Monday, June 12, 2006

spectacular news!

i finally! finally! finally! scheduled a meeting with ken roberson and vernon reid about working with me on an idea i've got for a performance piece. no easy feat, believe me. when ken called me back, he was in london. and vernon returns his phone calls but he's always away or in transit. finally, we're going to get together at this restaurant up the street from my place and talk about all this. i'm making information packets for both of them, filled with reading lists/suggestions, articles, links and a few graphs -- if it's one thing i do believe in as an actor/writer, it's research.

this is something i've wanted to do for a long time. it basically grew out of conversations that ken and i had in the middle of harlem song's tech rehearsals, an article that i'd read in the new york times about the great migration in reverse and some things that had i'd been thinking, about the south and my personal family history, for a long time. and of course, everytime i ran into ken, i'd insist that i was working on an idea and he'd encourage me. one night at joe's pub, i ended up running into vernon and ken at the same time -- i had just seen stew's performance and they were turning the house over for some broadway cabaret act, so vernon and i bumped into each other as we were making an exit and then we almost collided with kenny at the door. interestingly enough, they had never met. after introductions were made, ken had a moment of kismet and blurted, we all have to work together. i pitched this to brad, the director of programming at aaron davis hall a few months before i came up here -- kenny and i always had the understanding that i'd put his name on whatever proposals i was working on -- and he was "intrigued."

so far i'm batting a thousand but there's a lot of work to be done. i have to flesh out the proposal on paper but most importantly i have to attach the names of people who'll commit to being involved with its development. i want kenny to direct it and vernon to be the music director. whoever kenny feels is appropriate for choreographer is fine by me. i'd want my friend renee to do it but i think she might be on the road when this happens. kenny feels that his recent forays into blues music -- especially with the last few albums that he's produced -- make him an ideal candidate. the meeting happens the day after i get back to nyc, so i have to hit the ground running when i get there. brad says that they can put it in their new work series next spring. pretty exciting stuff.

this is what i've been working on in my alone time here, while everyone else gets loaded and chases each other around. wow. this has been a fat farm and a writer's retreat. who knew?

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