Monday, December 29, 2014

Dear Hollywood Executives and Image Machines

Dear Hollywood Executives and Image Machines,

Really? Am I rare? See I am not an angry, sassy, twerking, overly-sexed, weave pulling, reality TV star with baby daddy drama.  I am not the fish out of water best friend who mysteriously appeared from the hood to the suburbs to assist you in navigating your way through a privileged, angst-filled life while deferring my own dreams. I am not, nor do I want to ever be racially ambiguous. And honestly,  how can I be when we live in such a racially charged society? I can love a white person without disregarding all facets of  my culture so that you don’t feel threatened by our differences. We are not the same.  Nor do I want to be. But I am still an American at the end of the day and I rarely see me on TV, at the movies or on stage.  I see water colored versions (I am referring to the cultural tone not skin tone) of you as me but I don't see me.  I am 100% born and raised, pure Grade A American. I am part of the dream. I should be reflected in the images used to project said dream. Your studios create diversity programs as if it is such an effort for you to find images of all Americans. Pshaw! Come on...You know that we exist because you simulate our lives in order to profit from it; fostering a sort of vulture culture. I understand you are constantly seeking ways to make profit at any expense (pun intended). And I am positive you can do that.  But you have to listen. Ready? Here it goes: (in her best Sam Kinison voice) GUESS WHAT? America is no longer a melting pot where the standard for everything is based on some caramelized  myopia by Europeans! (now in her Deepak Chopra voice) America is a salad bowl with Latin, Native American, Indian, African, Asian, Caribbean, Pacific Island, Jewish, Arab, a multitude of flavorings all in the mix; each adding its own unique zest to every bite.
Bottom line:  I am an American.  I have a story line. I've even written it for you.  All you have to do is stop making excuses to keep us hidden and represent America as the beautifully "diverse" nation she truly is. Your move...

MDW

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Open Letter To St. Louis County Prosecutor in Ferguson

Dear St. Louis County Prosecutor in Ferguson,

I feel as though you waited until evening (8:24pm) to announce the outcome knowing that it would incite a riot so that you could make this about our rage and not about your murder. I am sure you planned this and that you will do nothing to help rebuild the communities but you will continue to fuel this rage with images of us looting and burning and soundbites of our religious leaders and crying mothers as you ask for their response to news that you knew would break their hearts. You got your reaction shots and now you will pimp out images of us at our worst so the world outside of us will think this is who we are. This is how you will justify needing military weapons to "protect and serve". Tell us what to do to change your hearts about us? Tell us how to act to make us appear human to you? What clothes should we wear, what hairstyle? What vernacular should we speak? Tell us what to do so that you will not be afraid of our mere presence? Tell us where to live so that you will not hunt our young boys like wild game. Who will serve US? Who will protect US? Our screams, our anger seem to be lost in translation. We don't understand what it is you don't understand. So tell us. What do we need to do? It's been 400 years and we are simply out of options.

MDW

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dear Apathetic Americans Too Lazy To Vote in Local Elections

Dear Apathetic Americans Too Lazy to Vote in Local Elections,

Voting to is kind of like exercise. You know it's good for you and  sometimes you are disappointed in the results. With exercise, if you keep at it things will eventually change for the better. It's the same with voting. Having said that I hope you exercise your right to VOTE TODAY and in every election as I have. Now I'm off to exercise and hope to see positive change in my thighs. (she sighs and pushes through as her thighs burn. she mumbles the lyrics, ♫it's been a long time but I know a change is gonna come.♫) Good day sirs and madams. GO VOTE!

MDW

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dear Taco Truck Stationed In The Car Wash Lot On Vermont Ave

There is no other way to say it but to just come out and say it, I think I love you. The way you stealthily back into the car wash parking lot around 6:30pm; just after the last over priced Lexus has been spot wiped. Your huge, boxy frame gliding on 4 wheels arrives, like a Prius, barely making a sound and sitting high above the rest. You are a SEXY BEAST. And I admire the way you stay grounded by strategically placing wedged blocks of wood behind each tire. You can't be too careful. We don't want you to roll away. And the people who steer your orange and red steel frame filled with meat and tortillas are the best. You're parked now and that's when the ceremony begins: the lowering of the canopy. Removing all the white plastic fold up chairs and card tables from your carriage and placing them on the wet sudsy lot; one long row of chairs and then four at each table. You like to keep it simple; no frills- using natural light for the table at first and then street lights after dark to set the mood. But do we really need the extra light with the neon glow that permeates from you when you hook up the generator? The flashing ticker tape sign and the 2 flat screen TV's that blast Telemundo and Univision are all the light we need. But the best part is the rolling condiments bar, complete with sneeze guard; filled with fresh cut salsa and limes and cilantro and radishes and cucumbers and onions each having their own metal tongs. You even supply us with napkins and tiny plastic bags if we decide to dine at home. You have thought of everything. You look in my eyes and ask for my order in English. I answer,"carne asada or dos pollo." You give me the "nice try" smile because my Spanish is horrible. You gently hand me my number then I wait to be called. I wait in line behind countless others of all races: Korean, Nigerian, Hispanic, Black, White, all salivating for your delicious food. But you do more than feed us. You unite us. We are all equal under your salsa stained canopy each hovering over the condiments bar getting our part of your perfectly seasoned, chopped, grilled heaven that you have promised us. And there is plenty for everyone. As it should be. You are one of the things I am proud of in America. Hmm,a thought... The United Colors of Taco Stands. It should be a movement and you should lead. And that's why I love you Taco Truck Stationed In The Car Wash Lot On Vermont Ave. Until tomorrow evening... MDW

