B. Talented~So You Think You Can Spit?

In Writer's Block on 15 June 2011 at 11:44 pm

 Stargate Log,

June 15th, 2011

Bwahahahahah I am beyond retarded. But…. I am more excited now than I was when I woke up this morning. Why, you ask? Because……

        It all started when I was just a twinkle in my mom’s eye and a wedgie in my dad’s butt. Okay, maybe not that far back. In all honesty…. it began when I got the message that I should try out for the B. Smith‘s Restaurant’s poetry competition.  Two different friends of mine hit me up and told me that I needed to make it into the auditions. I wasnt able to make it into the first day because I had to host an open mic poetry show out in Shirlington, VA….but I was able to make it to the LAST day to audition.

        I navigated my way from the Union Station Metro, a place that I had only been inside of twice and that was to take the Amtrak train to Philly to perform for my Aunt’s annual women’s event that she holds at the Philadelphia Inquirer. I had never actually been INSIDE and looked around at the Union Station shops and restaurants before. It had clearly never dawned on me to walk around and I certainly was unaware of the fabulous-ness that is B. Smith’s restaurant. Okay, clarification… I knew of the restaurant empire and I most DEFINITELY knew who B. Smith was…. I just didnt know that it was a location inside of Union Station here in Washington, D.C.  I was still in my work clothes and changed back into my heels to match my suit and walked into the dining area. The heat outside was enough to make anyone look countrified and fresh out of the fields. I mean, a woman is supposed to glisten, never sweat…..but honeeeeeeey…. I was sweating. I sat down and was immediately engulfed in the elegance of the establishment. The staff met me with smiles and helped me before I could get 2 feet into the vestibule. I like….. I like.

        Almost immediately Andres, one of the staff members/producers of this event ushered me into the room to audition. I performed, for both he and one of the Jolley Brothers, one of my classic poems Blackness 101. I got a good way into the poem when I was thanked and allowed to leave the room. That was all she wrote. Until……I got a call to let me know that I had in fact been selected to be a contestant in the competition. Go me! it’s not my birthday, but I’m going any way! To where? I don’t care! lol. I was just happy.

        So, Monday, June 13th, I attended our first meeting to get all of the rules and to warn us of any upcoming news. I learned, if nothing else…. time is important and being ON IT is even more important. I was lucky to have been there 20 minutes early so it didn’t apply to me but I made a mental note of it. I also learned that this would be a 7 week process once it got started. We would be paired with some pretty amazing musicians in pairs of 2. Rules of the game are that we will get a topic, have a week to create music and poetry and then perform on the following Monday. Dooms day of all the news is that if one person doesn’t show up, either the musician or the poet, or if one’s performance isn’t all that pleasing…. the TEAM gets chucked the deuces. WHY!!!!!!!! What if my musician gets a bought of arthritis in the middle of the performance but I ROCKED?! Or what if I slip up and forget my words and botch the whole experience? Is it fair to send the team home? Could it be voted on that one musician and one poet would go home but they would be voted upon individually? Oh no, my little voyeur blog reader. It stands! Come in as a team….. perform as a team…go down as a team. lol. Okay, so it wasnt my favorite part of the rules, but I sucked it up and made a mental note that I would have to threaten the first-born of my partner before every performance. I was prepared to be on my Rumpelstiltskin grind. Spindle, spindle shawty! lol.

        No, in all seriousness…. that rule made me understand what is at stake here and made me more determine to put my best foot forward. GAME ON!

        We got wind that there would be a press conference on Wednesday ( technically today, put rewind back to Monday and pretend today hasn’t happened yet) and that photos would be taken. Now, those who know me know that I am both a fashionista and a mutated tom-boy who just likes to be comfortable. Don’t ask about the mutation because then I would have to kill ya if I told ya.. just take my word on it.  So there I was Monday, looking like someone who was waiting next in line for Celie to pick through my tender-headed head. Yep, she would’ve gotten smacked in the mouth AGAIN by Danny Glover ( no, not Mister…..but Danny Glover himself) for not making me shut up either. Afro all dry and tilted in rebellious revolution screaming something not quite afro-centric…but ecentric just the same. As SOOOOOOON as I got out of that room, I called my glam squad. The hair, nails, and make-up had to be on point. My diva Ashanti agreed to do  my hair Tuesday night. Nancy was on feet duty just in case I wanted to wear open-toed shoes, and my #1 diva at the Mac Make-up store was on speed dial to get my colors right. This was a team effort if I ever saw one.

        Today, I went to work and got dressed in the bathroom. People at my job walked past me like they have never seen me before; eyes all bugged out like they just saw Tyra Banks. Okay… truth of the matter is, I don’t wear make-up to work. Who is there to impress? I get paid with or without it. But for this…. I needed to be better than my usual. And I must say that I was!

