Did a little radio interview - my first actually - with Ray Andrewson for the WQUN Morning Show about Fences. Was very sleepy, but hey, I had fun.
I love reading James Baldwin just as much as I love listening to and watching him. Here, Jim on the triumphs and limitations of his (still living) contemporaries in social justice, Malcom X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., plus the question which the future of our nation depends on.
Just put out my very first newsletter two minutes ago. Strangely anxious feeling about self promoting to that many peoples inboxes. View it here if you didn’t get one. You can also click that subscribe button in the upper right to join up.
Me, my little sister (Taylor Dior) with a photobomb by my big brother (Jared McNeil) rehearsalgram for Fences at The Long Wharf (via Instagram).
And hey PS - you can get $5 off from your ticket purchase at The Long Wharf theatre if your use code “EBFENCES” before Nov 22!
It has begun!
I’ve just started rehearsal for August Wilson’s Fences directed by Phylicia Rashad, playing the role of Cory. It’s a co-production between the Long Warf Theatre & McCarter Theatre - which means you have two opportunities to catch this bad boy. It’s a close trip for NYC residents to either New Haven or Princeton. Find tickets to your liking here (Long Wharf) and here (McCarter).
I’m genuinely looking forward to do the best work of my career so far with this one, so please come check this out!
I watched a video last year where a guy set a video camera on a tripod in front of Monet’s Water Lillies at The Orangerie for the duration of the museums open hours and left it alone to record. The footage was astounding. The overwhelming majority of people seemed to barely stop to look at this epic work of art, rather, they merely paused in front of it for a picture. Sometimes, it was only a quick (yuck) selfie and they were off to the next.
I wonder if people would go all the way to a museum and exhibit such bizarre and disinterested behavior without the ease of camera phones, social media self-publication, and the culture that comes with it. My reaction to what I saw in the video was, while clearly these people don’t care about the art before them, you have to wonder about who they think cares about the picture they will soon upload. The conclusion I come to, however incomplete, is that in this culture scenario, nobody cares. The experience begins as quickly as it ends, a photo for the sake of it self, mere “content” to forge a more ideal vision of self, to be witnessed and then forgotten.
But what I didn’t ask is - why do we do this? After watching Louis CK recently on Conan and now this, I’m increasingly confident that the reason is indeed loneliness.
I spent all day in the library today, like it was 2007. Then I got news that Mapei just released a new song today, like it was 2007. Mapei is a artist that, pre-everything getting all youth-mainstream (blogs, electronic music, hipsterism, internet “culture” in general), was right there at the fore releasing some of the best combination catchy and next-level jams of the era. The above photos are testament to the uniqueness of that time: Mapei was the headline performer, legendary Scotty B was the headline DJ, and Le1f was opening. The guy in the glasses is probably the most famous these days, but at the time, I think Theophilus London actually crashed the mic during the middle of Mapei’s set and pleaded for a freestyle (which he got). I happened to be experimenting with party photography around that time and, guess what, lost my camera that very night (thankfully finished that roll of film and had it in my pocket).
Ah, the days. So it’s good news indeed that in 2013, Le1f is touring the world and Mapei has an album on the horizon. And I’m coming back from the library getting to enjoy it all :)
I love this guy. This is dope. Maybe you’ve seen it, it went pretty viral, and for good reason. I’m glad people are feeling Louis C.K. But, you know, even though a great deal of this sounds funny, the origin of a lot of this humor is a kind of existential dread. You can really see it in the moments when he gets lost in self-analytic reflections that present zero opportunity for a laugh (part of his genius is not losing the audience in these moments).
Ultimately, more than a funny bit, this is a deeply profound statement. He’s saying a lot, not just about “the times/technology”, but about our very humanity, about fullness of feeling and capacity for sadness, about “negative” emotions as antecedent to “positive” ones (and thus, the arbitrariness of such labels).
JENNIFER LEWIS GOT ME FIRED UP THO
I spent one amazing summer in Oxford studying at BADA and one day I sat down with the dean of the school, Ian Wooldridge, for dinner. I remember feeling pretty tough sitting at the teachers table at the time - especially when the dining hall looked like Hogwarts and the faculty were a comparable league of wizards, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, I was like, “man, I’m about to graduate next year, what kind of wisdom do you have for me”. He very plainly said, “Look. Just don’t be an amoeba, floating along”. He referenced Tarell Mccraney, a BADA alum who had talked to us earlier that day, as an example of a self-starter (and just, you know, RSC playwright-in-residence… no big deal). And that sunk in on me. In my head I’m like WHAT DOES THAT MEAN I’M AN ACTOR NOT EVERYONE CAN STUNT AT THE RSC. I JUST WANNA MAKE IT MANNNN. But out loud I’m like “thanks, Ian!”.
Anyway, fast forward. Man is my life so different. Like I honestly had no idea what to expect from life after graduation but after highs and lows, I can finally say I understand what Ian meant, in my bones. I’m literally living like I’m dying. Like, I could die tomorrow and be like “at least I didn’t waste no time”. No amoebas here, Ian.
New York Fashion Week Spring 2014
This photo captures my perspective about life in general.
Photo credit: Lucas Jackson/Reuters.