What’s wrong with a little friendly competition? Each day the internet hits us with photos of the lovely Beyonce, as she celebrates her second pregnancy — this time with twins. Oh the joy we sense in her, husband Jay Z, their adorable little girl Blue Ivy, and Beyonce’s proud mother, Tina Knowles — who introduced her daughter at the 59th Grammys…”with a mother’s pride.”
I feel you Tina.
But all praise aside…Beyonce ain’t got nothing on MY girl!
Her legion of social media friends and followers refer to her as Coach, but to this proud mama she is simply…
*Sorry. They say truth can be hard on the ears. But face it, some things you’ve just got to live with. So I’ve got one bit of advice for the Michael Jackson fans who continue to throw shade at Shana Mangatal, the beautiful woman who had a decades long friendship and romance with the King of Pop, and seven years after his passing turned her diaries into a book titled, Michael and Me.
Get over yourself.
Hear me out, will ya? When I was first approached by veteran publicist Lynn Jeter, to review ‘Michael and Me,’ I had the same apprehension as many of you. Afterall, how easy would it be for some twit to fabricate a story about a romance with the world’s biggest star…after he died and couldn’t refute it!
I was prepared to not like it, or HER, at all (and would later tell her this)! The invitation to review the book came with a package that included several reviews that had already been written. But I trashed them without even looking (still haven’t!) as any writer worth his or her salt relies on her own thoughts and this writer didn’t need help from anyone.
So I read and reviewed the book. And if you haven’t already, you can read that reviewhere. But afterwards I felt I had to interview Shana Mangatal. I felt a connection with her. Not only because many of the things in her book checked out against my own personal knowledge, the history of the times, etc., but because we both shared a rare, yet similar relationship with larger-than-life men.
I, with another celebrity…icon.
I purposely chose to write about my interview with Shana on ThisNthat, a blog site that would allow me, as a writer, the freedom I don’t have while writing a review; or writing on a site such as EURweb.
One thing Shana and I understood from the onset of that interview is, with all due respect, these kinds of stories will not be believed by many. Innately, people just don’t believe things like this can happen. There probably isn’t a tween girl alive that hasn’t dreamt about meeting their celebrity crush, and even marrying him. Shoot, these things don’t really happen, right?
*I contemplated deeply before deciding to write this personal experience article. But I have learned that when I take “me” out of the equation, and insert “us” instead, I am no longer deadlocked on what to do. This also enables me to actively participate in my intent –which, when it comes to my work as a writer at least, is always an authentic attempt to teach, learn, or gain a greater understanding of something. Thus, by putting this out there publicly, I know that others also share these thoughts but may not have a forum; and others still, those who have personal experience, can teach or share. With this editorial article, I hope to open a dialogue. An intelligent dialogue that lends itself to articulate communication versus name calling, or homophobic responses. If that is the only way that you can communicate or respond after reading this article…don’t.
As an entrepreneur and former artist, and well-traveled person, I have always had opportunity to meet a variety of people, including children, on a regular basis. I have also humbly accepted the reality that I have one of those personalities that apparently puts people at ease; albeit at times too much, too quickly, and they begin to feel a sense of trust that may lead to TMI (too much information). This is what happened recently, when I encountered a mother and daughter of approximately 9-years old. After about 10 minutes of great conversation the child, obviously listening to what her mother had just said, jumped in and asked me “Miss, how come so many men are changing into women…Didn’t God make any real men?”
Obviously caught off guard, I often have some wisdom-based answer in my side pocket, I found myself dumbfounded. All I could do was look at her mother, then back at her and respond, “Of course He did!” (Insert nervous giggle).
I wish I could’ve said something…different. Better. Deeper, yet palatable for her curious young mind.Continue reading →
Inpart 1of the EURweb exclusive interview with dynamic performer Moya Angela, who just knocked the part of character “Effie White” out of the park with a stunning performance, in the Valley Performing Arts Center production of “Dreamgirls, the performer spoke of her growth in the role; and described that growth as “Act I Effie” and “Act II Effie.”
The production ended on May 8, as part of a special 4-performance-only contract, but audiences are probably still talking about it.
When EURweb senior editor and resident theater critic, DeBorah B. Pryor, spoke with Angela during a telephone interview, she asked her about her approach to the role and character that audiences worldwide have come to have great expectations for. She especially wanted to know how she prepared for what Pryor referenced as “the song” — the one that has become the signature of the production.