        After surviving a near death experience in a hot D.C. Metro un-air conditioned train…. I made it to the holding area before we took our group photos. It was a beautiful day outside and we got to take several photos for promo and the like. I saw Ms. B. Smith walk in and sit in the center chair before us and all I could think about was… WOW is she gorgeous or what?! Or what size shoes does she wear because she is rocking this ruby-red heel!? Although ADD in nature, I was more than happy to be standing where I was standing and soaking it all in. I don’t think that you understand! I had this feeling that my world was about to take a whole different spin.

        We walked back into the dining hall adjacent to the patio area and we got a chance to meet Ms. B. Smith as she addressed all of the contestants. Her spirit is BEYOND belief! As she talked to the crowd, I couldn’t help but think that she kept looking directly at me as she spoke. Maybe it was a figment of my imagination, but I swear y’all….she was looking directly at me. Her words hit my spirit. She told us to just believe. “Isnt that what Dorothy did?” she asked as she imitated Dorothy, clicking her red heels that I just LOVED! She told us that we should “follow your dreams. And they may not turn out exactly as you planned but they will be worth the effort.” She told us to work hard, and I felt that I knew I had to. Everything, and I meant EVERYTHING, she said resonated with me so loud and clear it was like one of those moments when you walk into church and the sermon is all about your situation. I almost felt compelled to looking around for the collection plate after she finished speaking because I felt somewhat delivered from any fear or reservations that I had about entering this process.

        The press conference began and everyone began to introduce themselves. Jeanie Jones, the Kitty of the City from 93.9 WKYS radio was there. Grammy nominated Carolyn Malachi was to be a judge. The  one of the Jolley Brothers and their sister, who just got off tour with Lady Gaga and is working on her own album, are judges. Face, a great producer and mixer is a judge. And last, but definitely not least, Love the Poet is the local judge. It was all surreal to sit there and hear everything that was going on. Love and Carolyn reiterated what Ms. Smith said about following your dreams, just in case you missed it the first time. Yes, this was the universe’s way of saying…. “you better do what it is that you were designed to do, fool!” And I heard it …..as i looked around expecting to see the ushers passing around the collection plates once more , but they never showed.

        Once the press conference was over we were ushered around to do one last brief interview with the cameras before parting our separate ways. I took pictures of Ms. Smith ( technically she is a Mrs, but I have yet to figure out how to call her by her marital name, but that is a whole other topic! Just know that she is happily married to a rather handsome, distinguished and dapper gentleman. You go, girl!). But then it dawned on me… girl, you have your own camera in your bag. I stood by the door as tray upon tray of DELICIOUS h’ordeuvres were paraded in front of us to sample. Trust me when a big girl tells you that you should try their food…. you should try their food! Shrimp with a pineapple sauce that you would kill for to find the recipe, deviled eggs better than grandma use to make, and something else that I was too busy enjoying to even remember what it was…. were all just wonderful. And as i savored the flavor or her creations, Ms. Smith was headed in my direction in all of her wonderful red attire and I had to be brave….this was my moment. “Excuse me, Ms. Smith, but may I take a picture with you” flew out of my mouth, not as abruptly as I feared but I doubt as delicate as I had rehearsed it in my head. “Why of course you can”, came out of her mouth about as dainty as a butterfly. I need to get some of that delicate expression… just beautiful. And I told her that too. She was in skin, natural hair, wonderful dress, the shoes that I was eyeballing like a thief on Crenshaw or Benning Road ( since we’re in D.C…..and no, I wouldn’t have robbed her but they were that cute!) and all the way down to her spirit….she was just beautiful. Lauren, one of the musicians, stopped and took the picture for us. She was in red and I in a burnt orange; something resembling the burnt sienna that Bob Ross use to use everyday after school on PBS. Or maybe not, but I just like saying burnt sienna.

        I mingled with a few other contestants, received some VALUABLE advice, and received more inspiration that I had ever prepared on receiving. I just thought that it was going to be another show. Boy, was I wrong or what! This is bigger than me. There will be four teams that make it to the finals on August 15th….and I don’t care who they are….just as long as I am one of them. I think that I have the skills to impress a few people, and to “step outside of my comfort zone” like Ms. Smith advised. This is more of a competition between my fears and my dreams. Point. Blank. Period. I just have to get it in my head. Ask myself, So….you think you can spit? I think I can spit……poetry. Yeh, I think I can spit.

         So….. stay tuned as I chronicle my journey throughout the B. Smith’s B. Talented competition. I have a feeling that this is going to be a ride I will remember.

B. Smith's B. Talented contestants & judges w/ Ms. B. Smith


~*My Mother’s Daughter*~

  1. […] aggression, fire and fight. UGH! I swear the universe is speaking to me right now! I wrote in my B.Talented~So You Think You Can Spit blog entry that the competition I am now a part of would be “more of a competition between […]

  2. This was awesome! Your command of words is incredible, I felt like I was actually in the room with you 🙂
    I wish you all the best, and am excited to hear more as you continue to advance. I’m rooting for you!!!

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