Monday, March 23, 2009

How I Roll: The Revelation!

THE BEGINNING: It's crazy how life works. This time last year I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I lost my job I had for almost 9 years, I wasn't auditioning AT ALL during Pilot Season because I had booked a film 6 months prior, a looming SAG strike left everything hanging in the balance, THEN a $100,000 role in said film that completely collapsed a week before Production started & fell madly for someone I had a hard time trusting who didn't feel the same. 

I felt as everything was coming to an end, I felt the light in me died out. This was also the time Oprah was heavily touting Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth". I found the read to be very difficult & nothing was registering. I was all over the place. Knowing that instead of spending the rest of my life unhappy or searching for answers my gut was telling me the answers are in this book!

My girl Andrea who's a nut for all things creepy & is super adventurous (White people adventurous) was off to Honduras on a scuba diving trip with her younger sister Christina (that chick's a ROCKSTAR I tell ya.. in another blog to be exact). Mind you I had LOST my job, was about to lose my mind, on the verge of a devastating heartbreak, just about wiped my behind with a $100,00 check & flushed it down the toilet & I am NOT at all "White people adventurous" I asked them if I could tag along... BONKERS! 

The night I booked my ticket I realized this is what I needed while those girls go swimming with sharks... literally I could read the book. Absolutely NO distractions just me, the book, my ipod full of all of Oprah's A New Earth's podcast & lots of rice, beans & plantains (oh yeah another blog on that too).

ROATAN, HONDURAS: SO I left on the trip in April. I had this whole mantra, "when life hands you lemons squirt it on EVERYTHING!" Well... they didn't have any lemons on the Island just these super sweet & tangy limes. I squirted those puppies on Lobster, Fish, Beans, sucked on them with my tequila shots, pushed them into my beer & rubbed them into my hair on the beach & created Island Hooker Highlights... it was FAB!

I Swam with Dolphins, ate amazing food, read my chapters, watched the podcasts, snorkeled for the first time EVER (ridiculous... I'm from Miami, Black girls & their hair!), got burned to a crisp, spent a fabulous day at a spa then a horrific night with the spa director & reveled in this whole new concept to me about living in the now. When we returned I got a call from my homegirl from back home & former roommate, Michele. 

She had been calling me for a month & I refused to call her back because I felt every time I spoke to her I was like the bad news bears. I always had craptastic news to tell her & that made me feel awful. It's good to have friends you can depend on, but not to burden them when you are incomplete.

Feeling a glimmer of hope I answered her call. She asked what I was doing & I said nothing. She asked if I wanted to go with her to Vegas. Mind you still have NO job, NO movie & I went swimming with Dolphins in my thousand dollar weave just days before. I asked her when? She said in 3 hours I said "SCREW IT... I'm still packed count me in" I literally grabbed my suitcase full of bikinis & sandals & was off with her to drive to Vegas totally living in the now! 

We listened to Miami booty bass, hunted for Chick-Fil-A's & laughed the entire time... it was awesome. I had no idea what I was doing, how long I would be there & how I would get back, you see Michele booked a show out there & was moving there for 3 months.

Being resourceful Miami girls Michele didn't want the food she had left to go bad, she packed some cheese & a couple of produce in a small cooler & a box full of dry & canned goods... FIERCE! Well the Chick-Fil-A hunt was a bust & we got to her hotel famished! Mind you the whole way there we thought this was a regular suite with a kitchenette figured we'd share a bed or I'd sleep on the couch when we got there... NO BOO, this place was Slam-MING! 2 bedrooms, marble floors, full kitchen, leather & suede... Geez we ran around like we won the lottery. Total chick flick moment when we grabbed each other & jumped up & down!!! 

Laundry, central AC, swimming pool, tennis court all that was fantastic but my God has my back moment was when I walked into the kitchen. My girl Dichen had been harping on me for a year to put together a "Vision board" (yeah I read The Secret too, Oprah told me to). I literally devised one up the week before I left to Honduras... & VOILA there it was smack dab in the middle of this fantastic state of the art kitchen was the Wolf stove I put on my board. 

I knew I would be there for a while. I was like a newly divorced woman in her 40's at the vibrator store *snort* sorry wanted to be more inventive then thee 'ol "kid in a candy store" cliche... get the gist? Got it? Good! I emptied out the cooler & the box & got cracking. I took some cheese, pasta sauce, angel hair, summer sausage, pepperoni, corn, black olives & the spices they had in the kitchen on one of those corny spice rack/utencil holder & 2 peeps from the show came over for dinner... THEY ALMOST PASSED OUT from how damn good the grub was. They were surprised, I wasn't I'm a Haitian girl we make everything bomb out of nothing.

