Accomplishment: My first New York Stage Play.
I set many goals in moving here. I didn’t want to move to a new place and fall into doing the same things I did back in GA. In moments of trying to elevate yourself, you have to take the opportunities as they come. One opportunity I had my eyes on was hitting the stage in the NYC theater scene. To conquer a stage in the city known for performing arts, Broadway, and theater galore, I needed to challenge myself in this arena to see if I had the chops to do the work and execute successfully.
Submission after submission, audition after audition; I landed a role in the stage play Precious Metals: Beauty in Brokenness. This play centers on women and their stories of overcoming hardships, addiction, and finding the beauty within. All the while creating a sisterhood of support showing that no matter what we go through in life, there’s always someone out there who can relate, understand, and help you heal. The play was written by C.E. Harrison and directed by Tabitha Matthews. The play did its run for the NY Summer Theater Festival at the Hudson Guild Theater.
In the beginning, I almost didn’t make it in the cast. Life happened, dealing with my obstacles of the constant adjustment to New York as well as other areas that weren’t going right. I felt down and defeated. But luckily when God has a plan for you, there’s no way to venture away from that plan and purpose. I thought I’d missed the audition deadline and one day an email came in saying that I was able to still submit my video. I took that second chance and worked tirelessly to create the best audition tape to submit. Hours of setting up the camera phone, doing different takes, and trying to remember what I need to say.
After packaging up the finished product, I submitted and let it be. That’s one thing I’ve learned in the audition process. Once it’s done, you have to let it go and let it be.
About a week or so later, I receive the news that I was cast as the character Winsome in the play. Winsome is a young woman, feeling abandoned and abused by her mother Loretta. But after growing and learning, she realized that she missed out on so much love, fun, and the beauty of life with her mother who died at a very young age.
Working full-time, finishing a book, studying lines, rehearsing the lines can be a lot! But I felt that as long as I stayed committed to the process, it would pay off. I needed this exposure to the NYC market. Being that this was something I’ve always wanted to break into, I couldn’t let myself or anybody involved with the production down. Throughout rehearsing, I was able to challenge myself with learning various monologues while placing different emotions, pulling from other emotions, and taking lessons I’ve learned from different acting classes. It was a great process as my cast mates and team were very supportive and fun to “play” with. I was able to build relationships that I feel will last a very long time. Along with building my acting brand with this new credit and the overall acting experience which can/will take me to higher levels.
With three shows, I was very nervous about how this was going to play out. Will people understand my character? Will they even like me? Will I remember my lines? EVERYTHING was racing through my mind. For opening night, the crowd really came out to support the show which added to the nerves, along with judges from the festival. There was a time when I had a mini-meltdown backstage as I was the last one to come out. The wait got to me, stepping into the unknown. However, once I stepped out on stage, feeling the energy I knew I was READY! My preparation paid off! After the show, I received so many compliments from strangers giving me kudos on my performance. This was really helpful as my family and friends weren’t able to be there that night. Second show was a breeze, I was able to just let go and have fun. The crowd loved it and it set us up for closing show. For the closing show, I had friends from GA and my NYC friends in the crowd. This was their first time seeing me in this element and I wanted them to be proud of me.
Afterwards, I felt such a relief however it was bittersweet because the journey was complete. We ended on a high note, and I was able to share it with my loved ones.
Being part of Precious Metals only amped me up to do more. Although I’ll miss the dynamics of my first NYC stage fam, I’ll always take the lessons and the joy with me. Now I KNOW I was born to do this. I can officially change the title from “Aspiring Actress” to “Actress”.
I’ve gotten so much better with this subway system. Now people are asking ME for directions and I can actually get them going in the right place! Go figure! Of course, I still have to deal with delays, random track switches from express to local. The usual NYC MTA aggravation that makes New Yorkers even more impatient with constant human contact. But all in all, you take it in strides and part of the experience. And we’re not even going to get on the MTA vending machine taking your money while the workers behind the desk tell you to “call the number on the side of the machine”. Umm ma’am I have places to be so just buzz the door, so I can walk through. Thanks!
Throughout the aggravation of transportation, the destination makes it all worth it One Saturday I ventured to lower Manhattan. Not too sure how I got there but I guess my feet and eyes wanted to take my mind on an exploration. The bar scene, shopping and “museums” were impeccable as always. I decided to make it an exploration day. I LOVE the décor in the random bars and restaurants. Each place is different placing its own spin on the dining experience while having fun art and fixtures that creates conversation or if you’re like me, have wonderful things to stare at while chilling alone.
