Saturday, July 21, 2007

Last 3 Movies

Rise Up and Shout, Standing-N-Truth, and On The Downlow were the last movies of the Outfest film festival that I saw today.

Rise Up and Shout - This film was pretty much pegged as a film about Gay Youth and their view of life. It was in documentary form. They filmed the audition process for a show that was being put on by Gay Youth to craft mentorship and a means of showing Gay Youth that they can be fabulous like those of the past. When looking at the ad for the film one would think that you would hear the voices of the diverse young gay community. However, that was not the case. The film focused much attention on 2 white guys (an Opera singing Drag Queen and Ex-Meth addict, prostitute boy with HIV) and 1 asian guy (His parents just didn't like the idea that he was gay). Although there were other young kids in the movie of African decent and 1 latino boy. The film only showed portions of their performance and them queening out in a local store. There were approximately 6 Black kids. Why the filmmaker choose not to tell their stories is probably something that you have already guessed the answer. He was white and even though the intentions of the film might have been to tell a story it's the same story we've always heard. The white side of the story. (We gotta start making our own movies more.)

Standing-N-Truth - EXCELLENT!!!! (Click the link to the left to go to the official website.) See some of what I experienced below. The film will touch you. Although only a short of this film was showing, in December 2007 Tim Daniels will be ready to show you the full length documentary. If you get the chance to see this film...PLEASE DO. You will as I said be touched!
Check out this video: Standing -N- Truth:

On the Downlow - Sigh. I was disappointed. It was waaay too long to discuss 3 different young Black men. 1 a homo-thug who only likes drag queens and fem boys, 1 an exconvict who talked about all the guys he had in prison and ends up going back to jail in the end. Then there's the bi-sexual young boy who begins coming out to a close girlfriend who says she already knew he liked guys and to his father who also says that things had been said about him and I love you anyway you are my son. So much more could have been said with this movie. I'm not sure what the message was supposed to be.


Oh Yeah. I saw the movie Blueprint last night that was playing during the Outfest Film Festival. I enjoyed the movie. It was a little artsy and much of the movie was left to speculatation. A lot happened between these two brothas in one day. It was however refreshing to see these two young men fall for each other without 1st consumating what might end the next day or day after. The brotha Nathan in the film was attractive to me. They could have centered the whole movie around his lips for me and I would have been satisfied.

At the question and answer session following the film it turns out the he Nathan(Damion Lee) is straight. I can still fantasize. LOL. Here's his myspace Truth Resurrected

Ledisi Returns!!!!

Ledisi's new cd (Lost & Found) comes out August 28, 2007. I have been waiting and waiting. I love her! The 1st time I saw her perform was on New Years Eve several years ago. She was the opening act for Rachelle Ferrell. Man you should have seen the crowd rushing to the table in the lobby after the show was over, hoping that she had a cd out there for sale. Unfortunately, she only had flyers at the time and you could only purchase her cd from her website. That night I got home and ordered it right away. I was not disappointed by her New Years Eve performance and when the CD arrived I was even more elated by what I soon heard.

Enjoy this clip of her from PBS's tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. I love good music!! In my next life I'm going to be a singer I just know it. I guess I'll have to start practicing remembering all the words to songs instead of mumbling through those I don't know. LOL

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tuesday, 9:00am Answers

It took less than 15 minutes for 20 people to get confirmation on what many felt in their guts. On Monday 2 meetings were scheduled for Tuesday. One meeting was scheduled with our Director (8:30am) and the other with our Manager (8:45am). 16 employees marched together to the 3rd floor almost in unison. 4 employees (including myself) waited at our desks our desks. I don't remember what I actually did during the 15 minute wait after the others departure. Maybe I was in a Zombie like trance clicking keys on my keyboard with gibberish exploding on the screen.

8:44am: It was time to go. I moved deliberately to arrive at the 3rd floor by 8:45am. As I walked down the corridor towards the conference room I noticed a brother walking past the scheduled room towards me. He was in a suit so I assumed that he was possibly interviewing, since we have had a business casual attire for about 5 years now. I spoke but didn't think much of his presence. Once the 4 of us arrived to the conference room all sat quietly awaiting our manager to speak. The conference room we were in is big enough to hold 50 people. When my manager began to speak it almost seemed that her voice echoed even though she spoke just in a manner that was barely audible. The other employees looked pensive as was I.

Then she said it..."The new organization of our group will consist of those at this table." She then begain to say a whole bunch of other things that I really don't think any of us heard. Then she paused and asked if there were any questions? I don't think that any of us thought we heard right. I asked so you are saying that the rest of our group is being laid off? I know it was a dumb question but I just had to hear it again to be sure. I guess I was hoping that she was going to tell me that the rest of the group would be working in another area. That wasn't the case. Then she said oh yeah and Jennifer (who was in this room) will be taking position in Switzerland. There really wasn't much more to ask or say after that. There were soft congratulations spoken to Jennifer from the other 2 co-workers. I said nothing (I already knew about that even though I manager didn't allow Jennifer to say anything about it for the past year). Jennifer replied with a mumbled thank you, looking like she was about to burst into tears. Then we quietly went back to our desks.

