My Fair Lady

I swear it’s taking everything in me not to pass out. I’ve already had a morning cup of joe, later a Red Bull, but I am STILL very much exhausted. The last 2 weeks have been a series of transitions. After Mercury came out of retrograde, praise Jesus, things sped up in my life very QUICKLY. I literally went from having causal conversations about opportunities and/or ideas to them coming together in a matter of days.

Thursday before last I went from a TV pilot call back in midtown Manhattan to shoot a pick – up shot for the ID Channel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, then went BACK into the city, this time the Lower East Side to perform for the 2nd night in the play I was in. I didn’t get home to somewhere near midnight and was up at 5:30am the next day to continue working my new freelance job, Social Media Manager for Black Enterprise. Ironically, the girls I was an afternoon nanny for are upstate for the summer, so the new job was certainly divine timing. I told myself I would not worry about what was next, that God had it all under control and he showed up and showed out! But I am tired. The first week of the new job I did remotely as I was still a nanny and had to perform in the play. This week was my first week in Black Enterprise’s Madison Ave offices. I haven’t worked in a “typical” office since moving to NYC in 2005 and honestly its been so refreshing and certainly challenging with all the new responsibility. I had so many meetings last week at one point I was looking like…

 
 I am in such a bigger position than I have ever been in before and am adjusting, as best as I can.

Am I overwhelmed, YES!

Is it challenging, YES!

Am I enjoying it, YES!

I have to take this opportunity and run with it,  it’s just God taking me from the background to the forefront!

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This Friday I’ll be doing extra work for the new Martin Scorsese – Mick Jagger HBO Pilot. I am pretty excited. Though I am simply a “subway rider” my little dress I got fitted for is super cute and they’ll be blowing my hair out for full Afro realness! After this project though, I am done for the summer, acting wise and will focus on my new position with Black Enterprise and also take some classes: on-air hosting and voice-overs.

My sister and I made it over to see the Kara Walker – “A Subtlety” aka the Marvelous Sugar Baby exhibit at the old Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg last weekend. Smelled like straight sugar and to see the mammy sphinx in all her glory was…remarkable.

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These sad little sugar babies, and the sugar baby corpses (not pictured) were…disturbing to say the least. Nevertheless, remarkable.

Welp, that’s all for now! In the meantime…

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Looking Like Sex & Love At First Sight

Oh don’t mind me, I’m just getting mentally and physically prepared for another New York summer. Watching this Sex and The City episode where Carrie is wearing the slinky, white dress for her “date” with Mr. Big. The one where Samantha let it be known that Carrie wasn’t interested in HAVING sex, she merely wanted to look like it. Lately I’ve been grooving to Lauryn Hill, and Fiona Apple, The Roots, Zhane, plus a little Janet. Drumming up wardrobe ideas for the summer. Check the images below, don’t you love how bronzed everyone looks? Fiona Apple’s ‘Criminal’ video is one of my all time favorite videos.  If only NYC weather would get consistent, the closet switcheroo I did a couple of weeks ago would make sense. Instead I’m still pulling out down coats for evening chills. I am ready for slinky dresses, layered jewelry — lots of bangles, wild hair and attitude!

This video Break You Off by The Roots is another all-time favorite. Home-girls braids are taking me BACK!

In other news, I left my favorite pair of melanieDIZON shoes on the subway. I was all up & through my phone and almost missed my stop; I jumped up off at the last possible second, FELT my load was light, turned and saw my shoes continue on their journey. Meanwhile I had just picked them up for the 4th time from the cobbler. They’d got the works: new soles, heels, tightened straps and polishing. There’s some lucky SOB in Coney Island having the time of their life in my damn shoes. But on a fro-yo run — to numb the pain I stopped into the Telco and fell in love. Sure they’re NOTHING like the shoes I lost, but aren’t they sickening!!!

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Some work, some play. My friend Matt  and I are participating in the NBC’s Comedy Playground contest. We met up at Saraghina for lunch, he took some quick flicks of me outside the restaurant. My feet look ashy, but I assure you I Shea buttered down that morning! lol

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I was NOT in the mood for pizza, so I got the grilled eggplant sandwich, I added a side of fries and Matt and I churned out our pilot episode.

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When I was a teen I watched A LOT of Katie Brown, and Rachel Ashwell’s show Shabby Chic.  I love the shabby chic aesthetic.  And I love the decor inside Saraghina. It has a very rustic appeal. It’s low-key, minimal and yet very warm. Plus its quite sexy at night, even at the communal tables. The next time you’re visiting Bed-Stuy check it out!

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Bloop!

I have my 2nd audition tomorrow for a feature film that I sent in a video for earlier in the week! I am super excited about it!!!

So I’ll be logging off now to continue preparing! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Live The Moment

Last week I worked on the crime reenactment show – My Dirty Little Secret

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Myself and the unsuspecting victim, in happier times.