I love to “people watch” when I’m out by myself. For those who don’t know what it is, the name says it all. I like to study various mannerisms, conversations, and create my own scenarios of how two or more people ended up together and where their story will lead.
At a spot near 8th street. I observed a woman alone, eating, drinking and slowly seeing the liquor take its toll on her. At first, she was timid. Making small conversation with the bartender but as time went on, she developed a courage like no other. On the other side of me there was a handsome man sitting and having a drink while doing some writing. I wondered what inspired him and the masterpiece he was in the process of creating. The liquored up woman decided to take a chance and come across the bar to sit next to him. Immediately, he showed that he wasn’t interested. But somehow she missed those signs and kept the small talk going. I don’t know whether he really had to go or he grew tired of entertaining an unwanted guest, but he quickly settled his tab and packed up to go. She ventured back to her original seat and finished her drink before leaving as well.
Hopefully her spirits weren’t all the way shot. I mean it IS just a man. The woman was inebriated heavily so a clouded judgment played a major role in her shot getting blocked.
The next bar was simple yet festive. A group of friends were upstairs playing a game of beer pong while spitting the lyrics to Cardi B. Part of me wanted to join in but #1 I didn’t know all the words and #2 that would just be weird. I grew bored and left to walk the streets. NYC is like none other.
I found a vintage Volvo parked on the side of the street in Greenwich Village along with beautiful brownstones that I’d wished I found when I was on the apartment hunt. Tourists holding up the walking process to take pictures of the high buildings and local spots. Capturing memories that will not only be posted on Instagram, but cherish and become part of the “Remember when we were in New York…” stories.
After all of my venturing I was back on the train heading back to Harlem. Not ready for the night to end, I wandered into a spot I came to when I was just a visitor. Harlem Public. A smooth, chill date spot with dim lights, candles on each table and me sitting alone. For the first time all day I wish I had a companion to chat with. Looking around at all of the conversations, even the loud ones that irked me, I felt at home. I was home. Soaking up the people and scene like I frequent there on the regular.
My night ended at a more “turn up” style bar sipping on my usual rum and coke while meeting new people. It’s amazing that most people I meet aren’t even from New York. They’re “transplants” like me. What connects us all is the hard part of getting used to the mechanisms of the city and making the best out of the situations.
Let’s just say I shut the place down and didn’t’ leave until the house lights came on. 4AM in the NYC streets. Ending on a high note as it began.
People watching mission was a SUCCESS!
Roaming around seeing the beauty in the most simplest objects.
Museums and art galleries aren’t the only places where you can get a first-hand look at a masterpiece. Just look around, I mean REALLY LOOK. There are various wanders right in front of you. You have to get out of your mind and focus on what’s around you. The beauty. The abstract work of your perspective creating inspiration. Living within your atmosphere instead of just passing through it.
Notice the serenity it provides, or how it can motivate you to move throughout your day with no worries. When I see these, I have to immediately capture them adding to my “Museums” collections. Instead of seeing emptiness or just something being placed in a random section, I choose to view it as art.
Art is a gift to us by GOD, an individual, and even Mother Nature herself. Appreciate it for what it is and start your own collection. Picture simplicity as a work of art.
Even angling your camera showing another how your eye can see things in a different light. Share this “light” with others and encourage them to see beyond a simple placement.
Where do you find your museums? Email them to TheBlakkDahlia@gmail.com for a feature!
The Evening I Found My Spirit Animals in an Art Gallery. Thank you Marko Stout!
The temperature was dropping and of course the train is delayed. But I'm glad I had the opportunity to attend a VIP Party featuring the amazing works of multimedia artist, Marko Stout. The Solo Exhibition was presented by Madatart in conjunction with MSE, NYC and held this past week at Emmanuel Fremin Gallery. Guests enjoyed Stout's latest prints featuring beautiful models in edgy and fun scenes. Pushing the envelope, Stout took guests into his world of art captivating eyes with expressive creations. The event also had complementary wine along with music making it a good night to be in Chelsea Manhattan.
This style of art spoke to me. I felt like a few of these models were my "Spirit Animals" guided by the notion to let go of inhibitions and be YOU. Sexy, edgy, beautiful and COOL.
Not that I see myself as a dominatrix or to be in a submissive role, I see so much control in these prints. Control over all areas in yourself, and loving yourself enough to do away with what other people will; emerging as who you want to be.
Gotta love NYC art! To be in a place of non-judgement and seeing your alter egos stare you in the face...what a nice moment :)
"I just like to write and create stuff. These are the diaries of how I'm living in NYC with sprinkles of life lessons I've learned along the way!"
- The Blakk Dahlia