i had an audition today for a reading of a new musical called "barnstormer" about bessie coleman, an accomplished flying ace -- the first licensed black female to fly. it takes something like 7 to 9 years to develop a musical. i'm not sure exactly where they are in the process but it sounds like they might be showing it to investors and tweaking it regionally. i'm very interested in what happens next, whether i'm in it or not.
i didn't have to do any research on this one. i've admired bessie coleman since childhood. no one stateside would teach her how to fly planes because she was black and female so she went to germany and returned to this country triumphant, a total bad ass. (and yes, she was from the south -- a texan, to be exact.) died too soon in a horrible plane crash. and of course, when black history month comes around, no one ever mentions her. they're too busy talking about martin luther king, jr. and harriet tubman -- "safe" heroes that don't threaten the status quo. they wouldn't dare mention robert f. williams and talk about what a radical he was -- and in the middle of north carolina, no less.
don't get it twisted, people. they tell you one thing, with their racist hollywood flicks and their movie-of-the-week malarky and their jacked up advertisements. don't you dare believe the hype. if you bother to read them, history books will tell you something else. we were always inventive. we were always intelligent and gifted and heroic. we always had dignity. as slaves, we were always subversive. we always fought back.
what a kick in the head that some one is trying to tell her story. it's like the beginning of a dream come true, us telling our stories our way. telling the world what we see, the way we see it.
bizarrely enough, the audition went off without a single solitary hitch. hm. i don't know what's up with me. i've been auditioning very well lately. there was some snotty residue in there but thankfully my voice was as clear as a bell. i sang a generic broadway show tune very well, something old and classy and fun that showed off my upper range. they asked me to read something short and sweet, which i did with a real flourish. and then i skipped out to run errands and forgot all about it. gone are the days when i'd spend all week wondering how i did or if i'd get the job, thank goodness. it's all in God's hands. it's destiny. it's fate. i'm working hard on my end, believe me -- but whatever happens, happens. it's like the tom petty song says:
"there's something good waiting down this road/and i'm picking up whatever's mine"