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.

     I had 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.

     Little 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.

     In my 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.

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