For as long as I can remember, I've always loved to go into character.
When I was in middle school, I was plucked to play Harriet Tubman in our school play. That day on stage, I realized something, I love acting, and, I was a good actor. I was so good playing Harriet Tubman, that when I looked out at my teacher's and classmates faces, I didn't recognize the looks on them. I had never seen them look at me like that before. They were dumb-founded....They were impressed...They didn't recognize me either. After the play, teachers said, "Wow, Harriet Tubman spoke through you." My classmates simply said, "Wow"
I can't recall the exact circumstances that unfolded, for one of the most shy kids in school getting to play Harriet Tubman, as it was the coveted lead role. But I got it. I suspect my drama teacher was woke enough to step out of the popular box and try something unexpected. At 48, I know that God orchestrated that day and the role I would play to show me the gift I left heaven with...
It's funny, everything I've ever done on my journey, has proven to be a support system for my GIFT. I started as a loner. In that role, I was able to standby and observe human nature - understand character and the roles people play. After being a loner, I became a model. A model that no agency would sign. In that period of my life, I learned how to market myself. Having mastered marketing, I needed to take a class in people study. I could write a book on how being "Mama Doll" has taught me human nature and placed me smack dead in the middle of every personality trait God ever produced. I mean every last one of them. Seriously!
My Life has taught me how to be funny, how to be sensitive, how to love, how to be tough in love, how to reveal one's true character and the sometimes long journey to building character - for hue and for me. After eleven years, I'm bored to tears. Yes, I'm doing "pretty...philanthropic" important work for others. I'm out here helping The Black Dolls live their best lives, feeding souls - literally and spiritually, and make dreams come true for hue. Make no mistake, I am thrilled to be Mama Doll, Founder of The Black Doll Affair. In that role I am changing lives and loving on beings. I am doing God's work.
But the fact is, I am bored. Because I am not using the other Gift God has for ME.
Yesterday, bored to tears, I said a simple prayer: "Dear God i know that you've been able using me. Now, I am ready to use my Gift. Walk with me and show me the way.
"Character sleeps comfortably in its mysterious world, until awakened with lively energy."
Now, here's how God works. This morning at sunrise, I was awakened by a song that I used on a website I created eleven years ago. Inspired, I got up and logged on to somewhatofacharacter.com After turning the pages in time, I was inspired to bring back to life something I was going to do, BEFORE I founded The Black Doll Affair, a stage play called: Life on Skit Road.
Meeting Tyler Perry ....
When I first got to Atlanta in 2006, I had decided I was going to FINALLY use my gift. Speaking with my sister Sherri, I said, "I know I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do. I feel like I should be acting. She confirmed it and said, "Dana, that's exactly what you're supposed to be doing. Then she paused and said, "You've always been "Somewhat of a Character." When she said those words, I stopped in my tracks and created "Somewhat of a Character Actors Group." It resonated with me. It wasn't long before I had created the website and organized my first stage play. But then, something happened. The acting community wouldn't let me in. After all, so many have spent their lives trying to get on stage and act. Who was I to come in and upstage them? I knocked on door after door here in Atlanta's acting community. But, no one would let me in.
One morning, before daybreak, I got up to run in Piedmont Park. I ran into Tyler Perry. Having been a celebrity publicist, I KNEW the annoyance of trying to just live, with fans all around. But, as he ran towards me, with him and I the only two around, two runners in the morning dusk, I took off my headphones as he approached. I wasn't sure if he would take of his headset to stop his run and talk to me. He did. I spoke. "Tyler, forgive me for stopping you. I used to be a celebrity publicist, so I know better. But, I've just created an actors group and I so I consider this divine order. I'm Dana. I just wanted to stop you and tell you how proud I am of you. You did it! I'm trying to do it to." He spoke, "What are you trying to do and what's the name of your Actor's Group?" I said, "I'm trying to get all these characters out of me - lol. My actors group is called "Somewhat of a Character Actors Group" and it focuses on the characters that live inside us - like Madea lives inside of you. Like Ol' Otis lives inside of Martin Lawrence. Like Mudbone lived inside of Richard Pryor" We laughed. He said, "That's good. Don't give up. I know I'm going to hear about you one day. Don't give up, Dana." I thanked Tyler for his time, talent and kind words of inspiration. He shook my hand and two runners in the park separated in the morning dark.
I gave up ....
Nobody would "play" with me and I gave up. Then one day, I was watching the Oprah Winfrey Show, and saw Kiri Davis' re-conduct the Doll Tests and the rest as they say is history. Or in this case, YOUR STORY.
Character sleeps comfortably in its mysterious world, until awakened with lively energy."
I'm ready now. Remaining YOUR Mama Doll, I have decided to "awaken my characters with lively energy. Hue's with me?
Calling all Black Doll Affair members who are actors and or want to help as a producer in our next Black Doll Affair Experience: "Life on Skit Road"
We're going to create a stage play, "Life on Skit Road" and put it on the market! Then, we'll see where that takes us...discover where God will direct this gift.
God works in mysterious ways....
Eleven years into The Black Doll Affair, I now have a built in base of actors and audience members. With Emmy Award winning
actors, film and television writer, director, and producers, such as
in the family as Honorary Dolls,
I am NO longer in need of Atlanta's snobbish acting community to let me in. As usual, I'm not seeking permission to be me. God has said "GO" and with those family members in tow, Black Dolls & Brothas, let's go!
Come one, come all!
From concept to opening night, this play will not die to stage fright.
NOT FOR HIRE CAST CALL:
THIS IS NOT A PAID GIG!
THIS IS FOR FUN, CREDITS & EXPOSURE. THIS IS FOR THE EXPERIENCE OF LIFE AS A DOLL, IN A WAY WE'VE NEVER APPROACHED! ALL ABOARD!
Casting Call by The Pretty Agency
@prettyagency ~ theprettyagency.com
We're casting all levels. Whether you've been in the business all your life or decided to after reading this!
Set Designers - The Pretty Agency
Creators and composers of original music.
This is going to be BIG.
God has said GO. Remember, I said so.
We're going places. Stick with me kids,