A good thing

image

I joke about my eyes on stage and social media because I am self-aware, but I am extremely (extremely) self-conscious about them. Every. single. day. someone I do not know approaches me and comments about them, almost always negatively.

“What’s wrong with your eyes?”
“Oh my God, you scared me.”
“Are you doing that on purpose?”
“Can you pop them out of your head like that lady in that commercial?”
“You got some big ass eyes.”

I know this. Because I’ve had this face for 37 years. They got “worse” when I got sick 2 years ago, and I’m constantly snapping selfies and monitoring (read: measuring) them with the help of my doctor in hopes they won’t continue to progress.

So when I walked into the Hudson News in Penn Station and the black woman behind the counter looked at me and said, “You have HUGE eyes,” I turned my back to her and rolled them. Not today, lady!!!

image
Except: every. single. day.

When I finally got to the register with my drink, she said it again. “You have huge eyes.” And then with the biggest smile ever, “I hope your babies took them. Where I am from–Uganda–babies and big eyes, that is a good thing.”

Instant demeanor change.

“Thank you,” I said, “but I don’t have any babies.”

“Ahhh you must make some. It will be a good thing.”

Thank you, Hudson News lady. I needed that.

Exhale vs. Empire

That awkward moment on stage when you realize your talk show has been moved toย the same time slot as “Empire…”

Last nite, I headlined the Virginia Beach Funny Bone and I began the show by commenting on how many black folks were in the audience. I was honestly surprised because Wednesday nite is “Empire” night in most black households these days, and these folks chose to forego that and come out to see me. In case you’ve been living under a rock, the show is a mammoth hit that gains more and more viewers each week. I was really grateful.

At the close of the show, I was telling the audience about “Exhale,” and inviting them to tune in and support, when I realized that we are on during the “Empire” time slot — Wednesdays at 9pm. I was recording my set, as I always do, so I caught that moment of realization for posterity. These folks came out last nite, but they weren’t trying to make it a habit… THE GOOD NEWS is that we premiere on May 6 — well after the “Empire” (and “black-ish” finale(s), so there are no excuses. Amen.

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes video I shot on our last day on set for “Exhale” season 3. We have a lot of fun together and we have great conversations. I hope you’ll tune in and check us out!

I’m a fashion designer

image

BFF Keisha, of real crabmeat and dinner theatre fame, started a fabulous fashion blog several months ago called By Way of Kingston. She’s from Kingston, Jamaica, so it makes perfect sense, you see. Her style is amazing; I’ve always said if I ever drop this last 100 pounds I’m totally gonna raid her closet. For her most recent post, she paired my BTW tee (bet you didn’t know I was a fashion designer) with a blazer and a super cute pair of blue pants from Tarzhay.

Check out today’s post here. And for all you fashionistas and fashionista wishyoucouldbees, subscribe to her blog! She gives great fashion advice and shares deals and discount codes. She’s pretty dope. You’re welcome.

Drunk Dialing

IMG959444

Last nite I was a guest on the “Drunk Dialing with Dontay” podcast with LA Hair’s Dontay Savoy and the fab Ms. Poohbie Davenport. It was an absolute blast! I love LA Hair. I’ve seen every episode and we had the show’s star, hair guru, Kim Kimble on “Exhale” last season. Dontay is handsome and hilarious and my favorite stylist on the show. So I literally jumped at the opportunity to do his podcast.

We talked comedy and “Exhale” and drunk texting, all while downing shots of Makers Mark. Because I got to choose the liquor. Which was clearly a setup… The convo got a little fresh after shot #2, but we’re all adults here, right? Right. You should definitely check it out. And subscribe to the podcast. Dontay is beyond hilarious. Here are a few more pics. Y’all can see where this is going…

Listen to the podcast here.

