Arrest them skeeters!

I was minding my own business in the park today, when I was assaulted by a gang of misguided, at-risk mosquitoes. They attacked my face mercilessly… Do you see all those lumps on my forehead and cheeks? It looks like somebody jacked me up. If I had a boyfriend, I swear someone would be calling the police on him right now. I want those mosquitoes brought up on charges! My girl Mel said I should put calamine lotion on them, and another Facebook friend said I should use Blue Star ointment — both great suggestions, seeing as how I was looking for something white and/or shiny to draw more attention to the golf balls on my face for my show tomorrow. :(

Hateful-ass DC skeeters… I guess it’s just the way they were hatched.

This Is Why I Rock!

So, before I even begin to talk about what an awesome day/nite I had on Saturday, I want to make sure I encourage you all to tune into BET on November 7th at 8/7c for the broadcast of Black Girls Rock!

OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way… The show taped at the Paradise Theatre in the Bronx, and I tell you, that room was overflowing with awesome!!! In addition to the honorees — Raven Symone, Keke Palmer, Missy Elliott, Teresa Clarke, Iyanla Vanzant, Major General Marcelite Harris, and the incomparable Ruby Dee — there were tons of other dynamic women there who came to present the awards or just be a part of the evening. Lynn Whitfield, Harriet Cole, Anika Noni Rose, Tracee Ellis Ross…

And there were so many great performances I can barely remember them all — Jill Scott, Ledisi, Fantasia, Kelly Price, Monica, Keyshia Cole, VV Brown, Marsha Ambrosius, Shontelle, Keri Hilson… The photo above is from Jill Scott’s dress rehearsal. Maaaan, I heart her. I got the chance to chat with her several times during the nite. My favorite moment was when she ‘chastised’ me for not bringing flip flops to change into during my breaks. That makes us girlfriends now, right? ;)

The hair and makeup team at the event also rocked. No seriously, look at my eyes. It took like half an hour, but what fun!

My job for the evening was to warm-up the crowd (and keep them warm), which meant giving an overview of the program before the taping began, telling some jokes, and making sure everyone was seated with cell phones off, not getting up and walking around, etc. And then once the show started I’d come back out during the commercial breaks to keep the energy of the crowd up. I did some warm-up earlier this year for Bill Maher’s HBO special, but this was quite a different experience. The HBO taping was a huge event, but at the end of the day it was just a comedy show with the same type of comedy fans I see in clubs all the time. But the BGR! event was full of people I’m huge fans of or grew up watching on TV and in movies. I found myself looking over at Raven and Ms. Ruby and Toccara and Ciara and Missy and Nia, etc. to see if they were laughing. Haha, and I took notes on who wasn’t! ;)

The show also highlighted several additional young women who are making waves and rocking in their communities as entrepreneurs and activists. And I think my favorite part of the nite was watching all the ladies backstage and how they related to and supported each other. No shade. Just love and encouragement and sisterhood. It was a beautiful thing!

I’ve been girlfriends with Nia Long for about 15 years. In my mind. It was nice to finally meet her in person! Continue reading →

The best person I ever didn’t meet

So… I’m on an airplane the day before yesterday sitting about two rows in front of the exit row. And as we’re all getting settled the flight attendant walks up just behind me to give the standard ‘exit row disclaimer’ speech: “You all realize you are seated in an exit row… I need a verbal acknowledgment that you’re all physically capable and willing to assist other passengers in case of an emergency… Is everyone OK with that?” What followed were a bunch of “YES’s”

And one “NO.”

FLIGHT ATTENDANT: Alright sir, so you’re physically unable to assist?

GUY: No.

I felt like I had just been sucker-punched in the sternum. I could not breathe. I was craning my neck and looking around to see if other people heard it or if I was just in the midst of the ultimate dream sequence… There was some shuffling and I guess he was moved a few rows back — I don’t know, I was too busy sneak-texting (what you do when you’re supposed to have turned your phone off already) my friend. There was someone seated next to me but I would have paid all the cash I had access to in order to sit next to that guy.

Some of you might think what he did was an asshole move. But I think it was honorable. I mean he could have lied and just sat there all comfy with his extra leg room and jumped out without regard for anyone else if/when the plane went down. OR, he could have lied and said that he was indeed physically incapable. But he chose honesty.

Not sure if when you get to The Pearly Gates honesty trumps opening an emergency exit and running for your life while 100 other people die in a plane crash — but it sure makes for good comedy. I wanted to know everything about that man. I wanted to buy him a beer and ask him about his childhood. I wanted to know where he was from, what he did for a living. Did he do it on a dare?

I wanted to propose to him.

‘Cause I mean, really if you’ve ever sat in an exit row — and you’re being 100% honest — you’ve questioned how enthusiastic you’d be about helping all the other passengers off the plane. You never verbalized it. You probably just sat there and thought “how likely is that to happen?” But secretly you thought damn, if I was just one row back or forward I wouldn’t have all this anxiety… No?… Just me? WHATEVER, with yo’ lying behind!!!

Anyway, I wanted to wait for him to get off the plane and ask him for his autograph, but I reconsidered after realizing he might not be that big of a “people person.” Plus, I can almost guarantee the story I’ve created in my mind about this guy is better than the reality.

Best. Flight. Ever. Exhale…

Source: original pearly gates artwork

When in Rome…

Well Nashville, actually.

I’m here in TN for a college show at Belmont University. It was big fun. Thanks so much for being awesome you guys! I’ve been to Nashville at least 3 or 4 times, but never had time in my schedule to see much of the city. So after the show, I asked the students to recommend a few places to check out… And so my journey began. How do you like my first cowboy hat?!? I think I may have enough footage/photos to put together a short video blog, so stay tuned… I promise there will be hilarity. And new vocabulary words…

You’re welcome in advance.

Black Girls Rock!

Hell Yeah We Do!!!

And this black girl just snagged a gig as the warm-up comedian for the BET Black Girls Rock! Awards taping October 16 in NYC at the Paradise Theater. If you’re not familiar with DJ Beverly Bond and BGR!, click here to learn about who they are and what they do. It’s a fantastic organization. Seriously, Google them. There’s also a great video featuring Beverly on the homepage of the BGR! website. This will be the 5th year of the awards but the first year of partnership with BET. Honorees include Raven Symone, KeKe Palmer, Missy Elliott, and the incomparable Ruby Dee. And word is, there are some big time performances too! Super excited and so proud to be a part of this event!

The show will air on BET November 7 at 8/7c.

Niagara (it sounds way too much like that other word for my liking) Falls

Man what a weekend! On Friday nite I drove up to Syracuse, NY for what turned out to be the best college show I have EVER had EVER. It was a happy hour show. There was wine and food and everyone was over 21. Thanks so much SUNY Upstate Medical for being so awesome!

I woke up feeling so good on Saturday morning that I decided to get up and drive 2.5 hours further upstate to visit Niagara Falls. I had never been — well not that I remember, my mom says she took me when I was a baby — and I figured why not; I didn’t have anything else to do!

This used to be my favorite sign…

But now it’s this one.

When you go to a place like Niagara Falls by yourself, the photos you’re able to take with you in them are slightly less awesome than they would be if you had friends… It took me like 5 tries to get this angle right — thus the face.

Beautiful, huh?

Continue reading →