The 8:30am Room: I don't know what was said...but what I heard was that they all knew their fate as soon as they walked into the room and saw a stack of manilla envelopes on the table. How callus I thought. The longevity in that room ranged from 6-19 years. Once they left the conference room they were then instructed to meet with an HR representative on the 7th floor to go over their packages privately.

I didn't know anyone from my group would be on the 7th floor as I went to speak with a co-worker in Community Affairs. As I walked down the corridor to her office on my right I saw a co-worker who had just been informed. On Sept 21st you will no longer be an employee here in the HR interviewing rooms meeting with an HR Rep who reviewed their package with them.

It was as if I was walking through death row. I felt horrible seeing their backs through the slim windows on the sides of each small rooms door. After each co-worker completed thier review they left the building for the rest of the day.

It was like a ghost town. I got back to my desk and saw I had a meeting request from my manager in 15minutes. The subject of the meeting was "Discussion". Just like the other employees who asked who was scheduled in which meeting. I asked 2 of the remaining co-workers if they had been scheduled as well. When they said heart sank a little. Had there been a mistake and I was supposed to be in the 8:3oam Room?

It turns out that I had to sign a document that stated that I agreed to stay in the department and accept the position. I felt guilty thinking about my co-workers and almost didn't know how to ask my next question. Thank goodness my manager saw my discomfort and was able to finish my question for me.

"Why were you saved?" she said.

"Well yeah."

"Because you have the skills that will be necessary for the future of this organization. We will act as liasons between the business areas of the company and the organization that we will outsource the other activities to. Translation: People in India will be doing the jobs by reading scripts to aggravate the rest of the company and getting paid 3 times less.

The rest of the day passed slowly and quietly. Wednesay also passed slowly and uncomfortably as we were told not to bring up the subject of the lay-offs unless our co-workers wanted to talk about it. What the hell do you think we could say except I'm sorry? It was a very uncomfortable day.
Oh yeah that brother in the suit was not walking through the halls waiting for an interview. He was hired security in case of an incident. After the announcements were made he appeared on our floor until he was sure that all those notified of their release date and packages had left for the day. All were gone by 10:30am.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Tomorrow at 8:45am I'll be attending a meeting where I suspect I will hear the fate of some of my co-workers. Tomorrow announcements will be made to those who will be laid off. I'm feeling confident that I won't be one of them because I recently asked for a cornerstone to be performed on me. A conerstone is a study that is done to determine where you rank in salary. This is all supposed to be based on the industry you work in, your title, others salary in your company with the same title and your skill set. It's a well known fact that my company always pays lower than the average. At any rate they gave me some money so, I'm guessing that they wouldn't have given me the money if they were going to lay me off.

I feel a sad for my co-workers because I know some will be devastated by the news. Many of the employees at my company have worked there for 10-20+ years. I feel a little sad for myself as well because again there's another layoff which means that more responsibility will be diverted to me and those left.

I heard the song below on AOL Radio today and thought it would be appropriate for the occasion. Enjoy as life goes on.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The DL Chronicles

I went to my 1st movie at the Outfest Film Festival for this year. 1st I want to tell you it was quite a site to see so many beautiful black men and women. Ya see where I work and live I don't get to see that many black people. So it's always refreshing to see us especially in such big numbers. (yes and most were gay or lesbian) I wanted to bask in our beauty all night long but the film ended and it was time to move off of the busy corner of Melrose Ave and La Brea. I'll just wait to feel that feeling again at the next film on my list.

Tonight's movie was The DL Chronicles. The DL Chronicles 1st episode is what you might expect. A married man who has desires for a man and ultimately can not supress the desire any longer. I had the opportunity to see 4 episodes. The 1st 3 I saw at At the Beach (LA's Black Gay Pride) movie screenings. All were EXCELLENT and contained the type of acting and portrayals that were missing in Noah's Arc.

Each episode is a different story about different characters and situations. Each story shows the audience a glimpse of the struggle, pain and sometimes humor in the lives of men who are in some form hiding their inate desires for another man. The DL Chonicles will be offered on HereTV in September.

See the clip below for a look at a realistic portrayal of many people that we know.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

African Dispora Movies at Outfest

Just sharing some movies coming to Oufest starting this week in Los Angeles.

25 Cent Preview[CENTP] (USA, 2007, 90 mins)Features
Saturday, July 14th 7:00pmShowcase
Monday, July 16th 9:30pmLaemmle Monica
Edgy and brutally honest, Cyrus Amini's gritty cinéma-vérité drama is an unflinching yet compassionate portrait of two young hustlers cruising the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. Marcus, a smoldering dirty blonde surfer-type, is the protégé, best friend and sometime partner of “DotCom,” a seasoned street hustler and aspiring singer. When Marcus's troubled past resurfaces, their lives are soon changed forever. Bristling with authenticity, 25 CENT Preview crescendos to a moving catharsis.

