what in the sam hell am i doing?
i quit catering to pursue a career in the NY theater scene?

i wasn't
i'm still serving
rich bitches! (...see May post)
i've hoodwinked my own damn self.

i've decided in the past few weeks to switch gears. i have the NY public school system and the projects of Brooklyn and Harlem to thank for this. after working with kids for the past few years, i've realized the wealthy theater goer doesn't really benefit much from me.

..if i were to ever be so lucky to land Aida or Nala or Maima (yes, i really want this role in Eclipsed. i've chased it. no more.), i'd
entertain rich bitches for 2 hours of their lives.
..but if i really delve into the depths of my soul and ask myself why i do what i do, it's not for them. it's for those who wouldn't otherwise be exposed to theater. exposed to their lives onstage. exposed to another ways of fully and freely expressing themselves.
..the underprivileged. the needy. the poor. whatever we call them. just
not the weathly.

call me poor-elitist. so be it.

i'm all over the place, i know.
my point is this: the recession has afforded me time to breathe. to analyze what i'm chasing. i've been speaking with friends whose work i admire.
and i've decided to collaborate with two of them. on two separate projects.
and hopefully more in the future.
and they won't be for rich bitches.
(though i love ya'll. *pound* to all my


catering is looking awfully tempting..

i had an audition last week at 10am for the a new musical about a well known african american performer.
"this is something i could really see myself doing," i thought.
got the sides, picked a song.
spent a good deal of time and missed a friend's show the night before to memorize the sides.
did some research on the character.
my manager wrote in an email, "let's book this one." and i thought, "he's never said that before. surely, this must be a sign. i think i have a good chance at this."

the day before the audition, i got a call that my appointment was moved to 1pm.
it was a bit of a problem because i'd bought a ticket out of town for 11:30am.
but, as we actors
always do, i made a sacrifice to accommodate everyone else but myself.

the next day, i packed and headed to the 1pm audition, vocally warmed up and off book.
put on my special dress and shoes, and waited outside the room.

as i was sitting there, the casting director walks out of the room, looks at me strangely, and walks over to me. "hm. hi nedra. there must've been some kind of mistake", as she flips through some pages. "i had you down for 11:30. i don't know if something happened or..." (looking at me to apologize for being late, perhaps?)
me: uh...
her: i don't know if something happened...
me: um...i was told my appointment was at 1pm.
her: oh, wow. there must've been some kind of mixup.
me: (staring at her)
her: (awkward flip through pages) we'd see you now, but we just took a lunch break. everyone just left the room and won't be back until 2pm.
me: well i'll call my manager and see what happened.
her: ok.

she walks back into the audition room.
i'm pretty peeved. i postponed my trip for this. now i have to wait another hour?
i quickly get over it and call my manager. he suggests i ask if they can see me right after lunch.
she comes back out of the room.
her: so, the dance call starts at 2pm.
me: ok...
her: so, you can do the dance call and sing after.
me: (
very nervous about dance calls...) how long is the dance call?
her: about an hour. they'll teach for half an hour and you dance for half.
me: (pleasantly surprised..this sounds easy) oh! ok, great.
her: ok, great. thank you.
me: thank

i pick up my heavy ass luggage and go kill an hour.
i come back with my heavy ass luggage.
there's a hallway full of dancers.
leotards, character shoes, neat hair, stretching.
i try not to worry. i'm one of the first to happily scurry into the room. since the team hadn't met me yet, i wanted them to at least see me for a second more.

