Friday, September 30, 2005

Props to my People

One thing I've noticed over the course of my short time in the indie film business is that there is about as much drama behind the scenes as on a Hollywood set. Therefore, when you find real, genuine people in this crazy business, you treasure them. My buddy Rod Pitts is one dude. The guy puts up with my crap, he advises me, and we hang out. True, we spend a lot of time watching movies, but it's not just about movies with us. The man is my friend and my brother. I have a support group of actors and actresses. We keep each other informed and we encourage each other. I appreciate that. It just feels better when my people are around me, whether we're acting, going to auditions, or just being extras in a scene. Having said that, it is time to give props to my people. The homegirl Arnita (Westwoood!) told me that she has been doing stand-in work on Black Snake Moan. She is standing in for S. Epatha Merekrson from TV's "Law and Order" and for someone else, I think. My good friend Elijah Walls is also standing in for David Banner, the rapper turned actor. That's great. I am so proud of my people. In a short time, we have really been hustling and trying to make it happen. I pray that our bonds of friendship strengthen and that we continue to be cool, even though I have a feeling that Hollywood may call us at different times. This one's for my acting friends. Let's get money and live our dreams. Be easy, readers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Open-Mic Scene

We filmed at Zinnie's on Keenon's film yesterday. I had tried to convince him to let me wear a hat and a coat and perform some of my poetry. You know a brother carry the notebook of poetry and rhymes everywhere! Keenon said my look was too distinctive from when I played a mentally challenged patient. Curses! It was a pretty good shoot. One guy freestyled some poetry, but he had to do another one because it was a bit...sexually suggestive. His next one was...cute. Then, this guy came in off the street. His name was Sydney. He stuttered, but he wanted to perform for us. He did this great gospel rap. He did the verses and the chorus and he made the beat on his chest. That dude has GOT to be on our soundtrack. I also met this director named Michael Taylor. He is very opinionated, but focused. I gave him one of the cards that Rod made for me (Thanks, RP!). Hopefully, he'll give me a call.

In other news, my man Scott Lynn sent me a poem this morning. It was hot. He is a rapper/student from Philadelphia. His song, "No Never" should be in the closing credits of What Goes Around. I am also lobbying for his song "Baby Steps" to be in Keenon's film. He has an album called The Process that is hot! He used to be a student at the U of M. Rod also wants to shoot a video whenever he comes back into town. I wish I could give you a link to hear his music, but, unfortunately, I don't have it. I just feel good about my friends and the work that they are doing. I know my boy Scott will continue to make great hip-hop albums, Rod and Arnita will make great movies, Ken will write a great children's book, and I will do my thing as well. Let's get money and live our dream, people. Be easy.

For the Summer '05: The Movie Hustle

I had a crazy summer, I met a lot of different people and had some crazy experiences. Being a writer, I had to do more than just blog. I had to find a creative way to document my summer. I hope you enjoy it. Here it goes.

For the Summer '05:
The Movie Hustle

Dear Summer, you came and went so fast
In the back of my mind, I knew you wouldn't last
There were times when I felt truly alive,
Other times consumed by ambition and drive.
The hustle became everything, sacrificed it all,
Tried to be in every audition and casting call.
My goal was to be the mercenary of Indie Memphis,
Film became my release from my mundane existence.
Losing sleep, I told myself I'd rest in December,
The summer's hot, but things'll cool down in winter.

Working on six projects at different times, I love cinema, that's clear.
The crazy part is, I started two of the movies last year.
Worked on Among Saints and Sinners ,met the Indie Memphis clique.
Little did I know they'd become my new crew so quick.
Worked on Third Wheel Date, overnights at the Bartlett 10,
But after two weeks of working, we never filmed again.
Hooked up with Rod Pitts again, back on What Goes Around,
He told me of Keenon Nikita and Just The Two of Us, made sure I was down.
Met up with Brandon Hutchison, back on Dollars and Signs,
To get into the screening, I moaned and whined.
Brandon said it wasn't finished, but I had to see my work.
Sorry, BH, I was really a jerk.
I auditioned for Black Snake Moan, I gave it my all.
Right now, I'm just hoping for an extra call.
Got on John Fuess' film, so far, it's been a blast.
But it's another goofy character, man, I'm getting typecast.
Worked with Robert Saba again, was an extra on Delusions,
Got bumped up to a speaking role, yo rob, thanks for the inclusion.
Hopefully, Tommy Kha and Bevan Bell's films are my next projects,
A dark comedy and a heist film, not sure what to expect.