Quickly everyone was saying I should have a cooking show & plotting all sorts of ideas & themes I was just eating it all up & laughing. It felt good to be out of my head & doing something that I LOVE & sharing it with people who were so INSANELY appreciative & just flat out taking care of another person & not all worried about myself. We drank tons of wine & had seconds, even thirds & it was off to club bed with DJ Pillow spinning the hottest jams all night long.
Oprah is the ONLY person featured repeatedly on my vision board her & 


Michele & crew went off to rehearsals. I took the car went to the bank, took out $100 & found a Food 4 Less I bought enough food for a week & a half for the 2 of us. When I got home Michele called me & was like people were freaking out about our dinner & people want to come over for dinner that night. 

MIND you we are in Vegas..... a newly minted crowned jewel for foodie's around the world. Emeril, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay & the list goes on & on ALL have 5 Star restaurants up & down the strip! Nah... let's go over to Michele & Manouschka's for dinner from Food 4 Less *snort* That night I made Bistec Empanizado (A Cuban style chicken fried steak) & loaded Mashed Potatoes.... I think one of the dancers Kevin cried... it was awesome!

The next day Michele left me money & was like "you're on kitchen duty" I found a fantastic Organic market called Sunflower & went back to Food 4 Less & that's it EVERY night the crew came over to eat & even some mornings I packed them breakfast. It got larger & larger as the buzz about my culinary skills circled all around the cast & crew about these bombtastic dinners at Michele's crib & her girl that's stoked to cook & feed people. 

A week had passed. One day I decided to take the flat screen in the livingroom & face it into the kitchen, I discovered Food Network probably 2 months before & this was the week they had a Chefography Marathon... I don't know if it was the inspiring stories or the bottle of wine I had consumed that day but everything started to click.... things were coming together, hell just the week before I had strangers & one of my best girlfriends plotting my own cooking show. It was surreal. A fantastic moment.

So the long of the short, I am STILL jobless, not auditioning & am barely speaking to the Dude I swore to myself I loved... I'm lamping on the couch watching the news & they mentioned Oprah's coming to town, and if you've lasted this far into my ridiculously long story then you deserve to know my girl Michele & all my new found "Dinner Club" friends were dancing for Cher & Oprah was in town to interview her & Tina... I FLIPPED OUT!!!! 

I spent 10 days in Honduras with her on my ipod & reading the book she promised me would change my life, well not me personally but screw it, it's MY story she was talking to me!!! I called Michele immediately by that time she didn't even know about the Oprah Taping yet... we had the chick flick moment again this time over the phone! I BEGGED her for tickets, shoot I met my FAVORITE New Kid Jordan Knight because of Michele maybe she could get me to Oprah too. 

Alas she told me she couldn't she was brand new to the production & didn't really know the staff all too well. Deflated but not defeated I motored to find another way to get to the show. Yadda yadda yadda 3 days go by, I get a call from Michele "YOU'RE GOING!!!" HOLY CRAP MONKEY I'm going to be under the same roof as Oprah, Cher, Gayle AND Tina... if that doesn't whip my butt into shape I don't know WHAT WILL?!?!?!

I called my Mom she told me to tell Oprah all sorts of things I was like MOM I am NOT going to meet Oprah, my Mom doesn't listen so she just kept yapping away of all the stuff I should tell her. I then called my best friend Kenny, he too went on a tangent on what I need to tell Oprah again another person in my life that likes to go on & on. I had 1 pretty dress packed in my "beach bag" & 1 pair of Louboutins with me I got all dolled up & it was off to Ceasar's Palace. 

I remember walking backstage & wondering who's Starwagon was outside. Just a regular run of the mill Hollywood Starwagon you see on every set. I figured it was for Mark Steines from Entertainment Tonight because ALL week they ran promos of the Big Vegas show with Oprah, Tina & Cher! Such a random thought. SO moving along, the show was FANTASTIC... I had goosebumps, they all looked FAB! My well fed dancers were RIPPING it & I'm squealing like a schoolgirl & hanging on every moment of the day... until Cher wanted to re-record her performance segment for the third time. I was done.

