Monday, December 05, 2005

Weekend Update: From the Poetry Spot to the Hood and Beyond

As I type this, it is another Monday morning back in the corporate wasteland (my day job). Fortunately, the soothing sounds of Phil Collin's Greatest Hits are providing me some comfort.
Enough with the preface, let's review another wacky, fun-filled crazy weekend.

Friday: After work, I arrived at The Dish on Cooper for the filming of the last scene of Vineet Thapar and John Fuess' untitled movie. Lauren Shepard (Delusions, Slow Down You're Dating Too Fast) was in the house, as was Lee Mauney (Delusions, Just the Two of Us), Tommy "The Future" Kha, and Ryan Fuess, John's son. Tommy and Ryan are a part of I Hate This Place Productions, and I like working with these young kids. They've got spunk! After the scene wrapped, we moved over to Cafe Ole. It was cool, but I don't drink, and everyone of legal age was drinking. Also, Cafe Ole was so cramped, we really couldn't sit together. I had two root beers and broke out. Thank you to John and Vineet for selecting me to be in your movie and believing in my talent. I really appreciate that. Shout out to Patrick McDeavitt and whoever else I am overlooking that has been involved in the movie. It was an honor and a privilege to work with you all.
I stopped by the home of Keenon Nikita (Poor and Hungry, Just the Two of Us) to brainstorm ideas for the next day's video shoot. After that, I went to Nappi by Nature on 1275 Winchester for a poetry reading. That night, in addition to some great local poets, we were graced by Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets. A rapper named Common featured them in a song called "The Corner", off his latest album Be. I was honored to hear the thoughts and poetry of an elder. I hope my poetry will have such longevity and social impact.

Saturday, I met Keenon at noon at Dream Rentals on Union Avenue. Later, we were joined by Jason Dancy (Just the Two of Us, The Survivor) and Learyn (Just the Two of Us, The Survivor). We were also assisted by Cleavy, a friend of Hank. This is my Dog Day Pictures family. We worked on a video for a rapper named Del (pronounced Deal). The song was called "Project Gangsta". I am not a big fan of gangsta rap, but the beat was tight. Most of the guys were cool. We even went to the Dixon Homes Projects. I have not spent a lot of time in the projects, but it was surreal. It's like its own little world. The little kids were happy to see us and most were happy to be filmed. The older people were watching, too. I felt a lot more comfortable than I normally do in the hood. After that portion of the shoot, I cut out.
Then, I went to Smoky Bones on Winchester to celebrate my friend Terra Hollis' birthday. I bought her one of those Mahogany (Hallmark's African-American division) cards, and a purple monkey pen. It's an inside joke, people! The homey Nick Jones, Shomari Gant, Donovan, Isaac, and everyone's favorite couple (in my crew), Paul "P-Dub" West and Denna Greer (What Goes Around). P-Dub is a HOT up and coming music producer. The boy got that soul and hip-hop sound on lock! After eating , I broke out and dashed to the next episode...
A party at Aaron Jones' house. Aaron Jones is in the University of Memphis' Theater Program and we have worked together on Third Wheel Date and PA Pretender. Aaron's roommate is Ashley Davis, also of Third Wheel Date and PA Pretender. I also met an actress named Kim who was in a production of In the Blood at the U of M this year. We talked acting for a bit. It was cool, but I didn't really know these people. I started feeling out of place again. It's crazy how I know so many people, but I still don't feel like I belong. Maybe it's me. I cut out around 1AM and headed back home.

Sunday, we were supposed to shoot some more on the "Project Gangsta" project, but that shoot was cancelled. I went back to my side of town, went to the movies and saw the latest Harry Potter, and called it a night. It was pretty good. One of the subplots tended to drag, but it was entertaining.

Today, I am looking forward to shooting on either "Project Gangsta" or Just the Two of Us. My AGENT Forrest Pruett has piece on his site ( about how most indie film companies shut down around the holidays and most actors are bored. I am trying to keep it moving with crew work, the occasional fun activity, and hopefully, writing something soon. We'll see what happens. Be easy, readers.


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