So, last weekend, I had the privilege and delight of travelling to New York City to see the award-winning production of Raisin In the Sun. The cast was phenomenal – including powerful actors such as Sophie Okonedo, Anika Noni-Rose, Latonya Richardson Jackson…and Denzel Washington.
As a trained actor and improviser, I enjoy theater on multiple levels. One one level I just enjoy it as entertainment. If the words, the characters, and the actors touch me, or teach me something, I enjoy that. If an actor is able to capture the mind, heart and attention of the audience, including myself, I celebrate that. If an actor, like the headliners of this cast, have accomplished a high level of success and fame, I think about the journey they took to get where they are today- because succeeding as an entertainer is not easy. It requires enormous courage, faith, determination, and perseverance.
A sista-friend of mine – a talented member of my creative community – sent a video to me a few weeks ago. It featured Denzel Washington and a group of young actors. The YouTube description of the clip states:
This was a special moment in the 2014 August Wilson Monologue Competition. The event was held at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway in NYC. The room was full – these high school finalists had just given their ALL on this Broadway stage…And surprise Kenny Leon (Director) brought out Mr. Denzel Washington to shake these young artists’ hands…God had other plans. This is spiritual food…Get yo(ur) serving!
The clip is inspiring and heart warming (and funny- just watch the reaction of the kids that get “touched by the hand of Denzel.”)
When my friend sent me the link to this video, she added the note, “I know you will appreciate these 3 minutes from Denzel as it relates to your purpose. ”
And she was right – I did appreciate it.
Listen to the clip, and let me know what you think.
Thanks to Dionna Griffin-Irons, Director of Outreach & Diversity at Second City in Chicago – and my friend – for sending this gem to me. You can view the video at: http://youtu.be/JrecPzBteUc.