I headed out & went backstage to wait for Michele & Lo & Behold.... literally HANGING out of the front door of the Starwagon barefooted was the Queen herself... I peed myself a bit! Walked quickly backstage & suddenly hit the brakes. I backed up went up to her & out of everything this woman has meant to me all of these years. Out of EVERY word of hers I joyfully hung onto & the years I literally imagined she was my own Mother & depended on her advice there was a plethora of things I could have thanked her for, my mind was blank & I heard my heart, I put my hand over it because I swore it was going to BURST out! Earnestly, I thanked her for the book A New Earth. That was it. 

All those years fantasizing & had a perfectly memorized Monologue of what I would tell her when I met her was gone like Elvis! I was REALLY living in my moment. She graciously wished me very well on my journey & said "how cool" is this whole experience? Mind you Oprah is the only person, place or thing that is on my vision board repeatedly. It was AMAZING. I thanked her again & swear I bowed my head to the Woman come to think of it & like the dork I am I skipped off backstage.

I opened the door backstage & a group of the LOVELIEST little older Black Ladies, smelling fresh & looking sharp proceed past me. Every single one made eye contact me & giggled & told me how lovely I was & I replied how absolutely FAB they all were, the last woman that wrangled all of these little Ladies required me to lift my head & there she was GAYLE! 

I squeaked "Hi Miss Gayle" & grabbed her arm... I TOUCHED GAYLE! We giggled & she liked my outfit but had to get all these little Dolls to a buffet probably... my girl LOVES to eat! I continued to walk backstage & then BAM with her hairdresser was Miss Tina herself still rocking the Louboutins she was jumping & kicking with onstage... sixty FREAKING Nine.... oh I was a step from going psychotic! I told her "you worked it in those Loboutins Girl" (I flipping called Tina "Girl" OMG) She & her hairdresser laughed & & she said "Thank You Darling". I couldn't believe it. Right then & there I felt like I was on my way.

Who'd a thunk after 3 weeks in Vegas I found my life's purpose. I can't thank Andrea, Christina, Michele, Dichen, Mom, Kenny, the "Dinner Club", Eckhart Tolle & OPRAH enough for that ethereal experience in Vegas. I had to honor every moment that transpired before then & realized they were perfectly packaged gifts from God & the Universe to get my act together. 

When you listen to the stories of Cher, Tina & Oprah they didn't lie about & become victims of circumstance. They fought long & hard to get to where they are & I was INVIGORATED. A little too invigorated. I jumped head first into finding a way to getting my own cooking show, I was full of hope, because it was the first time in a long time that I had any... Man a REALLY long time I was not prepared for the bumpy road ahead... more to come!

***Between My Headphones: My playlist I was jamming to as I wrote this***:
Simply Beautiful: Al Green
She's Only Happy In The Sun: Ben Harper
Always: Billy Corgan
Oceania [Kelis Remix]: Bjork
Me Gustas Cuando Callas (You Please me When Silent): Brazilian Girls
Pâle Septembre: Camille
Disappearing: One Chris Cornell
By Your Side: CocoRosie
Bigger, Stronger: Coldplay
I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You: Colin Hay
Cheers Darlin': Damien Rice
I Want You: Elvis Costello
Not Enuff: Love Faithless
Berekeke: Gerardo Azevedo
If You Want Me: Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
Criminal: Gotan Project
The Truth: Handsome Boy Modeling School
Crap Kraft Dinner: Hot Chip
Worth Repeating: Pâle Septembre by Camille, must've listened to it over & over for 30 straight minutes (I miss my dancers, ENJOY):

English Translation of Lyrics:
Pale September
like it's so far
the sky without ashes
it was time for learning
under the number of days until
the sun covered

A tender man
and the beginning of November
deaf with advances of love
but which evils did I undertake
to get excited about him?

Dirty December
the sky in its weight
did you know that the salt statues
have stopped waiting for you?

Pale September
did you hear the death knell I rang?

I love you forever
I'm spreading love

The seasons pass but gracefully
we pretend that they resemble what they were

But who is this man who fell from the tower?
But who is this man who fell from the sky?
But who is this man who fell in love?

Pale September
like it's so far away
the sky without ashes
it was time for learning

Brain Food/Ab Work: Daft Bodies

EVERY morning I scour youtube for the best video to make my day & given the current situation in the Country, laughter IS the best medicine. I post them everyday on Facebook & people LOVE them & appreciate the smile, decided to bring that tradition onto my blog... heck the brain needs food also & a laugh is always good for the Abs... speaking of Abs... these chicks have rocking bodies & INSANE memories... enjoy!