My artist journey largely intersects with my parenting journey.
In 2009, I was so siked to perform in the DC edition of the Green Fest which was at its height around that time. The festival took place at the Convention Center and I had invited visual artist Choke to do live art while my girl Angie sang support vocals and my friend Gary accompanied me on guitar. Ten years ago.
As you notice in the grainy photo above, I had another guest on stage with me. My almost six year-old felt the need to make her presence known because the song I was singing was her joint. It was Janelle Monae’s song “Sincerely Jane”.
Dancer Binahkaye Joy was dancing on the floor, too and I was delighted. My daughter did not sing along, although she knew all the words, she just stood and peered at the audience. This was not the first time or last time she did this, but, this particular time had me cracking up.
Ten years later. My daughter has been such an integral part of my artist journey. She usually is the one I share work with first during my planning moments. She gives me searingly honest feedback and now, with her own training under her belt as a writer, theater student and musician, she gives notes that are professionally on point. I have been trying to get this girl back on stage with me now, but, now as a teen, she is going to do it in her time frame and in her own way. She plays guitar like her dad and is a belting singer. I hope she chooses to share her gifts sooner rather than later.
(in photo above, my daughter is second from left, standing with the women of my artist troupe, Liberated Muse- Colie Aziza, Lyn Artope and Angela Ballard. We were about to perform at the Kennedy Center earlier this year)
Looking back over the years, I am very grateful for the opportunities to perform, the people who have collaborated and shared their talents with me on stage. I am thankful for the ongoing presence of my daughter and her dad during the journey. Looking forward to experience where this journey continues to lead.
Join me in 2020 for one of Liberated Muse’s tribute shows to the late great Toni Morrison. Click here for dates and locations.