Props to Pittstop Productions, Rod and Arnita hold me down,
Hope Keenon Nikita liked my acting and my work with the sound.
To my Cowboy Up Crew, Arnold Dayna, Tommy, and Jarrod, ya'll my peeps,
Tiffany Pemberton, I'll see you a week!
Bryan, Eli, Lavita, Aaron and Ashley, my favorite costars,
You cats are talented and raise the bar.
When it come to acting news, John Sparks has the latest,
You're the coolest, Sparky, and your blog's the greatest.
To all the actors, directors, producers, and crews,
Thanks for allowing me to do what I do.
There were crazy ups and downs, some things I regret,
But overall, Summer '05 was my best one yet.
Indie Memphis rules!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Weekend Filming

This is my second attempt at this post. Saturday morning ,we filmed at the Southland Mall. Met another up and coming actor named Morris. He seemed like a cool dude. Had to rush and get Rod to work, thank God no cops stopped me. Yesterday, I was an extra in the movie Grim Sweeper. My fellow actors LaVita (Vita Loca) and Kim came through. It was cool. We faked like we were talking and making conversation. We got free cokes and pie. That's the most I've gotten paid for acting so far. You know, outside of personal rewards. It was cool. A realtively light weekend of filming. Tonight, Rod and I are filming on Keenon Nikita's film Just the Two of Us. We have a scene at Zinnie's on 1718 Madison. I hope our extras come through. We are getting closer to finishing. I really want my work to be seen. I am also glad that Rod has started editing What Goes Around again. His editing system crashed earlier this summer, ending our chances of submission to the Indie Memphis film festival. It's okay, we'll survive. I just know that the work I do will be seen eventually. I have to relearn patience every day, it seems. Hopefully, these experiences will make me a better person. I will keep hustling. Be easy, readers.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Filming at Keenon's house...again!

Man, it felt good to film last night! I hadn't filmed since Saturday! We filmed Selina, who plays Keenon's daughter as a preteen. It was pretty cool. We also have new lighting people. Victoria, who goes by the name Vi, her sister, Quita, and Rita. I am glad to be free of lighting responsibilities, even if only partially. Now it's all about me and the sound, baby! Rod had me freestyle shortly after I came in. I was having breath control problems. I still rocked, though. It was a pretty chill shoot. We filmed Selina and Keenon's pity party. It involved ice cream and pizza, and I resisted everything but Selina's Devil Food cakes. I know I'm still losing weight, but she insisted. Can't refuse the children, right? After they left, we also filmed more footage pertaining to the beginning of the movie. I can't give it away, but the movie starts with a crazy scene that Keenon says happened to him in real life. Rod, Keenon, and I also chit-chatted about love. Keenon and Rod are very realistic about the ugly side of love. They depressed me a little, but I stll cling to my idealistic vision of Mrs. Right. Okay, I'd settle for Ms. Kinda Okay at this point, a brother's lonely! Rod also worked on a beat on Keenon's computer and I tried to freestyle again. Rod will have to have a track on my album if he keeps this up. Overall, the mood was cool, everybody was in good spirits, and I needed it. I don't know if we'll shoot tonight, but I think we plan to shoot Saturday morning. I won't be able to shoot Saturday night because I plan to be with my family on Saturday. My Great-Aunt Winnie died. I'm a little messed up, but she was 100. I'm glad she's with God. After Saturday, I'm gonna definitely need to film again. I plan to be an extra in Grim Sweeper on Sunday, then possibly back on Keenon's film. It's like when I'm sad, I have to create more. There will be a weekend recap...of course. Be easy, readers. Peace.


