Friday, January 21, 2011

Post 226

I haven't blogged since December 5th!! And I see I have some new followers. Wow. Welcome.
Last year, I was working this blog thing based on an idea that a "career coach" had given me so the title was, A Clear Channel. My intention was to blog every single day for a year then see what happens. I can definitely say, I Can See Clearly Now, although it is primarily due to the vicissitudes of life. It had nothing to do with the fact I was telling all my business on the internet. Even though I've dropped the ball, I'm on a mission and I must complete my 365 entries or.....?.....I don't know, I just gotta finish. It's called compulsion. So the new title is now just Post _ _ _ until I get up to 365. I better get busy. I know I flipped the script on you dear reader. It become more difficult to blog when I stopped doing it like a journal entry but I had to tone it down a bit. There are some people out there that don't need to know what I'm doing on the daily. Just call it my spiritual awakening. So I'm back and will continue this blog for another 4 & 1/2 months until I reach Post 365. Then I'll let you know what's next. Probably dress it up will bells and whistles, pictures and video to enhance my stories.
Today I was inspired to blog after watching TV One's unsung. It's a music biography series that sheds light on artists who are (or were) extremely talented and influential yet forgotten somehow. Like Teena Marie. I sat watching the show and was reminded that I had the opportunity to be in her presence twice. She came to see Colored Girls when I did the show in Hollywood around 1988. She brought her daughter with her and made it point to come backstage and introduce herself to each and every one of us. She was so nice.
Then, a little over a year ago, one of my Bill Duke Bootcamp classmates had a party at his home in Hancock Park and surprised us with a set by Teena Marie. What a treat. She looked different, but still had those chops! I'm sure he must be devastated by her passing, it seemed like they were really good friends.
So as I continue to create my own biography (that would be called an auto-biography), I will also continue to study the bios of those that have paved the way for other artists and have left a legacy for us to inherit.
By the way, that career coach didn't last two months.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 225

I have always admired the career of Cicely Tyson. I had the opportunity to meet her on one of my stand-in jobs. I watched her rehearse and when she was finished, I decided to introduce myself in the hopes of getting some words of wisdom from this legendary artist. I walked up to her, "Ms. Tyson?". She turned toward me very attentively and I continued, "I'm nobody important but I just wanted to say....." She instantly cut me off, "Baby, never ever say you're nobody. You ARE somebody important and don't you ever forget it." I tried to laugh it off and continue, "Oh I know but..." She turned her head and went on about her business. She was through with me. Words of wisdom is what I wanted and words of wisdom is what I got even though it wasn't in the way I had imagined. And I WILL never forget it. Lesson? Words have power, you are what you speak, Be A Star Where You Are.

A Clear Channel - Day 224

One of my favorite movies of all time is Slingblade. The first time I saw it at screening, I was blown away by the story and particularly the brilliant work of the then unknown Billy Bob Thornton. To this day, I can watch that film over and over again and have become quite a BBT fan. Love him in Bad Santa!!
One day, not too long ago I was hanging out at Barnes and Noble at The Grove and some guy bumped into me. I turned around ready to give attitude and found myself nose to nose with Billy Bob himself. All of a sudden I was the one who said excuse me and he replied with a twinkle in his eye and the sexiest smile on his face, "I'm sorry darlin'".
That guy in Slingblade is creepy but the real Billy Bob Thornton is fine!!! He can bump into me any time.

A Clear Channel - Day 223

Someone once said everyone has a six degrees of Kevin Bacon story so here's mine: I worked on The Closer with his wife Kyra Sedgwick and their daughter shopped for the clothes I wore on the show. She has great taste and did an excellent job.
That's it. Short and sweet. The end.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 222

Sunday I visited the UP Church in Inglewood, CA where Della Reese is the pastor. I had been wanting to go there for a long time and since I am currently without a church home, I feel a bit of a void in that area of my life. I prefer to have a spiritual institution to give my tithes to. Not to mention that the service there starts at 1PM. Now that's my kind of church!
As I sat in the congregation, I was reminded of the time when I was a professional game show contestant. I worked for various production companies trying out developer's ideas in "run-throughs" all over town. Sometimes we would even get to the pilot stage where you could really make a little money. One show I worked on was based on the premise of trying to identify the true relationships of the guests. A celebrity guest had one person on either side of them. One person was who they said they were and the other was an imposter. Della Reese had recently married Franklin Lett. Asking us a series of questions, the contestants were supposed to figure out which was true, was I her daughter or was Franklin Lett her husband? One of the questions asked of Mr. Lett was, "Where did you take your wife on your honeymoon?" He had to think about it for a minute which led the contestants to believe that I was actually Della's daughter. Later we found out that Franklin had to take that long pause because they travel so much he couldn't remember which trip was the honeymoon. Niiiice. Anyway, I asked Mr. Lett in church on Sunday if he remembered that and he said no, so even though I plan to visit the UP church again I don't think I will bother to tell Rev. Della that I was (only for a brief moment) known as, Carlease Reese.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 221

Back in the day, I was a traffic co-ordinator at J. Walter Thompson Advertising. I was in my early 20's and loved all the perks that came along with the long hours and hard work. Two hour lunches,limo rides, parties, Christmas bonuses, amazing gifts from vendors and the occasional glimpse of a celebrity. One day I was getting into the elevator at 420 Lexington Avenue with my friend Ellen Bonta and we were being silly as usual. When the doors opened there stood Ossie Davis. Filling up the whole elevator. I stopped dead in my tracks, "Ossie Davis." He looked down at me and said in the deepest voice with crisp articulation, "Is it permitted to speak in the elevator?" Ding. The elevators doors opened and Ellen & I ran out giggling like little school girls. That must have made quite an impression on Mr. Davis. Or maybe he was used to it.

A Clear Channel - Day 220

During the rehearsal period of the one of The Academy Award shows I worked on, I was roaming around as usual checking out the surroundings. One of my favorites places to hang out is the green room. It's always so nicely decorated, has the best food and all the stars come through there at one time or another. So there I am strolling through the backstage area on my way to the green room and I see this tall Black man walking toward me. Nobody else was around. As we get closer to one another I see that it's Sidney Poiter. Now I'm not usually star-struck but I think at that moment I gasped internally and held my breath. While still walking toward him, I started to veer away from him on a diagonal. He started to diagonally walk directly towards me. I thought, "What is he doing?" Now, I'm almost up against the wall and he stops right in front of me, extends his hand and says, "Hi, I'm Sidney." I looked up at him, opened my mouth and all that air I was holding in came bursting out. "Hiiiiiiiiiiiii" was all I could say. And that was my Sidney Poiter moment.