Sunday, February 26, 2012

Taking Time To Relax

The entire cast and crew for Antwone Fisher: a play has worked so hard over the past few weeks. Now, we are in the home stretch and it was really nice to take today just to relax.  How do I relax?  I spent most of the day out in the garden taking care of the neglected shrubs and lawn as my daughter roller skated and kept me company and my wife joined me every now and again to trim the trees or just talk.  Gardening relaxes me and being with my family brings me so much joy.  Now, I am ready to approach this week with a smile and bring to the UCLA community a wonderful stage production.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Keep a Senior Citizen in Your Life

I received an email from an old friend who told me that someone I used to know is in a convalescent home and suggested that I go for a visit.  Henry is 92 years old.  His mind is sharp and so is his memory, but he didn't recognize me at first and he didn't hear me say my name, but since he wasn't doing anything else, he decided to allow me to visit with him.  We talked for an hour.  I loved hearing the stories of World War 2 and of Henry's philosophy about people and how we should treat one another.  Seniors have so much to share with us.  Take time to sit with someone who has been on the planet longer than you have.  Learn from their lessons.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie

Yesterday, I received an email from my literary agent saying that an offer has been made on my latest book, A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie.  They want to translate the book into Chinese and sell it on mainland China.  I am so honored.  I visited Asia for many years during my time in the navy and I loved it there, so to be requested for a translated book makes me feel so very happy.  I look forward to putting the translated book on my shelf, though I do not speak or read Chinese.  What an  honor.

The best part about my book is that it isn't just for boys or young men.  There are lessons for young women as well.  It's the perfect book for anyone who may not know what things impress or deter people during a first impression.  The book teaches the reader how to dress for an interview or any situation from casual to formal so that you never have to feel out of place.  There are recipes for the single person and lessons on finance, forgiveness and personal hygiene.  Anyone can benefit from this book.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We've Moved to The Stage

Last night, as the country celebrated our past Presidents, we continued with the rehearsals for the play.  I was anxious to get to UCLA because it was the night we were to move from the rehearsal room to the actual stage in Macgowan Hall where the play will take place.

I had seen and approved the model for the design that Eunnym Cho, the set designer designed with such care and I popped in to see the builders constructing it, but when I walked into the theater, the set was more like a sculpture that was specifically created for this medium, Antwone Fisher: a play.  Donny Jackson, the lighting designer and his crew were there putting up lights and they were excited to see my exhilaration. I could hardly contain my excitement and I turned to Eunnym and started thanking her for her time and consideration on the project.  They are all helping to create this majestic set.  We are all working together to bring this story to the live theater.  Eunnym and Donny were equally excited. The guys who built the set were happy for me and they gave me such a nice tour and showed me all that had been done.  Such care.

It's an honor that the graduate students and the UCLA employees are excited about helping me tell this story. I don't have to bear the weight of telling it alone.  Each department is an equally important part of the story- the lighting, the set, the costumes, the sound, the make-up, the writing and the acting-  all tell the story.  I can't wait for people to see it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Antwone Fisher: a play

Ten years ago when the film Antwone Fisher hit the theaters, I never imagined how many lives my story would impact.  Writing my memoir, Finding Fish, opened the story to another audience and now, with Antwone Fisher: a play, I hope to bring the story to the theater world and open the door for a new dialogue about foster care, sexual and emotional abuse, The United States Navy and the human ability to overcome obstacles and prosper.

I've been developing the play at UCLA with the fine actors who are part of the graduate program in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.  These men and women are incredibly talented and hard working.  They have designed the set, the lighting, the costumes and the actors have worked so hard to
breathe life into the characters from my past.

A new and exciting staged autobiography of a volatile young sailor in the Navy confronting his dramatic past. Featuring Graduate Actors from the Department of Theater At 1340 Macgowan Hall Feb. 29-Mar. 3 and Mar. 14-17, 2012 at 8 p.m. Mar. 3 & 17, 2012 at 2 p.m.
Tickets: 310-825-2101
Parking availible at structure 3 ($11).