I was a little down. It seems like everybody I know is on Black Snake Moan. The homegirl Arnita (Westwoood!) and my homeboy Vince, both of Keenon Nikita's film Just The Two of Us, as well as Angela Davis of Just the Two of Us are all supposed to be extras. Then I found out this guy named Jason, also of Just the Two of Us, has a role. Then last night I found out that Nataki, soon to be playing the lead in Spin Cycle (Pittstop Productions, what!) has an extra role. I was a little pissed. I had tried to get in Hustle and Flow, and for Black Snake Moan I had even gotten callbacks and an outside shot at being Samuel Jackson's stand-in. I whined about it. I probably got on people's nerves talking about it. But, honestly...even though I still hope they call me, it doesn't matter. I don't do this just for the money. I do this for the love first. For that feeling I get when I'm on set and I'm creating something. I may not use paint and brushes, but I am an artist. Whether film, poetry, or hip-hop, I have to create. I have to live my dreams. To me, life without dreams is like dying a slow death. I would just be walking around like a zombie or something. I know that I have done good work. Am I as good as I like to think I am sometimes? Probably not. But I have done some good work, and I worked hard. I refuse to let not being picked by that film invalidate my dream. I have been blessed to do some good work with a lot of cool people. Arnold Edwards, Jarrod, Tommy Kha, Dayna Hinkel, Arnita Williams, Bryan Newcomb, Keenon Nikita, Rod Pitts, Aaron Jones, Ashley Davis, Eli Walls, LaVita, Lauryn, Tiffany Pemberton, Glen Ring, Vince, Angela, Carole Rowland, Sarah Essen, Travis Stone, Jon Sparks, etc. I have enjoyed working with these people. These people inspire me and are cool to be around. My Indie Memphis family kicks butt and takes names. If I can't get the role, then I'd rather one of them got the role. I appreciate the kind words that each of you have had for me. If I didn't mention your name and you are cool with me, know that it was an oversight. I have come so close to living my dream. I am living my dream, albeit on a small scale. I can't stop. I'm a little bit obsessed. Arnold would call me an "acting whore", but I think obsessed sounds a little less desperate. My focus has returned. I may be in the indie ranks a little bit longer, but I know that I will get the call someday. Hey, I know I have some commercials in my future, if nothing else. I am an actor. A large part of acting is disappointment and rejection. But I would gladly go through fifty nos for that one yes. That one shot, that chance to lay it all on the line and live this crazy dream. I'm dusting myself off and getting back in the saddle. If you thought I hustled in 2005, you ain't seen nothing yet! I need this like I need the air that I breathe. The arts are freedom to me. Be easy, readers. Peace.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Once Again..a Weekend recap

Okay, Saturday I began filming on John Fuess' film Mail Call. We filmed at the Cooper Young Festival. I only shot for a few minutes. I talked to Glen Ring, who is also in the movie. I ran into Carole Rowland, another Indie Memphis regular, and directed her to John. I ran into people from my work, and I ran into my good friend Ennis Newman. He's a rapper and producer. His crew is the Iron Mic Coalition. Check them out at I saw the great band Will Graves and Soul perform. You can check them out at They did a lot of old songs, like Ray Charles' "It's All Right". They also did Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground". They closed their set with the Golden Girls theme song "Thank You For Being a Friend", and the Good Times theme song. As a child of the 80s, I thought that was hot. I ran into several of my acting friends: John Sparks (, Arnold Edwards (AE2), Dayna Hinkel (Fayette County! What!), Aaron Jones, and Ashley Davis. I then broke oout to the library, met up with Rod Pitts and started work on Keenon's film. We were in Westwood (again, the city, not my nickname for Arnita) and shot more scenes at the party. The brilliant actor travis Stone assumed the role of Keenon's brother. He blew me away. This man can act! I want to be like him when I grow up! He was intense and focused. The scuffle between him and Keenon was great. I can't give away details. You just have to see Just the Two of Us when it premieres in the Memphis area or at a film festival near you. Sunday, our shoot was cancelled. Keenon and Rod edited; I hung out with my friends and watched wrestling. I miss my non-actor friends. I have to keep that balance. Today I think we have a production meeting on Keenon's film. We are in the home stretch. Oh, yeah, check out my man Rod Pitts' site. It is I have a page, and so does Ms. Arnita Williams. Pittstop Productions, baby! The future of filmmaking. We're not playing this year. We have a solid team. There's no stopping us now. Be easy, readers. Live your dreams.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Going to School

Yesterday, my friend Bryan and I went to the great Red West acting class for the first time. I knew some of the regulars from the Indie Memphis scene. Forrest Pruett, Lauryn Shepard, and Travis Stone. Travis Stone is in Delusions, a film by Robert Saba. He has also recently joined the cast of Just the Two of Us, which is Keenon Nikita's film. Travis and Forrest were acting out a scene from Somersby. During one reading, they began using ghetto slang and humorous profanities. Travis and Forrest also shined during improv. Bryan and I did a scene from Hustle and Flow. Even in acting class, I can't escape that movie. I was Isaac Hayes' character, Arnel. Bryan was D. Jay. We were okay. I msut memorize that by next week. Forrest is starting a new talent agency called Actors First. They are trying to get actors considered for industrial and
commercial jobs as opposed to models. I must rework my resume and headshot and pass those on to him. It's ironic, though. I start getting off at 6Pm, and I haven't filmed anything all week. I will start on John Fuess' great film Mail Call. I am one of the four main characters (Yay!). I play a board game geek named Willie who narrates. John also plane to take me to the factory where 40k is made. I'm doing research. I'm such a serious actor. Tomorrow night, we shoot at the house in Westwood (again, the city, not my nickname for Arnita). We should film Keenon and Travis' fight scene. This should be good. Keenon and Travis are polished vets. I'll be holding the mic and soaking up the knowledge. Be easy, dear readers. Follow your dreams.