The show airs sometime next year. I was originally signed on to play a congregation member and when I got there the CD asked me if I’d like to take on an  additional part. I said YASSSS Jesus! It was so much fun, the cast and crew were great. All the actors talked about what else, acting, and giving tips on getting more work. But, it was a long day. I took 6 trains to get there,  3 of them were different 6 trains for various issues. It was hard to keep it cute though. The delays made me late to set, but I made it, and got FAVOR!

Last week I also finished The Essentials of Burlesque. I learned the history of Burlesque, came up with a on the fly name using ONLY a cheese and a flower – I came up with “Muenster Rose”. We also Tassel Twirled ON. THE. FIRST. DAY!

It was a lot of fun and I’m glad I did it, after the tassel twirling, wasn’t nothing to it. Our headmistress Jo even let us play with her HUGE red feather fans when she taught the Art of Fan Dancing. I felt like a showgirl.

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Get into THIS girl, and check out The School of Burlesque’s tumblr here.

Out here in these streets with friends and family last week.

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Lastly, I just can’t stop listening to Gabriel Garzon-Montano. I was on THE Spotify, which I love, and the cover art caught my eye and I started listening. I fell HARD!

Bishouné: Alma del Huila

His EP is so worth the money. It’s perfect for every part of the day, and this video for ‘Keep On Running’…WOW! It really, really puts the lyrics into perspective. Speaking of lyrics, I searched for a couple songs and came up empty handed, I am sooo pressed (eager) to connect with them. Cause I know they’re all ovah (fantastic)! OMG, and I just checked his website and he’s coming to NYC 3 times starting this week! JESUS. IS. REAL! Now I really NEEDS these lyrics, so its authentic when I’m sanging in the crowd, waving my lighter and what not. Please check out the video and let me know what you think. I am really interested in hearing from you.

 

 

Its All About: Studio Sessions

“Can you come to Harlem today? I want to show you something special.” @sirjacobs

I donned my best superhero costume, a vintage terry jumpsuit I got at a secondhand shop in Instanbul and went on my merry way!

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That camel toe though…

It’s not often that you get an opportunity to look through the lives of legendary, iconic performers. I had no idea what Randal was setting me up for, however if you know Randal, then you know he’ll take you on a cultural journey. From Randal hosting brunch parties that turn into voguing parties in pre-war buildings that overlook the Hudson river, to him curating art/fashion exhibitions in Detroit museums Randal really does it all. He’s got a great sense of style, and an eye for decorating with elegance and ease. He’s a true class act! Check out Randal  here in these beautiful shots by Weston Wells.

Imagine my surprise and shock when I got to Harlem and he tells me who’s space it was, and his newest project regarding it all! Unfortunately where we were, must remain a secret, but know that the pictures below do not do justice to the archival heaven of the space we occupied. While Randal and I caught up on his recent European excursion, I soaked in all the culture that was at my fingertips. Later we got a surprise drop-in by way of Olu from Streetlevelculture  who was also in need of some inspiration.

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Reference Magazines

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Randal and Olu

Randal and Olu

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Olu and Jesus...reading

Olu and Jesus…reading

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Randal…in work mode.

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Fashion Stylist Lonnie McQuarters

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Husband and wife, and living legends in the world of American Dance

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Black Mammy & Aunt Jemima Cookie Jars

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There was so much to see, including all the costumes from The Wiz, yes, THE Wiz. And when Randal told me this was only 1 of 3 other spaces filled with relics I almost died.

Afterwards we headed to a little sushi spot in the neighborhood and then I made my way back to Brooklyn, while they went to a Housing Works $20 all you can stuff sale.

And, here’s message from Olu…

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Its All About: Sisterhood

My sister and I live together, yet we don’t get to spend much time together. She’s a dancer, and I, an actress; so between training, work, and separate social lives our time together is limited.  In any event, we schedule time to spend together and this was one of those weekends. We walked from our place in Bedford-Stuyvesant to downtown Brooklyn, around the Ft. Greene area and this is what we saw and did along the way…

Our first stop was to Bedford Galleries for some decorating inspiration. A few years ago my mother and I stopped inside and I picked up a pair of over-sized, mustard colored, velvet lampshades for $20. Billz (my sister) and I are in the mood to redecorate our place, and we saw so much stuff. Bedford Galleries is always filled with crystal bowls, glassware and dish sets, chandeliers, lamps and great furniture. I just love vintage and thrift stores. They’re filled with one of a kind items and tons of inspiration. Plus,  you can haggle. And over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Everything’s negotiable!

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Wouldn’t these be great on your patio, deck, hell…balcony!

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The detail on these tables …

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All of the lights

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Have you gotten your summer flask? BBQ’s and summer concerts are already starting.

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We kept trekking and ran into a flea market on Fulton St. This older gent was selling some cute sunglasses…Billz modeling a pair.

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Then I fell in love with a  wall of art…

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Then a wall of art fell into us…

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Handwritten biblical scriptures – click to enlarge

We saw this beautiful fence and had to get a closer look.