The Believers[BELIE] (USA, 2006, 86 mins)Features
Wednesday, July 18th 9:30pmBarnsdall Theatre
Sunday, July 22nd 2:15pmDGA 2
Hallelujah - the world's first transgender gospel choir has taken the stage! THE BELIEVERS revolutionizes popular conceptions about faith, gender identity and sexuality. Director Todd Holland is granted intimate access as choir members open up about the pain - and joy - that has brought them together. Buoyed by the transcendent force of music, we witness people who are brave enough to be their true selves and we experience the healing power of acceptance in this moving film that quite literally sings.

Blueprint[BLUEP] (USA, 2007, 75 mins)Features
Thursday, July 19th 7:15pmBarnsdall Theatre
Two attractive young African-American college students are drawn to one another despite contrary personalities. As Keith's time in New York City nears its end, he meets free-spirit Nathan. Keith finds himself slowly opening to new possibilities BLUEPRINT focuses special attention on place and mood, eschewing traditional narrative for a fresh, intriguing approach to storytelling.

The DL Chronicles[DLCHR] (USA, 2007, 70 mins)Featurespreceded by Masquerade
Saturday, July 14th 9:30pmShowcase
Two new episodes of the smart, provocative series THE DL CHRONICLES introduce a pair of gorgeous men living secret sexual lives. Boo is an ex-convict who can't change his lying and cheating ways, while Mark faces the absurd reality of living on the downlow in his own home. Boldly dealing with the complex issue of men on the DL, these new episodes inspire discussion within communities of color while providing unadulterated, joyous entertainment..

Don't Go[DONTG] (USA, 2007, 60 mins)Featurespreceded by GIRLTRASH!
Saturday, July 14th 9:30pmDGA 1
A self-described “Melrose Place” meets “The L Word” meets “227”, DON'T GO is a highly entertaining pilot episode of a new ensemble dramedy that introduces a group of sexy, diverse characters (including Guinevere Turner and Nisha Ganatra) living in a Los Angeles fourplex. With its unexpected soap operatic twists, DON'T GO beautifully balances intrigue and romance with humor and pathos, all the while challenging stereotypes and mainstream representations of people of color with fierce authenticity.

On the Downlow[ONTHE] (USA, 2007, 54 mins)Featurespreceded by Standing-N-Truth: Breaking the Silence
Saturday, July 21st 7:00pmBarnsdall Theatre
Sunday, July 22nd NoonDGA 2
Director Abigail Child provides an intimate portrait of five young African American men from Cleveland who live their life “on the downlow.” Not quite in the closet, but definitely not out, these men confide their personal views on downlow living and how it affects the men and women who love them. Ultimately, they acknowledge that the gay community represents another type of family in an environment that is often hostile to them.

Starrbooty[STARR] (USA, 2007, 83 mins)Features
Saturday, July 21st 9:30pmShowcase
Legendary drag glamazon RuPaul kicks butt as super-model/secret agent Starrbooty in this gut-busting exploitation film that would make John Waters proud. When Starrbooty learns her niece has been kidnapped by her archrival, Annaka Manners, Starrbooty realizes she must go undercover as a street hooker and go “all the way” to rescue her. Sexy, salacious, popping with scandalous full-frontal nudity and chock-full of delectably insane characters, STARRBOOTY features audacious drag queens and hunky gay porn studs.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Strand

To get the word out on another black cartoonist and to promote Black Gay Business once again. I introduce you to Chris Grice who has created his own comic strip. Check out The Strand. I think intellectually you'll find his comic fresh.

I gotta re-think

Sometimes you just have to be tough! I have to re-think somethings in my life. I gotta start being tougher on myself and not giving up on myself. This includes re-thinking whose in my life.

Yeah there's something personal going on with me right now.

I started out today to go to the Writers Panel. One of the events taking place during the Beach Party festivities. I got dressed, got on the freeway, then got off 3 exits later and made a complete circle right back to my house. My spirit just wasn't able to handle what I expected to run into at the Marriott Hotel. I just couldn't do it.

I think I'm probably being overly sensitive, and loosing out on an opportunity for me to be enriched in someway. I just couldn't do it. My spirit made me stop and return home. I don't know why, but I chose to follow my spirit.

Maybe it was just my body realizing that I hadn't eaten since the cereal I had this morning and it was almost 3pm. Could it have been my sugar level dropping telling me to get home before you passout on the freeway or at the event? Whatever the case I came home made something to eat and my sugar level is back on track.

People can make you feel like you are loosing your mind. Either by a look they give you, a snide comment or simply ignoring your presence. This is when you need to stop, be still and re-think.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Don't Know Why

I don't know why that all of a sudden I want to share my artwork. Maybe it was the nice things that some people said. So I changed the painting on my blog to a painting that I did in the 12th grade.

Sorry about the quality of the picture but I'm not that great at taking pictures of paintings. I guess there's an art to that as well.

I probably won't keep the picture up very long so I hope you enjoy it and it makes you think of good things. When I painted it my ex-sister in-law thought it was of her because she was pregnant. NOT! It was a tribute to my mother when she was pregnant with my younger sister who I was very protective of when we were young. I think my mother must have said something to me to cause me to be so protective. This painting depicts my mother, my sister inside and myself on alert.

I remember when anyone ever approached my sister I was right there to find out what they wanted with her. And it had better be a good reason!

My sister hated it though. hee hee