My Hurricane Katrina Poem

Okay, people, the activist in me has been stirred up again. I never put poems on my site, but I think this needs to be heard. I hope you people feel this. If not, I respect your right to disagree. Here it goes.

The World Outside My Window

What happened, man? Suddenly the world changed,

God’s mighty winds left everything rearranged.

Don’t normally watch the news, so I was blissfully unaware,

Finally saw the destruction, how could I not care?

Couldn’t keep watching the idiot box, I could barely stand it.

When did New Orleans become New Atlantis?

Too much death and suffering, watery graves for innocent souls,

The world outside my window seems distant and cold.

The security of illusion is shattered, only the truth remains.

The inconsiderate media gains ratings from pain.

Conservatives and liberals point fingers and place blame.

Families are forced to migrate without a dollar to their name.

Several traveled from the Mardis Gras capital (New Orleans) to Blues City (Memphis).

Many people opened up their hearts and showed pity.

Whether food, water, or toiletries, several people contributed and did their part.

I packed up books for the kids, I guess it’s a start.

The churches, shelters, schools, and hotels are packed.

We shed tears for those water victims who never made it back.

But when the actions of civilians and celebrities put politicians to shame,

We all feel like pawns in a foolish game.

George Bush feels bad for Trent Lott, but he’s got nine more houses he can use.

And Condoleeza Rice…well, she’s busy buying shoes.

The FEMA director had no credentials.

I guess the whole situation had catastrophic potential.

Bush is making excuses, but he’s barely making sense.

Just say “we weren’t prepared”, do we need more evidence?

The world outside my window seems bleak and hopeless,

But if you’re still breathing, consider yourself blessed.

It ain’t safe no more, not that it ever was.

We can fight for a just cause or ignore things just because.

The world outside my window just ain’t looking right,

It’s gonna be up to the people to shine that light.

Volunteer, donate, pray, do whatever,

We can’t count on officials to make things better.

If the world outside your window doesn’t agree with you,

Get off your ass and change the view

Thank you for your time. Be easy, but be aware. Peace.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What the Heck is Going On?

Okay, is anybody in office using their full brain capacity right now? Bush takes forever to come to New Orleans and he has the audacity to mourn the loss of Trent Lott's New Orleans home. Notice I said Trent Lott's New Orleans home. That means he has others. SEVERAL others. Laura Bush seems to think that since most of the people who lost their homes were underprivileged that this is working out good for them. How in the blue hell is it ever okay to lose your home and worldly posessions. They may not have lived in the White House or on anything resembling her ranch in Texas, but these people probably loved their homes. I also want to know why do we keep calling them refugees. Call them displaced New Orleaners, call them flood victims, but don't call them refugees. They're not from another country or another world (despite what I've been told about Bourbon Street). They're Americans. Yahoo have lost their damn minds, too. C'mon, now. Pictures of Caucasians with food items and they're gathering. But, the pictures of people of color (Asians, African-Americans) and they're looting?
That's crap, man! I know it's been some time since I ranted, and I apologize to those who were expecting another chapter in the life and times of an Indie Memphis actor. Not today, people. Current events have reawakened the activist in me. It's time for revolution, people. We cannot count on the government to make things right. I said before that I don't know how much more Memphis can take, that maybe we're strainng ourselves. I still believe that, but I believe that we have to take the burden because the government won't. People got mad when Kanye West said that George Bush doesn't care about Black people. I think he doesn't care about poor people. We the people need to get off our comfy couches and do somethng. Donate bottled water, volunteer, heck, even if you want to read to the kids at the Red Cross, just do something. Let's stand up, people. Let's be a little less selfish and get out there and make a difference.
Be easy...naw, scratch that, don't be easy. Be aware, and for crying out loud, let's actually give a damn about our fellow man. Peace.

Monday, September 12, 2005

A Change Is Gonna Come...

