The Fear Is Real
My Brother and I were sitting in a Lyft car that was taking us to The Duplex on Sunday, January 21 at 4:30pm. While my Brother watched the football game on his telephone I was melting down on the inside. We crossed over to the FDR and I asked him if we could pray. “Of course!” he said. We did, I felt a bit better and continued to text with a close friend who was doing a good job distracting me. I was terrified. My heart was in my throat and I was second guessing every decision I had made for the last five months. Was anyone going to get what we were doing? Was anyone going to care? Was this truly the dumbest decision I had ever made in my entire existence and were I and my hard-working, incredibly talented team going to be made a laughing-stock? I thought I would vomit or just die spontaneously in the car on the way to the venue. Like maybe I would spontaneously combust from fear and self-loathing?
I realized that what I felt was completely normal and the condition that comes with being an artist and putting anything out there. Every time I type a blog post, record a podcast episode, write a script or develop a new artistic project those vampire voices Michelle warned me about always come out and tell me what the deal is. I am always so ready to believe them before anyone else. All the people God sent me who were constantly in my face believing in this vision and speaking life and positivity into it and I had so much trouble taking any of it in. In fact, one time my co-director had to physically shake me and say, “Did you hear what that person just said!!!???” I said, “I know but…”
I love rehearsals! No…seriously…I do!
I know that a lot of people hate the rehearsal process but I have always loved it! When I was a kid, in high school, anything I’ve ever done as an adult, at every stage of my life I have adored the rehearsal room. I am guessing it is a credit to all of the artistic leaders that I have worked under. They were all people who enjoyed what they were doing so much and were all about having fun. I have come to realize the process of discovering what a thing is supposed to be and how to execute it is my favorite part of the process. I love figuring out what a thing wants to be, then finding people to work with (generally…if that process isn’t arduous), discovering how to make the thing and then presenting the thing. After that it is all gravy (if it goes well). I don’t really spend a lot of time on any after high because the process was my high. Making the thing was where I was happiest and knowing it would come to fruition and then bringing it to life and to an audience for them to experience and have their moment.
But even after that I still struggle. The vampires return to assure me it was a fluke and everything else I do will fail and I should just quit while I’m ahead. That’s where I am now. I said to some friends that I might be a “one and done” and one of them quickly rebuked me. She’s probably not wrong, but it’s hard for me. After the concert was over and people liked it I kept saying how shocked I was and my Brother said, “Why? Why are you surprised, Eb?” He didn’t know. I have spent so many years hearing, “No”, “We don’t want you”, “You aren’t good enough for us to respond to” or just being consistently pigeon-holed into the same spot for over a decade. Only two people have really been the ones who I’ve shared my screams through years of tears, struggle and invisibility. Years of rejection have created fear that I struggle to overcome and a warped sense of self and my abilities or worth. And because I believed that God was allowing this to happen I didn’t believe what scripture said about me. If God really saw me as scripture said, then why would He let these things happen to me? Why would He put me in positions of powerlessness and subordination if I was a Daughter of the King?
40 Acres and a Mule
Why do I dream for forty acres and a mule when I could own the big house and free my people myself? God is asking me to dream bigger and dreaming small has been hard for years. How do I find the courage to take the steps those before me died that my contemporaries and I might have the opportunity to dream? I don’t know. This is going to be really really difficult. My head will be filled with lies and I’m going to be in a war with those lies for a while, until one day those lies get quieter and quieter.
I started a plan in 2015 that seems to be going in a different direction. But I was warned that might happen. I was told to be open to changes and be flexible with how things may look. For so many years I waited for people to give me permission to produce, write and create. I have spent so many years looking for a job in a production company to teach me how to produce and it never worked. It took me ten years to figure out I needed to do things differently and I thank those who encouraged me when I was low and confused. I thank Michelle and Nicole for taking that journey with me. I thank my Mom for encouraging me even on her deathbed and my friend Cindy for being a consistent truth speaker for over fourteen years of tears and screams. I’m really scared and I feel stupid right now for writing this blog post. But I wrote it, I sent it off and that’s a step in the right direction.
To The Revolution!
Title of Show
Die Vampire Die
The last vampire is the mother of all vampires and that is the vampire of despair.
It’ll wake you up at 4am to say things like:
Who do you think you’re kidding?
You look like a fool.
No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be good enough
Why is it that if some dude walked up to me on the subway platform
and said these things, I’d think he was a mentally ill asshole,
but if the vampire inside my head says it,
It’s the voice of reason.