Recently, I met up and had dinner with a friend. We caught up on each other’s lives, and eventually we got on the topic of why things never worked out between us. I kept it real with him and said it was because he never pursued me. He’d often check on me but never made any plans. To me, a pursuit involves more persistence than that. I’m sure he knew this. And living in Atlanta where there’s a million women to one man, it’s so easy to bounce from one babe to the next without much effort.
In another life, I was a 1950s housewife. One who loved slim waist cut floral print dresses, had pumpkin pie scented hair and just a tiny bit of dirt under her nails from playing in the garden. I’ve lived this life for a long time in my head.
As part of my pledge to do 28 acts of random kindness, I found a community garden for weekend volunteer work.
I volunteered at the Edgewood Community Garden with a group of high school students from a gifted program. One of the first youths I spoke with was Tasha. She attends the Carver School of the Arts and will be attending Spelman college after graduation. I was really impressed with her as well as the other students and what they were doing for the community.
A few years back, a friend invited me to see The Nutcracker. I’m always amazed by the agility of dancers and I’m further mesmerized by the music. Ballet and sweet sounds in one? I’m all in. There’s the Nutcracker: sweet and soothing, and then there’s New Choreographic Voices: emotional and tantalizing. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve never heard of the group before. As the production began, though, I knew I was about to experience something astonishing.
Last Thursday, I saw Solange (Beyonce’s effervescent sister and my BFF in my head). Typically when I go to a concert, I’m pretty chill. A rock from side to side or a hand wave in the air here and there. But on Thursday……..honey.
I should preface this by saying that I hate waiting. Sister girl made us sit pretty for two whole hours. But it was definitely worth the wait. Janelle Monae came to the stage to introduce the opening act, Roman GianArthur, from the Wondaland Arts Society. After hearing him perform a cover of Radiohead’s High & Dry, I’ve concluded that his voice is a mix of…D’Angelo, Prince and Eric Benet. His sound is funky and soulful, very similar to his label mate, Janelle Monae. Listen to his song I-69 here.
After Roman performed three songs, the big-haired, doe-eyed beauty magically appeared on the stage. I couldn’t see her but I knew she was on stage because the crowd went absolutely WILD. I mean, it was as if Beyonce herself joined Solange.
My first experience with a Technicolor film was the Wizard of Oz. I remember watching the movie in amazement, wondering what kind of funky business was happening on my television screen. My eyes were having a color party. It wasn’t like the films that we see today. The Wizard of Oz was one part sepia-toned black and white and another part color. But…a weird color. Vibrant but also subdued hues. It was dreamy and almost aggressively saturated.
Recently, I decided to look up some popular films using this medium from that time. First, here’s the skinny on Technicolor:
What better way to recap the previous weekend than to celebrate the approaching weekend! #LatePass
A few of my good friends and I went to see Anthony David and the band Gritz & Jelly Butter perform at Indigo Bar. And the band is just as cool as their name.
Ended the night at Cafe Circa with the ladies.
Helped a friend coordinate a wedding. Look, wedding planning is no joke. I wasn’t even involved in the process, just the day of stuff but geez louise. I had to have a few drinks. But great night. Congrats to Dany and Tiffani!
Sundays were definitely made for relaxation and friends. My friend Walter hosts these Sunday dinners at his spot. A bunch of friends come together, eat, fellowship, dance. In this case, support a charity. Fun times.
Click on the pic below to see them moooove.
Cheers to the freakin weekend, baby!
I won tickets to see Yuna and Graffitti6 perform and Vinyl. Never heard of either artists but after seeing them live, I am in LOVE with them.
Yuna is a Malaysian songbird. Her sound is kinda indie/pop. I can’t even say which song I love from Yuna’s album. Every song is good. And she is such a personable person! My friend Nykita and I tried taking pictures with her several times and she was patient through it all. Awesome chic.
But if I have to pick a song based off the lyrics alone, it would be Decorate.
Graffitti6 was toooo sick! They are like….Marvin Gaye, mixed with the psychedelic feel of the 70s and Amy Winehouse all rolled in one. These European lads love soulful American style music for sure.
If I had to pick, my favorite song is Over You. The lead singer is dreamy beyond words and has a voice as smooth as wine. Also, they do an amazing cover of the Bee Gees tune To Love Somebody.
Listened to a few artists at Atlanta Live at Park Tavern. My favorite was The Voice’s contestant, Mathai. That girl has such a cute and light vibe. Love.
I Love Atlanta.
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing a talented, young, beautiful and fellow Haitian-American for this blog. Hailing from New Jersey, Claudeen Benoit does it all. After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she made her way to New York City where she continued to pursue her passions as an actress, singer and dancer.
Currently, Claudeen works as a field host for MTV Korea, covering all things KPOP (Korean Pop). What is KPOP you ask? It is a cultural movement that blends pop music, dance and fashion from South Korea. Artistic expression at its best.
1. It appears that you’re a triple threat in the arts. You sing, dance and act. Which do you enjoy the most and why?
To be honest, I am drawn and attracted to all areas of performance on an equal level. Each area produces a unique and specific satisfaction for me. What I find the most satisfying, (yet difficult) ,when it comes to performance is; being able to balance your talents and getting to a place where you feel you are 100% the best you can be, in all areas, at all times.
2. How did you come across the opportunity to be a field host on MTV Korea?
I am a huge fan of KPOP and South Korean Culture. After discovering the music, I was hooked. KPOP brings artistic expression to another level. The music video’s are visually stimulating, the fashion is impeccable, and the songs and dances are incredibly catchy. I also have a lot of respect for the KPOP artists. Although their performances seem very effortless and smooth, they are very educated in their art and train very hard for years before debuting. The opportunity to work for MTV K presented itself when I stumbled upon a casting online. I submitted my previous work along with my resume, and got called in. I had one audition and then was asked to come in and Co-Host UNITED CUBE LIVE in TIMES SQUARE a couple of months later, it was a blast!
3. What advice would you give todays youth on following their dreams?
To the youth I say; take your dreams very seriously, even if you find that other people don’t. Study the greats! Really educate yourself and put the work in. Be polite, be respectful, but don’t let anyone tell you that you “can’t” achieve your dreams… (yourself included). Anything and everything is possible no matter what your starting point is!
4. Who are your greatest inspirations and why?
My greatest inspirations come from many sources, it is difficult to limit it to just people. The Pyramids of Egypt inspire me. The Civil Rights movement inspires me. Harmony inspires me. My father inspires me. Gandhi, Anne Bogart, Grace Jones, Martha Graham, Toussaint L’ouverture, Albert Einstein, Mae Jemison, Lady Gaga, Sidney Poitier, Sigmund Freud, Napoleon Hill. I could go on forever…
5. What was that pivotal moment when you realized that the arts was your passion?
Passion is such an awesome word…But to answer the question, I can’t recall an outstanding moment in particular when I realized that this was for me; nor do I believe there is one for any artist. The life of an artist is a very difficult one. I do not believe that anyone who is truly serious about their art really makes a choosing to live this way. For most, it is an unshakable calling that is engrained into their being. If by chance, an artist somehow abandons their artistry, it will always find a way back into their life and into everything that they do.
All the best to you, Claudeen!