Love Poems From God

I Will Just Say Thing by St. Teresa of Avila

We

bloomed in Spring.

Our bodies

are the leaves of God.

The apparent seasons of life and death

our eyes can suffer;

but our souls, dear, I will just say this forthright:

they are God

Himself,

we will never perish

unless He

does.

*from one of my favorite books of ALL TIME – Love Poems From God

 

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Style Icon – Louise “Weezy” Jeffeson

Recently I brought this subject up with my sisters in our daily group iPhone chat, and these fools, not you Britt, thought that I was talking about Weezy F. Baby.

STYLE ICON + Lil Wayne =

Anyway, it was our dad that introduced me to the Jefferson’s. I can hear his laugh traveling throughout the house at whatever antics the Jefferson’s were getting into that episode.

Louise, who was played by Isabel Sanford, had an iconic voice: abrasive, rough, and loving. It always stuck out to me, as did her clothes. Weezy had a wardrobe filled with essentials.

Side-bar: I really don’t think costume and wardrobe designers get the recognition they deserve. Creating a look for a character takes a lot of time and research. They also have to read and interpret the script, and consider locations, weather, etc. Plus you know designers were not sending over boatloads of clothes for actors to wear back then. But I digress.

Weezy’s wardrobe consisted of a mixture of pants and skirt suits, kaftan’s – both short and long, trench coats, layered necklaces, hooped and stud earrings and stacked rings. She also wore a variety of fabrics including jersey dresses, furs, and chiffon.  To top it all off her manicure’s were always fresh and she wore a variety of hairstyles.

Unfortunately I was not able to get any images of Louise, solo in her drag, however the pics below will give you a sense of what I’m saying. With Spring here and trends like stacking and layering not leaving anytime soon its now very easy and inexpensive to incorporate these look ideals into any wardrobe. Things like kaftan’s and trench coats will be plentiful as many thrift and vintage stores are carrying these right now. You can also try a trench coat with ruffles or kimono style jackets along with a kaftan or two.

Nevertheless, enjoy Weezy and be sure to check out the bonus video of Louise To George Jefferson: “Nigger Please” and a video of the late, great, Sherman Hemsley on “Weezy” Jefferson. They called her “Queen B” back in the day!

 

 

Black Jews Then & Now

A few weeks back, for whatever reason, former Bad Boy artist Shyne was on my mind. His song “Bonnie & Shyne” was in constant rotation in my house when it came out. The video was everything, as ghetto-fabulous as it could get. Cars, furs…you know all this abundance and still living in the projects… #shade.

Nevertheless, I was going through some left-over pictures from my library visit last week, you can click here to check that post out, where I snapped this image of Black Hebrew Jews shot by James Van Der Zee during the1920’s.

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This led me down a rabbits hole, reading articles on the history of the Black Jews and how they came to inhabit Harlem. Somehow I came back around to Shyne and I remembered reading that he converted to Judaism a few years ago. I also remember seeing pictures of him gallivanting around Paris Fashion Week with Diddy in his new-found garb.

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Gearing up for my exotic trip to Istanbul next week has me thinking about traditional dress, and how I can incorporate some of these looks into my own. As I conceptualize my travel wardrobe I can’t help but be inspired by the looks they’re wearing. Satin jackets, variety of hats, and shawls all essential wardrobe staples.

I especially love the below shot of Shyne. There is something kinda sexy about him in this costume, all layered up and lighting a cigar; minus the shoes. He’s even in on the long-running pattern on pattern trend!

The rapper Shyne lights a cigar before the world premiere of his short films in Jerusalem, Israel

Bonus…Bonnie & Shyne  video.

 

5 Things

Where I am is not as important as where I’m going. Don’t become distracted by the winds & adversities that you’ll slaughter anyway!

1. Reading: The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois and STILL reading Sandford Meisner On Acting. I started this book back in January. I realize with this one I really savor it. I make notes and endless highlights, I also do the acting exercises and consider what Meisner says when I prepare for auditions.

Some of my highlights:

“The playwright gives you what to say. Your job as an actor is to fill the role with life.”

“Look, let me tell you something seriously. In life…life is terrible I think. But on the stage you have a wonderful opportunity to tell the truth, and all that can come of it is praise.”

“…your imagination is, in all likelihood, deeper and more persuasive than the real experience.”

Just re-reading those quotes got me excited to finish the book again. Maybe I’ll  be able to on my flight to Istanbul at the end of the month.