When I started this blog, I pretty much worked and watched movies. Therefore, my blog consisted of movie reviews and opinion pieces. This summer, though, inependent film became my life. I lost myself for a minute. I also realized that my blog has gone Hollywood (or independent cinema, to be exact). My homeboy Nick (The Angry One) Jones even told me that it's still interesting, but hard to relate to my blog now. I wonder, have I lost touch with my readers while pursuing my cinematic ambitions? Have I sold out, and lost sight of the struggle? Hurricae Katrina and its related media circus have awakened my activist side. You will still get Indie Memphis insight, but I must balance that with more opinion pieces. I never intended for this to become my indie Memphis diary, but aside from work and the occasional movie, that's all I do now. I will get back to more serious subjects. I have been reminded that the struggle continues. It's revolution time, people! Peace and be easy.

Weekend Recap

Friday, I attempted to see The Brothers Grimm. I was tired, so I fell asleep through some parts. Then, I received a call from my homegirl Tamara. Since I had missed so much, I stepped out to chat with her. The end of the film was okay, I guess. May have to rent that one later on. Saturday, I got off work, went to the library, and ran into a brilliant young poet named Gifted Tiffany. We talked about music, poetry, and about this film that her classmate Tommy Kha is starting soon called dead anonymous. I encouraged her to ask him about it and mention me. Later, she read some of my poetry. I have got to quit leaving my more personal poems in my poetry book. She read her poem about Hurricane Katrina to me, and she read my poem. My poem is still in progress and will be on this site shortly. After Rod got off at the libray, he and I rolled out to Westwood (the part of town, not my nickname for Ms. Arnita Williams) and worked on Keenon's film. I got a pleasant surprise because Lisa Miller was back in town from grad school at the University of Nottingham. Lisa portrays Angela in Rod's film, What Goes Around. We hope to finish that soon. Lisa's friend, Taki, was also there. Taki will play Emma in Rod's next film, Spin Cycle. And I was reacquainted with an actress named Kim that was in a white party scene in Keenon's movie. Ely from the mentally challenged scene also came through. It was a long day of shooting. My shoulders were tired from holding the boom mic. Sunday, I had planned to be an extra in Robert Saba's film Delusions. The e-mail had the time listed as 2:30-8:00 PM. It was more like 2:30-2:45 PM. Robert said that a lot of people had cancelled and were out of town. I had to call my people and let them know. I went back to the library and hollered at Rod. We also had two up-and-coming actresses in the house: the homegirl Arnita (Westwoood!) and LaVita (Vita Loca). We chilled for a minute, but after Rod got off we went back to the house we shot at yesterday. Keenon was supposed to have a fight scene with this guy who played his brother. That guy did not make it and will be replaced. Rod shot around him with me playing his stand-in. I had to yell at Keenon and act like I was trying to fight him while other people held me back. They did not hold back. My chest and shoulders are still sore. Ah, well, I suffer for my craft. It was a pretty good day of shooting. Lord willing, we should wrap Keenon's film in a week and a half. Gotta keep filming. Be easy.

Friday, September 09, 2005

"Production" meeting and a very close call

On Wednesday, I got off work a little early and went to a production meeting for John Fuess' film Mail Call. I will play Willie, a board game fanatic. Tommy Kha, the sixteen-year old film genius (and soon to be the director of dead anonymous) was there, because he's working on John's film. Sarah, who I worked on Delusions with, was there, as was Lauryn. I came too late to read my lines, so I hung out. Actor/techie Glen Ring was there, as was my homegirl Dayna Hinkel (Fayette County! What!), Arnold Edwards (AE2), and Krista. Krista told me that she is an intern on Black Snake Moan. I told her that I was glad that somebody I knew was on the movie. Tiffany Pemberton, another phenomenal actress, came through. I also got to chat with Jon Sparks ( and his wife. I guess actors are my new social circle. After everybody left, John showed me the game that my character obsesses over. It's called 40K. It has these big pieces and figurines. John suggested I rent Starship Troopers to get an idea of the backstory for 40K. We talked shop for about an hour. It was cool, though. Glen suggested I take some Meisner's classes in the spring. That was cool. I will start shooting on Sept. 17. By that time, I will be on days. That's right, Monday-Friday from 9Am-6PM. Freedom!

