That awkward moment on stage when you realize your talk show has been moved to 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!
We just wrapped taping for season 3 of “Exhale,” and I had a day off before I had to head up to Seattle for a show. So I decided to stay overnight in LA with BFF Dawan, rather than fly straight to Seattle and get a room. He lives a ways from the hotel where I was staying, but his daughter’s daycare was just a couple miles away. So I decided to meet him there and ride back to the house with him after he dropped her off.
Perfect. I’d save money by not paying for an Über to West LA during morning rush, and I didn’t have to inconvenience him at all. To make sure everything went smoothly, I planned to arrive about 15 minutes early and just wait outside or in the lobby of the daycare center. But when my taxi pulled up, I realized the daycare was located in a home on a quiet, residential street, and I was gonna have to stand in front of the house until Dawan arrived. I considered asking the taxi driver to keep the meter running until he got there, so I didn’t look like a toddler thief, but I am poor. So I hopped out. Here’s the thing about being an unfamiliar brown woman standing in front of a daycare with two suitcases, each of which could easily hold a toddler: there’s no way to not look suspicious.
I regularly do an hour onstage, but those 15 minutes outside that daycare felt every bit as long. That’s why I’m not angry at the woman who sat in her car, sizing me up for 3 minutes before she got out and walked towards the house clutching her daughter’s hand and her cell phone equally hard. And I’m not mad that once she was inside, she peeked her head back out the side door and pointed me out to someone inside. I probably would have done the same. As soon as Dawan got there and shifted his truck into park, I began wrestling my super heavy bags into his trunk. “Hang on. I’ll do it as soon as I drop her off,” he offered.
This week on “Exhale” we talk about Family — how to make time for love relationships, how to care and prepare for aging or ill parents, etc. In this short outtake Rene and I talk with Bryan Gaines, Co-Chair and Project Assistant for The University of Southern California Advocates for African American Elders Project. He had some great information about helping parents age with dignity and why it’s important to know which siblings parents want to handle their finances. Sadly, my folks only have one option.
Tune in to check us out Wednesday night at 8pm on ASPiRE!
I just got back from Los Angeles after shooting the next cycle of our talk show, “Exhale.” We’ve got a new studio, a new set and tons of amazing guests this coming season. I can’t wait for you all to check out our new digs and see what we’ve been up to! I’ll keep you updated as to the premiere date. I hope you’ll tune in!
This Saturday my Exhale co-hosts and I (minus Issa, #SadFace) literally took our show on the road. We were in Philadelphia to present a panel discussion at the National Urban League Annual Conference. Our presentation was entitled “Balancing Act: Can We Really Have it All?” Relatioship therapist, Dr. Argie Allen joined us and she was fantastic. We’ve definitely got to have her on the show for Season 2!
Check out my name tag. Not sure if they just misspelled my name or conflated me with another speaker (b/c I’m not from Atlanta either) or if word got out about my moodiness and they were going for “Evilene…” Reminds me of when I was playing a casino in Aruba this spring, feeling pretty good about where my career was going, and we pulled up to the venue and saw this on the front. Comedy will keep you humble.
On the next episode of “Exhale,” which is NEXT Wednesday, July 10 (NOT TONITE — we’re off this week b/c of the holiday) we talk Health and Wellness with actress and wellness expert, AJ Johnson; the original “around the way girl,” philanthropist and cancer survivor (and wife of LL Cool J), Simone Smith; physician and author, Dr. Felicia Wade and Carrie Broadus, Executive Director of Women Alive. This a really fun and informative episode, so set your DVRs now and make sure you catch us!
P.S. I KNEW it was stress and not those donuts causing this belly fat!!! #ShutUpThatsHowIHeardIt