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And when we finally found food…

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pork tenderloin with fried yucca, and pineapple/black bean salsa

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Icelandic cod with pearl onions and fingerling potatoes

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We ate ALL of it. Thanks

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My sister and I had such a great day!

 

So, How was the food?

It’s a question I get asked constantly since I returned from Turkey. Every-time I relive the experience I get excited about traveling all over again. Being the foodie that I am, I fully intended to eat well while in Istanbul. I found the food to be tasty. Traditional dishes like kebab were served with rice and french fries. The food at more inventive restaurants like The House Cafe served dishes like this quinoa salad.

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The salad had my name written all over it. I couldn’t even finish it, and trust me I tried. It had  pumpkin, beets, radishes, arugula – they call it “rocket”, and they topped it off with creme cheese blobs around it. That alone made the salad creamy, very rich, and made everything else in the dish burst with flavor.

In the mornings I’d curl up with my iPad, catch up on stateside news on the patio, or in the lobby of the hotel and have a latte and small pastries.

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They also made sure to send over freshly made — in house Turkish Delight! You see only 1 remains on my plate.

The dish below is from Masa.  Its located on the top of the one the more luxurious malls I’ve ever been to called Istinye Park. I made sure to finish this meal. Seafood Spaghetti done just right with freshly ground pepper on top.

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This zucchini pizza could have easily been shared between 2 people. I wish I would have known that when I ordered it. It was so good; I was actually disappointed I couldn’t finish it.

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My absolute favorite food moment though was this one…

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Our new good friend Yesmin, who we met whilst enjoying the fantastic Happy Hour in the Executive Lounge of the hotel, blog on that coming soon, and Turkey native suggested we end our last full day having high tea at the palace.

Now when I heard palace I said “please indeed”. So off we went after lunch at Masa, my BFF and I en route to Ciragan Palace Kempinski. It was definitely a new level of luxury for me. The location is amazing – overlooking the Bosphorus, it’s indeed a fairytale destination that packs a punch!

Of course no meal in Turkey would be complete without either Turkish tea or coffee. I loved that all of the simpler things, such as coffee and tea are always served with a side of infused water like the tea below, and also the lovely platters it’s served on.

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Of course we also partook in the room service offerings. Like the burger and fries I conquered after a particularly late night out.

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So, How was the food? Great!

5 Things

I am not done blogging about my trip to Istanbul, I haven’t even shared the food! But even I got tired, momentarily — of writing about it. So I decided to do another 5 Things post.

1. Growing – My friend Janelle, owner and founder of fashion and beauty firm Suite PR took time out of her busy schedule to spruce up my part of the web.

I LOVE the redesign. We had so much fun cutting up between her designing headers, us deciding on workable colors – she’s for no color, while I need to see all the crayons, and watching the RHOA reunion Pt 1.  If this is your first time visiting then you have no idea how wretched, but effective the last theme was. This current one though, speaks to my soul. Its classic, timeless and fresh.

2. Acting Life Pt 1 – Law & Order SVU Intensive – I had my fist casting director intensive yesterday at Actors Connection.  It went…blah. I made a choice based on the script and the casting direction (CD) interpreted it differently. It could have been because of how that particular episode actually aired, but we definitely approached it from different angles. Nevertheless, he did say I was getting closer based on my second take at it. I m glad I went though. I got a lot of information and am starting to form relationships with some of the gate-keepers. I’ll give it a couple of months and try his intensive later in the year.

3. #GirlfriendDay – I love when I can link up with my friends and decompress. Last week Janelle, myself and The Style Maverick decided to have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants and my first ever hostess job Locanda Verde. It was sooo good seeing my old co-workers and managers; they even sent over desserts!

Below is a pic of Janelle and I as we were leaving the restaurant. I call it #GirlfriendDay because it’s always the full day.

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After lunch we grabbed drinks at The Top of The Standard in the Meatpacking District.

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4.  Acting Life Pt 2 – I finished a on-camera commercial class right before Istanbul and as of yesterday an intensive with a casting director (CD) so I scheduled time to meet with my career counselor Chantal over at TVI studios, she’s been a great help to me in navigating my career and she agrees that its time to take things to the next level, which means showcasing with agents/management and getting in front of more CD’s. She also gave me a list of things to do and a lot of insight and clarity overall. Now I have to take all that NEW information implement and test it.

5. Viewing – I’ve become a bit of a you-tuber. I am always watching T.D. Jake’s, Fulton J. Sheen…etc.  I’ve been getting more focused on my health and fitness and before Istanbul I got into Jillian Michaels videos. This week however was all about hair “typing” videos. I’ve decided I fall in the 4A-Z category.  I have been devouring the techniques and minimalist approach of  Alicia James. I too suffer from major shrinkage so I tried both her blow-dry and flat-iron methods and my hair came out lovely. I did a twist out the following day and it was beautiful. I’m going to continue the approach and check my crowns health at the end of May. Check out Alicia’s “No Heat On Ends” technique below.