|Chapter Ten: I Am That I Am: Woman, Black|
Had I not run across an
article in the LA Times during the fall of 1989 announcing the deadline for
grant applications for the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department,
there is no telling when I would have created the one woman show dancing
around in my head.
just enough time to write my proposal in order to meet the fast-approaching
deadline. I had to define the nature of the project, find venues that would
allow me to perform and create a budget.
did I know then that that article would motivate me to create a one-woman
historical show that would go on to tour three continents including nearly
40 states to date, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. I had no idea then that
the show would span such diverse venues as universities, colleges,
elementary and secondary schools, juvenile halls, festivals, conferences
museum, libraries and city facilities. Little did I know then that I would have so many incredibly
profound experiences on the road that I would later contemplate creating a
solo show that would give voice to those experiences including having an
eleven year old girl confide in me that she had been raped - twice.
I decided in
my proposal that I wanted to perform in senior citizen centers in Los
Angeles for two reasons: One, I knew they were an underserved population in
terms of arts programming and secondly, I felt they would probably be my
least critical and most appreciative audience as I ventured forward with my
own solo show.
opinion, solo work is probably the genre of acting that requires most of an
actor. You have to be able to sustain an audience alone on stage, have
enough stamina to maintain your energy the length of the show and the chops
to retain pages and pages of text.
Now was my time to see what mettle I was made of.