MA: When I first played the role I had my heart broken. I was young…and still making really ridiculous decisions in relationships and I was just always angry and now, I’m just like, I’ve experienced more. I’ve been through a lot more. I’m more patient with myself and people and with my artistry in general. And I’m more confident.
And the song?
I even sing it differently now. Before, it was harder for me to sing because I was just trying to be superwoman and get everything perfect. But now its like, I realize I don’t have to sing everything ‘triple forte’ and I can color the notes differently because of what I’ve been through and make better choices because I’m older.
You can’t act Effie, you have to play Effie. And I learned that too. Like, you have actors who are acting onstage, and then you have actors who are actually the characters onstage…It’s not the kind of character you can just act. I can’t go through the motions and make you guys think that I’m going there. I have to ‘go there’ or else it doesn’t work.
And now, in part 2 of the interview, Angela continues the conversation and even shares what went down when she finally got to meet the “original Effie”…Jennifer Hudson! Continue reading →
*Words have power. But you already know this, right? But words come from thoughts, and thoughts are shaped by perception and perception comes from two things: personal experiences and what information we are fed. The information we are fed often comes from what we seek out; and ultimately, what we choose to believe.
This is more than just a lesson down the memory lane of dichotomy. There is an actual point to it. Why do we, as black people say (or think), “Is it because I’m black?” or affirm, “It’s because I’m black, right?”
Any and every “bad thing” that happens to us, when we are dealing with a person of Caucasian or any other descent, brings that “because I’m black” thing out.
The mere assertion suggests there is something “wrong” with being black.
Personally, I have always detested that stance. I guess that’s why I never took it. Not that I ignore feelings that I receive as racist being anything but that, it may be a natural arrogance on my part. I don’t know, I just always thought of it more as the way I presented to you:
Not “because I am” but “because you are.”
If it is arrogance I fully embrace it in this instance and consider it a gift. Because I don’t want to harbor ANY feelings (hidden or out loud) of being less than…especially since being black is something I can’t change. Nor want to.
But I do cringe whenever I hear my people saying this. In ALL of its forms. It’s subliminal…any negative comments, including those posted oftentimes on the EURThisNthat and EURweb reader boards, speak to this “because I’m black” mindset – whenever someone says something dramatic, negative, or even what others may consider “wrong” – not far behind will be comments in some of those “other forms.” The “we never support,” or “because we’re black,” or whatever. I notice “Is it because I’m black” or “It’s because I’m black right?” never follows anything of a positive nature.
*By now viewers who have seen the first two episodes of the new Tyler Perry television drama, “If Loving You Is Wrong,” on OWN may appreciate why it set a ratings recordand debuted as the #1 show on the network – pulling in a record 1.93 million viewers. Now viewers get to meet the actors behind the hit show. Conceived, written , directed and executive produced by Perry, a young, energetic cast is behind this new adult-drama series, which premiered last Tuesday on the OWN Network. Continuing his tradition of troubled relationships, hidden agendas and colorful characters, the show promises a season filled with lustful and lively scenarios that every-day folk can relate to. After watching the first episode, I’m guessing some of the thoughts that may have entered your mind ranged from, “Oh no he didn’t,” to “How can a b*tch be that naive?” to “Oh hell no!”
EURThisNthat editor, DeBorah B. Pryor, joined other media colleagues by personal invitation to watch the first episode of “If Loving You Is Wrong” at the beautiful OWN offices in Los Angeles (Oprah was in Atlanta preparing for her upcoming tour, which officially began last weekend!) We watched the episode alongside the cast, who were also seeing the show for the first time. Speaking with them afterwards on how they felt about what they saw, the uniformed response seemed to be that, “It was just as much fun to watch as it was to work on.” Continue reading →
*It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what sent the Planet Hollywood audience at The Jacksons show in Las Vegas into frenzy so quickly. At the time of this writing, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon were in the second week of a 40-date show of their RockTellz & CockTails residency.
It could’ve been the pose each brother struck while standing in silhouetted silence behind the sheer, picturesque screen as seen in the picture below. Or the dramatic thump that landed on our ears as each step lit up when the brothers’ descended in unison.
Then again, maybe it was that “Superhero” stance that Jermaine does. You know – the one with the clinched fist, arm outstretched and slightly raised, which happens instantaneously when that awesome hook to “Can You Feel It?” comes on! Yeah, that one in the picture directly below. Continue reading →