what ensued for the next
2 hours was one of the most embarassing, nerve-wracking, very very sad experiences of my auditioning career. if i went into detail here, we'd have a novel on our hands.
just know that halfway through, i was near tears thinking, "i really just want to leave. there's no way they're going to cast me in this show. why are they keeping us all here? can't they tell who they want by now?"
and i must share this moment:
after 30 minutes, we were all sweating. one amazing dancer in particular was sweating profusely. but she was so amazing and obviously getting cast in this show that it didn't matter. everytime we had 2 seconds to breathe, she'd say, "oh my gawd. i
so shouldn't have worn black velvet." we'd all be panting, staring at her. "i'm sweating like a pig! ugh! note to self: don't wear black velvet." so at about an hour and a half, she needed to redo her hair. i'm standing next to her. as she whips her hair around and around back into a neat bun, her sweat flings right onto my face and shoulders. "oh! i'm not getting my sweat on you, am i?"
at this point, i'm too emotional to talk to anyone. i might burst. so i smile and shake my head 'no'.
she keeps flinging. i experience her sweat. maybe it'll help me remember some of these complicated, fast ass dance steps.
it doesn't.

after 2 hours of hell and an annoying ass director barking at us, "come on, ladies! at least look like you're having fun! you look like you're thinking about the dance steps!!"
(well, dude, we ARE!!!!!! we just learned them 4 seconds ago!!! why don't you get your ass off that stool and dance your damn self!!!)


after 2 hours of hell, they tell us to wait in the hallway.
really? they're going to jeopardize more of my time and not pay me for it?
i'm pissed.
i go to the bathroom and cry, but try not to let it all out because i need to call a close friend to really let loose. (fyi, never get that luxury.)
i go sit in the hallway and wait. because they don't care about what we have to do with our lives. they just want to cast their show.
then i remember, i still have to sing and read sides!
should i go put back on my special dress?
no, i don't want to miss whatever it is they say to us.
15 minutes pass.
(really? at this point, i'm afraid i'll miss my last opportunity to leave town.)
the casting director comes out of the room.
"thank you all for being here. there are a couple of you i need to speak with (surely, this must mean me) and a few we'd like to see in the room."
she reads out four names.
she never looks my way.
my heart drops.
she whips back around, walks into the room and shuts the door.
i sit there.
the other girls pick up their things and quickly leave.
i sit there.
the four names she called walk into the audition room.
i sit there.
i look at my special dress hanging out of one of my heavy ass bags.
i sit there.
i stare at my heavy ass song book in one of my heavy ass bags.
i sit there.
i touch my sweated-out hair that i'd gotten up early that morning to get done for this audition.
i sit there.

then i figure, i'd better hurry so i can get out of town.


only the weak chase money

tonight i decided to stop catering.
yes, i cater. it's one of my 5 jobs. well, at least it was. i'd always hated it more than my coworkers, or maybe they were better at hiding their disdain than i was.

tonight, while serving rich bitches at a party on park ave, i thought to myself, "i can only take one more rich bitch shooing me away because she doesn't want an eggplant roulade with mozzarella and roasted peppers."

and when i told my captain i was "sick" (...what? i
was...), he told me he needed me because he was short staffed. never asked if i was okay, never offered anything, not even health insurance. i decided then that i was done. i was so sick of it all that i went to the bathroom and cried my eyes out sitting on a porcelain bidet.

i had an epiphany on that smooth operator: all this time, i've been serving the wrong people.

so! out with catering, in with habitat for humanity, nordoff robins and milliontreesnyc.
wtf have i been thinking? i was chasing money like all those
rich bitches instead of listening to my heart. i must admit, i had 2nd thoughts when i opened the tip envelope the Head rich bitch gave me for 3 hours of work. but i'll take it as a hefty parting gift.

tsk, tsk, nedra. only the weak chase money. they have no heart to chase anything else.

"Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama


blog title explained.

yes, jeffrey wright's face is on my vision board. as you know, every actor must have one. especially if you've got a vision.

i made sure to find a picture of him where he
was looking ---> straight into the camera, very earnestly. like he was open to me and eager to work together (as lovers, perhaps). trust, i'll alert you when that day comes.

i chose big jeff because of his artistry. the man's a genius (and i've heard a lot of crazy...er...genius stories). because of this, i've concluded that we belong together on screen.
i only want to work with geniuses, so after them i go.

this blog will follow said journey.
and--on a more serious note--my journey to fulfill my purpose as a performer, a giver and a lover.
up, up and away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!