Friday, February 06, 2009

Wanda's Picks Radio February 6, 2009

Learning Curves
This morning was amazing! Pearl Cleage called in to speak to the artistic director of Brava and cast of the play currently on stage there, Song for Coretta,! The playwright doesn't fly, so she isn't able to see the show in person, she said. It takes a week to travel from Atlanta to San Francisco. I wonder if this is by train, bus or car?

I missed the confirmation email she'd sent, because I was having trouble signing in. The website would not recognize my phone number, and it was getting close to showtime. I was like AWWWW!

I hate to use the cell, but I had not choice. So a little after 9 a.m., I'm listening to a comment from one of the guests, and I see a number I don't recognize, but I patch it in anyway, and I hear this voice asking, "Can anyone hear me, it's Pearl Cleage." Needless-to-say, the women on the air, including this one, go wild!

The learning curve here is: "Don't be afraid to ask for what you want." I did and look what happened, one of my favorite living writers, Pearl Cleage was on my radio show! I'm like, oh my goodness! It doesn't get any better.

The second learning curve was, don't invite casts from two plays on the air at the same time. It gets confusing.

Another thing I learned today was the importance of being able to match the phone number with a name. I was so confused today during the second interview. There was a lot of static and feedback --I had to ask guests from one theatre company to hang up and call back in 10 minutes when the other company finished talking. The interview became a little more manageable after that.

The interview with Meklit Hadero and Gabriel Teodros regarding the ensemble, "Nefasha Ayer," went well. I wish we had another 20 minutes to play more music. I didn't go to the Black Health Summit this afternoon either. I am tired (smile). I wasn't sure if Gabriel's song sounded louder to the listeners than it did to me while I listened. It didn't, I noticed when I listened to the show later. I should have saved it at another level, but I didn't know it would play so low. The closing song has better volume.

Learning curves.

I missed an appointment to preview an art exhibit opening tonight...I will be at Wicked with my daughter. Kamal's show opens at Nonesuch Gallery on Broadway near 28th Street. I missed the opening of the Tenderloin Black History Month Theatre Festival last night, although I don't know when or how I could have fit it in (smile).

The 19th Annual African American Celebration through Poetry at the West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline Street, is tomorrow afternoon, 1-4, and I didn't write a new poem yet. I have to work on this. I also have to go shopping and figure out who can tape the show for me.

I went to see Hank Jones Trio at Yoshi's last night and left the club after midnight. All the lights were out and the music was bumping in the lounge where youth were dancing and drinking. I walked through some of them hanging out in front of the club smoking. One man had on this awesome shirt with Bob Marley on its front. I tried to take a photo of the back of the shirt and he posed for me.

I have an interview with Mr. Jones at 6:30 this evening. He will be in LA.

Between classes yesterday I drove to Lake Merritt and walked, did my 30 knee bends. My pants were too tight to stretch. It started raining really hard and then it stopped, thank goodness. I took some photos on my way back to the car. I called the series, "open spaces." I was looking for framed open space in open space. I was trying to illustrate a metaphor about fluidity. We are only stuck when we forget to take our hand out of the trap--fingers can be sown back on, our foot out of the shoe, which is stuck in the glue...we always have a choice,we are not is abut mobility...keeping everything in motion or maybe not.

It could be a Gemini thing...the motion, but I know I can't allow myself to get stuck in anything.

When I got back to the college yesterday I was a bit wet. After my shift ended in the Writing Center at 3 p.m., I sat there for another three hours.

As I was leaving, I saw the former head librarian, Mary Kay, she retired almost five years ago and she looks great! I took a photo of her to reflect on when I feel like the time is too long...she is my light at the end of the tunnel. She and Arvis and I spoke about Obama and what we were doing on January 20.

This was a busy week. I hosted the Black Faculty Meet and Greet on Tuesday. I thought, as I contemplated not going to Yoshi's.

Tonight I want to see Sister-I-Live at Ashkanzez. I'd also like to see Ledisi. Yoshi's in Oakland had to add a third show Sunday early evening, Feb. 8, at 5 p.m. That's 7, 9 and 5! More power to the sister!

I have to get to Black Choreographers Here and Now too and then there is my brother's birthday this weekend--where does one fit it all in? I can't get to the Tenderloin Theatre Festival this week either. I am really disappointed. My only consolation is that the Lower Bottom Playas will have a production, February 22, at Prescott Joseph Center in West Oakland.

Did I say I need to write a poem?

Another learning curve is to note when I invite someone on the show. I can't remember who I was considering for the rest of this month. I know I wanted Kevin Epps to talk about "Black Rock," a segment on Haiti, the Black Comedy Expo this coming week, artists Hilda and the other artist at the Rae Louise Hayward gallery at the Women of Color Resource Center. I have to get to Richmond to see the Art of Living Black. I wanted to get cast from My Children, My Africa, Gem of the Ocean, the tribute for Lanier Pruitt, Michele's gig, Irma Thomas, Lou Donaldson, Little Jimmy Scott, Mable Jones again to talk about her books, the Women in Hip Hop special, Kamal, the ITVS folks, the Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Cicely Tyson, Esperanza Spaulding, some shows coming up at The Intersection for the Arts, Rokia Traore.

I wonder when Ave's funeral is? I wonder if my cousin, Della, was buried this week back home in New Orleans? I haven't called anyone to inquire.

Happy Birthday Bob Marley! A Belated Happy Birthday Langston Hughes. Happy Birthday also to my brother Fred Batin and friends: Sister Geri Abrams, Portia Anderson, Raymond Nat Turner, Jamal Ali and all other Aquarians.

Program Schedule
8-8:30 AM
Laura Elaine Ellis and Kendra Kimbrough: Black Choreographers Here and Now, opening tonight at Laney College in Oakland and continuing in San Francisco at Dance Mission next weekend.

8:30-9 AM
Ayodele Nzinga and Geoffrey Grier re: The Tenderloin Theatre's Night at the Black Hawk: 2/5-7 & 2/12-14, at the NMTL/CBD Community Center, 134 Golden Gate St., in San Francisco.

They are joined by the cast of Ellis Berry’s Production of “MOSES,” a dramatic, inspiring and powerful stage play about the life of Harriet Tubman. Starring Yehmanja Houff as Moses, opening at the Malonga Casquelourd Theater 1428 Alice Street in Oakland, Friday, February 13 @ 8:00 p.m., continuing through the weekend, two 8 p.m. performances and a Sunday matinee. Tickets are $20.00 for age 18 and above and $10.00 for youths 17 and below. All youth tickets are sold at the door the night of the performances only. For further information please call Herma Jean Gardere at (510) 904-8520.

9:00 AM
A Song for Coretta by Pearl Cleage, directed by Victoria Erville, at Brava for Women in the Arts!, 2789 24th Street, SF, through tomorrow, Feb. 7. Visit

9:30 AM
Nefasha Ayer or “The World that Travels”: with guests: vocalist, songwriter Meklit Hadero and her cousin, MC, Gabriel Teodros. The ensemble hits tonight, 2/6 and tomorrow, 2/7, 8 p.m. at Brava on the main stage.


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