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 →