Yesterday, hardworking actor Forrest Pruett called me and wanted to know my height. He is on Black Snake Moan as an extra, I believe, and he was tryign to get me to be a stand-in for Samuel Jackson. Unfortunately, I didn't get it. I was a little down, but everybody at my job told me to keep my head up. I can't stop, man. I love this too much. it's my gift. God has blessed me to do a lot of work this summer. I've done good work and had great experiences, even though I didn't get paid. Today, I plan to volunteer at WKNO Channel 10 and help them put topgether bags of toys and crayons for the children of families that fled to Memphis from New Orleans. Gotta give back. Be easy, readers. No, scratch that. Give back and try to help somebody. We Americans can be selfish jerks sometimes. It's not always just about us. It's about all of us. Okay, end of soapbox. God bless.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

(Delayed) Three-Day Weekend Recap

Friday, I filmed on Keenon's movie. We filmed the older child that plays Keenon's daughter Ashley. Her name's Selina. Cute kid, but sometimes she cracks on me. I guess I'm an easy target. Saturday, we filmed the younger girl that plays Ashley. Her name's Hannah. She's adorable. Her mother and other siblings were there. It was cool. Also on Saturday, the homegirl Arnita (Westwoood!) let me know about a party scene in Robert Saba's film "Delusions" that required extras. Me and my homie Bryan decided to get our fake party on. As usual, the indie Memphis film community came out. Arnold Edwards, his girlfriend Dayna (Fayette County! What!), my boy Will, John Fuess (who I will start working with on Mail Call this week), Ashley Davis, Bevan Bell, and Muck Sticky, a vulgar rapper that people tell me is humorously filthy. I also met John Sparks, of fame. That blog is the premiere place for actors to get information in Memphis. I told him my name, and he said that he read my blog! I was hype! I noticed he had mentioned me on his site. I believe he told me that Arnita told him my name. Cool. We talked about Black Snake Moan and how it appears as though the casting is pretty much set. We may get called back for extras. Who knows? I met his wife. She is from Puerto Rico. She was very nice. She asked me about acting. We pretended to talk during party scenes. Bryan and I try to pick up my girl Tiffany Pemberton (great actress), and Sarah (another great actress) tells us to back off. Yes, I get dissed on camera yet again. I get my payback, though. Bryan, Will, and I get to adlib some crazy responses to a comment Sarah's character makes about sex for drugs. It was crazy! Monday, me and the B-man (Bryan) rolled out to Fayette County and chilled over my uncle's house. I was bad and I ate pork. and lots of it. I got back on my diet the next day, though. I received the summons from Rod and Bryan and I had to cut out back to the M-town. I dropped Bryan off, picked up Rod, and we went over Keenon's house. We filmed Selina and Keenon in the
park near Keenon's home and at a nearby convenience store. A security guard seemed to be touched by Keenon's film because it focuses on a relationship between father and son. He was a single parent of a girl named Chelsea, I believe. I'm glad to touch people with my work. I was horrible on sound that day. I kept holding it wrong and I kept dropping into the scene. I thought Rod would disown me. It was cool, though. I start John Fuess' film tonight, and I hope to rejoin Keenon's film on Friday. I am trying to make sure that I go to the movies occasionally.
I must have a balance. That's about it. Keep cool and be easy, dear readers. Peace.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The World Outside My Window

Man, the world looks and feels totally different now. The illusion of comfort that we all live under has been momentarily shattered. New Orleans is looking like Atlantis and we have riots and discrimination halting relief efforts. To make things worse, on Labor Day Weekend, gas stations are running out of gas. Many people will stay at home for fear of being stranded out in the middle of nowhere. I look around my city and I see that although Memphis has tried to welcome people with open arms, our arms are getting heavy. Our hotels are cramped and overbooked. Our churches and community centers are working overtime. I am not in any way knocking relief efforts. The relief is needed, and I pray that it continues. But Memphis is in danger of overexerting itself. The American Idol audition has already been cancelled because of the relief efforts. New Orleans residents are applying for unemployment, enrolling their children in Memphis schools, and are pretty much becoming citizens of Memphis. I am not sure that we have the room. There is also ongoing debate about whether or not Craig Brewer should postpone Black Snake Moan, which is being filmed in the Pyramid. I am all for sacrifice, but how much is too much? How much time and effort do we give? Something needs to be done, but do we sacrifice our way or living totally? I honestly don't know. Things look bleak. George Bush should send some relief to Memphis, too. The world seems a little bit smaller, but it also seems a little bit darker. It ain't safe no more. Of course, it never was, but now our comfort zone has been eradicted. God help us all. Be easy, and stay prayerful.