Forgive me for I have sin because it's been a long damn time since the last time I put up a post on my Blog. LOL! I wanted to cut and paste an old email I sent to a very important influence in my theater career, Mr. John Henry Doyle, who passed away last year. I'm finally back in New York and away from Atlanta for the first time in the last six years. Back to my creativity. :)
Below is the very poignant email message I sent to John Doyle in 2007. It says it all:
Just got to the computer and don't have a lot of time.
I've attachment my bio with a picture of me.
As for the article.
Bay Area Black Writer in Self-induced Exile.
As I write from my computer sitting on the top floor of a Brooklyn brownstone, I have taken a few moments to reflect on the artistic journey that has sent me back to the place where I was born so many years ago. I still vehemently think of myself as a straight-up-and-down black writer from San Francisco even though I packed my household belongings, my children, my books, and bags and headed to the next artistic level (Los Angeles!!!) almost fifteen years ago. As a black playwright weaned at the San Francisco Black Writers Workshop, I had seen my career move from self-producing my own first play, "Bloodline to Oblivion" at the Western Addition Cultural Center to having it produced at the prestigious Julian Theatre and directed by John Henry Doyle. Soon I had another play, " L.B.J." (Long Bien Jail) produced by the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Company and directed by Stanley E. Williams go on to win awards and recognition state wide. Thinking that I was on a fast track to becoming a major black playwright, I became the first playwright-in-residence with The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre Company and developed a play, "Is you is or is you Ain't" in their playwrights workshop. This new play went on to win first place in the Bay Area Guardian's first, Playwrights Competition.
I must say that my seven years in Los Angeles was on the other side of a nightmare. I lost my belongings, my wife, my children, my books and some of my bags in the first six months of sunshine and palm trees and inflated egos and false friendships. All my theater friends told me that I was mad to relocate to a city that only loves its mediocre television shows and its big budgeted films and plastic movie stars and saw serious dramatic theater as a nuisance rather than a legitimate art form. Spending many lonely hours in a 10' X 10' hotel room with no money and no car, I was actually able to be very productive and wrote five full length plays in that seven year period. The only drawback to my creativity was that once I finished a piece there was nowhere to try it out as in a play reading. I finally managed to have a few readings done at a well known theatre company called The Mojo Theatre Company. But a full production of one of my works didn't happen until five years into my L.A. exile. That came about because of a reuniting with John Doyle, who'd come to Los Angeles to produce his first play there. Out of our collaboration came the production of "Yesterday Came Too Soon" (The Dorothy Dandridge Story). And though things started out very difficult for this enterprise, it actually made quite a stir in Los Angeles. The play went on to run for nine weeks and gathered great revues. In fact This play has been produced all over this country. By this time, I finally realized that I needed to move to New York if I wanted to move my playwriting career upward.
New York is quite a different environment. I've been here for eight years. It's been one of my most productive. I can have actors and theaters in place and ready for one of my new works even before I'm actually finished with it. I've had at least one play a year produced in one level or another. I've been invited to Dallas to do one of my plays. I've had "Yesterday... done main stage at the Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem. Now I'm working on taking two plays on a tour of Europe in 2007. "Is you is or Is you Ain't" will be produced in New York in March. I plan at West Coast Tour of a play entitled: "Eulogy for the Black Man" by the summer of next year.
So I've been very busy and have many plans in place for my theatre pieces. In January I will finish a 20 minute short film that I've written and co-produced entitled: "Pitter Patter"