis to work? Diabetes, stress, some diseases, and several remedies can reduce your libido. Sometimes stress may affect physical heartiness, including performance.

Read more...

Marilyn Zuniga You Need To Learn NOT Teach!!

They need to do random drug testing for teachers if they want to prevent DISASTERS like what happened in Orange, NJ!! Cause in my opinion, the teacher at Forrest Street Elementary School in Orange, NJ, Marilyn Zuniga, must be SMOKED OUT, for having her third grade class write get-well letters to Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is in prison for life in Philadelphia for allegedly killing officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. Who the hell does that?? Who would think to have little 8 year olds write prisoners because they’re sick in the hospital?? I’ll tell you who, NOBODY!! Nobody in their right mind is that stupid!!  IT'S A NO NO TO DO THAT WITHOUT PARENT'S CONSENT!! This brainless bimbo, even had the brass balls, to tweet about the letters!!?? When I saw that, it made my #BrainBleed!! Is she serious!!?? She really needs to lay on ‘several couches!!??’

Of course parents were OUTRAGED when they found out that their child wrote some man in prison WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT!! I don’t blame them!! I would be too!! If I were a parent and found out that the teacher had my child write Jesus in jail, WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT, I’d still be the first one in line demanding her resignation!! Class assignments based on one’s beliefs is NOT academic!! The fact that it never entered Zuniga’s mind that she was crossing the line, is frightening!! It’s mind blowing!!! It’s quackery!! A five year old would know that that kind of bootleg curriculum is a no no!! Which tells me that her thinking is very flawed! Very warped! Very irrational! Very dumb!! Again, signs of either a mentally unstable individual or a drug addicted person. For now, I’ll take drugs for 500 please!!

I am black!! So yes, I am very aware that there is a segment of my community who believes that Abu-Jamal is innocent. At this moment, my blog post is not about taking a political position or stance on whether he is or isn’t a “cop killer.” For the record, the words “cop killer” sickens me!! Cops lives ARE NOT more valuable or important than civilians lives!! In my view, killing any human being, for no good reason, concerns me!! I’m also aware that there are thousands and thousands and thousands of innocent people in prison. Especially black people!! Trust me, I totally get it!! Maybe Mumia is innocent?? Maybe Mumia is guilty?? I have no idea. I wasn’t there. We can save that discussion for another time and place. But for now, as Oprah says, “what I know for sure” is, there’s no place for politics in the public school system!! Period dot com!! That’s teaching 101!! And for Marilyn Zuniga to be pushing her personal politics on a group of unsuspecting 8 year olds,WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT is just WRONG!! It’s highly INAPPROPRIATE!! IT’S A FORM OF BULLYING!! If she was a professor and these were adult college students, would I be mad as a parent?? Yes!! Would I be concerned as a parent?? Yes!! But if my adult child, made an adult decision, to write a get-well letter to a person in prison, I would certainly respect their decision, although I wouldn’t like it.

The coup de grass was when Marilyn Zuniga gave the get-well letters to Johanna Fernandez, a colleague of hers, who’s a professor at Baruch College in New York, for her to deliver them to Abu-Jamal. Both of these mindless ‘mothercluckers’ must be smoked out!! These crackheads must get high together!! Do they not REALIZE that there are far reaching ramifications, that these children WILL face over the course of their lives, for writing and signing their names to those letters to Mumia; that only time will tell?? SMH!! Marilyn Zuniga, You Need To Learn; NOT Teach!!

 Welp, “You have entered MY WORLD!! Where I tell it MY WAY!!”

Levitra is the unimprovable medicine for helping men to sustain an erection. How you can find detailed info and how quick does cialis work? It may have varied brands, but only one ATC Code. Nowadays, for a lot of guys, bringing up the question in the first place is the toughest step. How long does it take for cialis to work? Diabetes, stress, some diseases, and several remedies can reduce your libido. Sometimes stress may affect physical health, including performance.

Read more...
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