2020 has been a wild year and it’s not even over yet! I know I was one of those people who went into 2020 full of excitement, my planner filled with shows I was going to be in or host, I mean I had plans on top of plans! But you know what they say – we make plans and God laughs.
I enjoyed a good 2.5 months before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the DMV area. Suddenly I was working from home – something I’d always dreamed of! Or so I thought. All my planned live shows were cancelled. And everything was moving online. Virtual exercise. Virtual meetings. Virtual comedy shows. Virtual, virtual, virtual.
I was resistant at first, especially when it came to doing shows. I missed having an audience. I missed hearing their collective laughter. I missed that excitement, that electricity. Me being on stage, being adored. In other words, the virtual way was not good from my Leo ego.
But as the other saying goes – adapt or die.
Well die might be a little harsh in this instance. It was more like, adapt or be stuck in the house with nowhere to go and nothing to do because everything is closed and even if it’s open – it’s a pandemic outside – stay yo ass in the house!
So I slowly came around. I did my first full stand up comedy set virtually. I participated in several virtual storytelling shows. And one thing that I realized instantly was the reach and the power of virtual. Suddenly people from all over the world could tune in and watch you perform. And bonus, you can bring people from all over the world to perform!
In July I did a virtual show with Story District called ‘We Have a Situation.’ I told a story about trying to get a cute hairdo only to have to spend hours stuck at the hairdresser as the stylist went through personal drama on top of personal drama. It was funny and as someone commented, “VERY BLACK!” My response was, “I know! I would love to do a show featuring Black women about our beauty salon/hairdresser experiences.”
And then I thought about it and the creative spirit tapped me on the shoulder and said, “you should do that show!”
- Because everything is virtual now so you don’t have to worry about trying to find a space, pay for the space, get people to leave their house to come to the show, etc. etc.
- You don’t have sh*t else to do
And so I’m doing that show! I’m producing and hosting a storytelling show, Pressed: Stories About Getting Your Hair Did on Wednesday, October 21 at 7 p.m. (EST). The show will feature seven women who will share personal and true stories about the good, bad and ugly about getting your hair did.
I’m excited!! I’ve been coaching and working with the women on their stories and they are all AH-MAZING! They are funny, and poignant and insightful and did I mention funny. Each story is different, but relatable especially if you’re a Black woman who has spent any period of your life stuck in somebody’s hair salon, under somebody’s dryer, in somebody’s chair.
During this process, I have been thinking a lot about the Toni Morrison quote:
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
I have been thinking about how it goes beyond just books, but applies to anything you want to see in the world – especially in the creative arts. I have truly enjoyed storytelling and doing standup comedy these past couple years, but it has been very white. White performers, white stories, white audiences. And that’s fine. I can adapt, I can tailor my stories, I can code switch and on.
But sometimesssss I wanna tell a really Blackity Black Black story or joke that only Black folks will truly understand. Black women, especially cause that’s my tribe. My squad. My forever boos. And I didn’t see that in the world and I wanted it in the world so I decided to make it happen.
I hope you will join us on Wednesday, October 21, for a night of joy, laughter, and fun. For a break from the weight of this world. For some relief from this pandemic. For a night celebrating Black women and our stories, our shine, our glow.
RSVP here to get a link to the show.