IMG958466

IMG_5519

DrunkDialing___600x360

Ce Ce, Centric and Communism

IMG_20130927_232507_399

So I was in Chicago this past weekend for the launch event for a special I taped a few months back, and as we were leaving the club, we ran into Ce Ce Peniston of “Keep on Walking” fame on the street. Doesn’t she look fantastic? I said something very drunk as I asked if she’d take a photo with me — something like “Thank you so much ’cause girl, you coulda kept right on walkin’…” Yes, really. And she still posed for the pic. What a gracious lady! Damn you Makers Mark!

Be sure to keep an eye out for the Stand Up For Family Vol. 4 special airing on Centric this fall! Here’s a sneak peek…

Continue reading →

Wentworth: Always and forever

wentworth-miller81026007 (1)

Wentworth Millerย officially “came out” last week, in a letter declining an invitation to attend a Russian film festival:

โ€œAs a gay man, I must decline,โ€ Miller wrote in hisย letter. โ€œI am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.โ€

Butย it was no surprise to anyone who’s been a fan of him and his career.ย The only reason I bring it up is that I am wholly amused by the women who get online and post things like “what a waste!” or “we lost another one…” whenever a handsome celebrity comes out as gay. As if that’s the reason he and she will never end up together — like Anderson Cooper’s gayness is why they’ll never marry a Vanderbilt. The only way that reaction is even remotely rational is if you’re talking about someone you actually know that you either used to date, or (believed you) had a chance to date.

Wentworth Miller will always be one of my favorites. He’s a great actor and maybe an even better writer and producer. He stood up for what he believed in; rather than just not go, he chose to make a statement. And I love that unlike other multiracial celebs, he proudly acknowledges his black ancestry — ahem, Vin Diesel.

Little Mark Vincent aka Vin Diesel

Little Vin Diesel #TheAfroNeverLies

Plus, he is beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that I am currently re-watching the entire Prison Break series just to bask in his beautiful-ness.

You were never gonna have him anyway. So please, let the man live.

Can I Live

It’s finally time to EXHALE!

IMG_1016ย IMG_1006ย IMG_20130625_194534_844

Wednesday night was the big Atlanta premiere event for “Exhale!” I had been missing my co-hosts; it was so good to have the band back together again. We all arrived in town on Tuesday nite and met right away for drinks in the hotel lobby. We had our first round and then ordered a celebratory bottle of champagne, but we didn’t have time to pop it because we were running late for dinner.ย So Angela just decided we’d bring it with us. Apparently champagne is classy so you don’t need to brown-bag it while walking down the street.

IMG_1015

Dinner was with ASPiRE General Manager, Paul Butler and author/playwright Pearl Cleageย (#Swoon). Pearl is aMAZing. I’ve been a fan of her work for years and she was to moderate the cast talkback that would take place after the screening of the premiere episode the next night. She really got a chance to see that we are, quite literally, crazy people. I’m sure she was reconsidering her decision to participate. We shut that steakhouse down. Sorry, STK.

1009588_10151697616255605_685470363_o

The next day began with press interviews and then came the Google Hangout with our director and producer and viewer-submitted questions. It was big fun, and gave viewers an accurate taste of what each of us brings to the show! After that, we had about an hour or so to get into hair and makeup for the big event! The Atlanta rain and humidity forced us to move the black carpet inside and it did a number on my wig. I’m glad we at least got a couple pics in before it fell totally asleep.

1002959_10151698966660605_131166174_n Continue reading →

Life Lessons

GEM

My Exhale co-host, Rene Syler, has a fantastic website called goodenoughmother.com And on it, she has a feature called Life Lessons, where she asks some really great questions that invite her subjects to reflect honestly on their level of happiness, life’s goals and the progress they’re making towards them. For the last week she’s profiled our other co-hosts, as well as our producer and director (I actually think our director’s profile won’t be up until tomorrow) and I definitely wanted to share. Check them out when you have a chance and get to know each of these awesome ladies a little better!

Here is where you can find my profile, and click here to read up on the rest of the Exhale crew.