Friday, November 21, 2008

A Friend of Mime

So, I have one more thing to add to the list of things I've done and you haven't. Let's review the list: I've met a monkey, served on the panel to determine Indianapolis' best wings, watched a boxing match with Mickey Rourke (at his house with 3 other guys), ate mystery meat stew made by the locals from a big pot in Afganistan, went to a South African precinct after my friend got punched (long story), had high tea at the Penisula Hotel in Hong Kong, the list goes on...
My latest conquest? I had a conversation with a mime. That's right, a mime in costume with make-up on, spoke to me. I was at a commercial audition and he spoke to me in the bathroom. I think it still counts because he was in costume. After he spoke he gave me a look as if to say..."Doh!"

ME: Too late. You spoke already. Save the trapped in the box routine for someone who hasn't heard your voice...Larry.

People are usually comfortable around me. I'm just easy to approach I guess. Case in point: an elderly Japanese lady, who didn't speak English, came up and asked me for the time...In Little Tokyo!

Maybe I just look like someone who knows what time it is.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Century Club

Did you know that just because you're 100 years old and it's your birthday doesn't mean you necessarily get a shout out from Willard Scott on the Today Show? I was shocked too. I figured, there's not that many people who make it to that milestone so the Today show big up must be a right of century passage. That's not the case. I was watching recently and Willard Scott was doing the Smuckers, old as dirt, role call and several of the people had made several attempts before being chosen. One lady was 104 and on her fourth try she got the nod and the mention on Today. Four times!?! What if this lady was hanging on simply to get her moment of glory? What if she was ready to let go and see all her friends in the sweet hereafter but had to stay alive because the one thing she wanted above all else, to hear Willard Scott utter her name, kept alluding her.

Edith Beckford from Spokane Washington: Everything on my body hurts. I take 40 pills a day. My pills take pills. Why won't Willard Scott say my name so I can rest and see my dear Seymore again?...Apple sauce? Again?!

Reaching 100 should be like pre-schoolers playing soccer....Everybody's a winner. And if the segment has to run long then take some of Roker's minutes. Or lose the weather all together*. The weather is everywhere. At this point, how could you not know the weather? It's on the bottom of screens, on the internet, the radio...I'm sure in a few years the option of having the current weather display in your eyelids will be available.
Let's make room for everybody in the Century Club to get a shout. As long as we don't cut the Los Angeles local weather in the morning on NBC. Elita Loresca can take up as much time as she wants.

* I love me some Al Roker so i'm not suggesting totally cutting out good ole Al.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Can

Well, I’ve lived to see a black president. Someone cue the flying pig. It’s rare that someone can fully inspire simply by the example they set. President-Elect Barack Obama is truly that person. I’m proud of America for trying something new. The definition of insanity, as defined by Einstein, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. And why not try that new thing when it’s such a glaring beacon of positivity, tolerance, intelligence and consistent excellence.

This historic victory inspires me not only to believe but also to work harder. They said Barack wasn’t black enough. Then they said he was too black. Readers, I’ve been labeled not black enough. Being from the Coney Island section of Brooklyn that label has always bothered me. Have I not endured enough to get a pass? I hope to not let it bother me anymore. I’m just going to go about my work with conviction and love.

To my black brothers and sisters, we now have license to be great without the worry of not being black enough. And for my black brothers and sisters who think keeping it real means being scary, loud or "hard"…does it? Our great grandparents knew how to act. In fact they had to know how to act. Their safety depended on it. Not everyone can be as articulate as Obama but we can all be our own personal best and care for our fellow man.

Born a minorty?......Not a problem
No dad? ..............
Not a problem
Funny Name?..........
Not a problem

You can overcome it all through love, hard work and embracing people from all walks of life. I think this can be applied to any endeavor or profession.
And to white supporters and all other non -black supporters. Thanks for the faith you have shown. Like all other social progess in our history it would not be possible without the support and sweat of progressive white folks who choose to be inclusive, even if that means catching flack from friends and family. Doing the right thing even when it doesn't immediately benefit you is the true sign of a just person.

I’ll step down off my soapbox. I'm not sure why I wrote an acceptance speech but it came to my heart and I typed it out. Sorry if a bit of self righteousness oozed out. It's not my normal way. But there's nothing normal about this day. Ice Cube put it best :"Today was a good day."

This momentous occasion has also inspired me to write my manifesto (more on that in the future.) I hope this inspires you to do something you have wanted to do for a while.