2. VIEWING: Below are some pics from my visit to the Museum of the Moving Image

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The museum also had a fabulous Egyptian themed movie theater.
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3. Audition Update: I had 2 auditions due this past Monday. One was for a voice-over for a video game, the other was for an upcoming talent competition. I like recorded auditions because they’re really invigorating. It’s a great opportunity to really play with the characters. But they’re also tiring, and frustrating. You are forced to select what you think is your best out-take out of about 50-11 of them.

I did 6 videos for the talent competition and 4 audio versions for the other. You name it, I recorded it: lights on, lights off, hair up, hair down, chair & couch, standing & sitting, funny, dramatic…the list was endless.

4. WEARING: Not only do I sell jewelry, I wear it too! I love accessories, they can instantly take a boring look and give it flavor. Plus beautiful jewelry makes every woman feel like a queen. Below I am rocking some new statement necklaces that are available at my boutique here.

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5. PREPARING: My trip to Istanbul is steadily approaching!! I am so excited, my BFF and I are coming up with an itinerary and I got my visa and bus ticket home to MD where we’ll be flying out of. I’ am still collecting donations for the trip, the minimum donation is $5 and you can donate anonymously if you’d like…so go on and help a sista out. Click here to donate.

The Business of the Actor – Audition Update

Last week was SUPER hectic. I was notified of 2 auditions within minutes of each other, both on the same day. I also had to go in-person to renew my passport for my upcoming trip to Turkey, had my on camera commercial technique class and had a financial planning meeting on the same day as the passport renewal & class. Add my regular job, and I felt like all I was doing was coming & going with paperwork in tow.

I said YES to both auditions without reading all of the details. Turns out, 1 audition overlapped the other. So if I thought I could do both, that idea soon evaporated. I had to make a career decision based on my 6-month acting goals. In the end I chose the longer, overlapping audition which was for an improv/sketch comedy conservatory. I did a sketch comedy (think SNL) about a year or so ago. It was a lot of fun and consequently I added “Get cast on SNL” on my long-term goals list. LOL I did audition well though, it lasted from 11:30-2pm and the next day in my email was my invitation to join the conservatory!!!

On Sunday I went to the library to check out some fashion related coffee table books. I ended up going to the Brooklyn Public Library. They’re currently running a Silent Film Series and were showing The Goddess, unfortunately the trains were on some bull-shit and I missed the film. Though I missed the film, I did check out some great books and discovered the work of  a couple of artists like:

Winold Reiss

Harlem Girl With Blanket - Winald Reiss Harlem Girl 1 - Winald Reiss

Both of these portraits are from 1925. Funny, the hairstyles and outfits look so modern compared to the average image of women from the 1920’s. At least all the ones I’ve ever seen.

I also saw this lovely piece by Archibald J Motely Jr called Cocktails!! This was done in 1926.

Archibald J Motely Jr - cocktails

All of the images are from the compilation book Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance I highly recommend checking out the book, its packed with a lot of information and beautiful artwork.

After leaving the library I was still obsessed with seeing the film The Goddess staring Ruan Ling-yu and of course YouTube didn’t disappoint. The film came out in 1934 and is about an unnamed woman that supports herself and her infant son as a  prostitute. Every-time she saves a little change and makes an escape (I felt like I was watching Good Times) her douche-bag pimp finds her and puts her back in the hole. The film, though silent was acted beautifully and at times I felt like going into the computer and beating down her pimp. Thankfully, the story ends well.  Being an actress with a love for fashion I find it EXTRA fun watching movies. Not only am I observing the acting, I am also watching the fashion with every scene.

The Goddess did not disappoint with the looks; from the arched eyebrows to the hair variations I was in awe. The wardrobe consistently of roughly about 3/4 pieces, they were different in terms of fabrication and embellishment. The service men seen variously throughout the film also had awesome neck adornments on their uniforms. It made me so inspired to play with my own jewelry and try to re-create some of the looks.

Below are some stills from the film and a scene which opens with the mothers now school-age son being accosted by other students because of his mother’s profession. The film is very intriguing, it made me consider how often as a society we are so quick to not only label someone, but often that persons off-spring as well. Here this woman is, doing work she doesn’t want to — to make sure her son has a good education despite the shame that will undoubtedly be thrust on him.

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I’m off to class now, but I’ll check back in soon.