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dear Producer Who Asked Me What I Need From Theatre

I need you to sell me truth, or even a lie. I want to go home and believe that I made a great purchase. So great that I want to tell all of my friends and my friends' friends to go out and buy it, a ticket that is. I want to be taken into a world of possibility. I want to BELIEVE, judge, discuss, laugh, maybe even shed a tear or two; happy tears and sympathetic ones. I want you to TEACH me something I don't already know. Yes, I want to LEARN; walk away with a sense that I've learned something new, about myself, about others. I want to maybe even disagree. I want to debate and have no one come out a winner. I wanto hear your opinion. Show me the same shit in a different way. Yeah, that's it- SAME SHIT, DIFFERENT WAY. I want MAGIC-magic that I know can only exist in the theatre. I want to believe for two hours or so that it's all real. Make it real-the grass, the set, the backdrops, projections. Take me on a rollercoaster ride with fake sets, and lights and period costumes and invoke real emotion from me. I want to FEEL, I want to BELIEVE. I want to DISAGREE. I want to feel like I know the characters; to believe that they really breath and have opinions even though I know they are all made up; created from the soul of some passionate writer. PASSION. I want to QUESTION my morals, my values, my judgements- all of that in 2 hours. I think that's it, in a nutshell. Yep, that's what I want for my ticket...and free parking.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dear I'm Not Ready For A Relationship

Dear I'm Not Ready For A Relationship,

Too late.  You meet someone. You are attracted to them for whatever reason. You exchange personal information with them.  Spend your free time  with them.    Call them late in the night and tell them your secrets.  Call them when you get a break from work.  Call them when you don't really have time but just because you want to hear their voice. Hold hands in public.  Make them dinner. Eat from the same utensils.  Share your food, your body, your ideas.  Introduce them to  your parents, your friends, your co-workers.  Guess what? YOU ARE IN A RELATIONSHIP.  You don't prepare for it.  It just happens.  I am sure all the people in your life you call friend are not in your life because of some calculated move or pre-meditated plan on your part.  You met, you clicked , you consistently keep in touch, you're friends.  You have a relationship with them.  Same goes for that man or woman you met and wanted to get to know better.  The "getting to know you better" part is how it all starts. Don't use that line if you know you are not ready to be in a relationship with that person.  That line screams relationship of some kind.

Now, be honest.  You are ready for relationships.  You are simply bored of the person you formed the relationship with and now you want to bail.  It happens.  That's when you say something like, "this is not working for me" or "I don't want to be with you" or even get hard core and just say "I'M OUT".  Those lines work.  They may hurt but they are simple, honest and  there's no gray area. Saying, "I'm not ready for a relationship" after being in a person's life for months or years is confusing and in some cases may cause  you bodily harm. That's what you say to yourself  BEFORE you spend time to get to know somebody better. I know what you are thinking but don't worry about whether or not everybody will label  you as a cowardly ass, because they will.  They do.  And you are. And it's okay.  That's how we learn.

BOTTOM LINE: You don't GET READY for a relationship.  You GET READY FOR THE PROM!

MDW

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dear Postal Worker Donning 3 Inch Electric Blue Press On Nails

Dear Postal Worker Donning 3 Inch Electric Blue Press On Nails,

I miss you.  The monotone way you say, "next person in line."  Your deadpan stare through the cloudy bullet proof glass window. When I ask you for African American Heritage stamps you sigh because you don't have any at your station.  But that's okay.  I enjoy the  way in which you remain seated, first rolling your eyes and then rolling your chair 4ft across the room, using your talon-like hands to reach them for me. Graceful. It's like having a front row seat at Postal Workers on Ice and you're the star. Yeah, I said it. You're a star! You dazzle me by adding up my transaction ever so slowly, placing my stamps in the sleek cellophane envelop and then you slide them under the slot  without scratching me with those striking electric blue nails. I thank you and walk away  unscathed, happy that I was able to spend 15 minutes with you. 

I'm looking forward to visiting you again during the holiday season.  I can't wait to see what color your nails will be; Christmas colors, Hanukkah colors or maybe a Kwanzaa theme. It doesn't matter because I'll drop in to buy some holiday stamps and maybe, just maybe, I'll ask  for another book of African American Heritage stamps just to see you glide your chair across the room for old times sake.  I would appreciate that.

Thank you Postal Worker Donning 3 Inch Electric Blue Press On Nails and thank you United States Postal Service for all the good times. 

MDW