Its KEY

Posts Tagged ‘Essence Atkins’

About those BABATUNDE’s

In Griot, Movies, Networking, News, Self Improvement on March 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Part 2. & Part 3.

The year was 1998 and the show was “BLIND LEMON: PRINCE OF COUNTRY BLUES” Co-Written by Akin Babatunde and Alan Govenar. Rehearsals were at The Documentary Arts and the plays debut was at Dallas’ Majestic Theater – inside of The Black Box Theater, (a cozy & quaint venue located on the basement level) and I was the newest member of the casted ensemble. There was Liz Mikel, Eric Allen, Ms. Norma Miller (choreographer who taught me how to do the SOFT SHOE), Cynthia Jackson, Slim, David Peaston, Benita Arterberry Cavin Yarbrough, Alisa Peoples Yarbrough, Walter Fauntleroy, and countless others whose names escape me right now, including the graceful dancers from Bruce Wood Dance Company [Fort Worth, TX].

Good times. I learned a lot, especially from Liz and Cynthia, but none did I learn from more than Obba’s brother, Akin Babatunde.

Whose Obba? No you didn’t. He’s just one of the strongest and longest career working black actors to date. It’s true. Did you know Obba was on “ALL MY CHILDREN” in 1987? I was too young to be involved in all of that at the time, but research is ‘a mother’ and LONGEVITY is KEY. 😉

Obba’s brother is a legendary Acting Coach & Theatrical Director. Personally Akin’s acting workshops took me to places I’d never known (in my mind or in character). ‘Talk about getting lost in a script? Awesome! Regardless of the scenario, the era, or the scene: I was there. Full on and committed. As if Akin would have you any other way. It’s either full commitment or get off his stage.

Seriously.

Akin and Obba Babatunde

Akin is from NY and is of BROADWAY (to off-Broadway, Regional Film & TV) STOCK and is not the type of guy that would ‘kid you’ or comes off as someone ‘who wants to be kidded around with’ when it comes to writing, directing, or the craft of acting and as a result of ☛ ☛ ☛ ☛ his productions are nothing less than brilliant. Stunningly and Creatively BRILLIANT!

One of the proudest moments in my theatrical history came at meeting Akin, being casted in “BLIND LEMON: Prince of Country Blues” [3 year run] and workshopping the historical based project (for what seemed like years) under his direction in its early stages of development. We explored deep depths and reached crazy heights during the process.

BLIND LEMON: Prince of Country blues lead the way for us to perform live on many dates, at many venues all over the world. The award nominations and winning receptions were thick. I’ve done quite a bit of theatrical performances prior and afterward – but this experience, by far, was the greatest of them all. I learned much and knowledge is irrefutable. Many thanks to Akin Babatunde, Alan Govenar and Kelita Doolan! I’ll never forget…

decorative-line-divider1

Life changing stuff that a girl could never forget.
Watermarked by a Babatunde to my benefit.

It’s funny how one thought immediately leads to another,
I actually started out thinking about writing on that ICE CUBE brother.

Well thinking about him – lead me to thinking about his TBS show:
Are We There Yet” with the Essence Atkins flow.

That thought lead me to review her acting resume & comedy shows – she’d been cast,
and that lead me to reminiscing about past laughs at her on UPN’s HALF & HALF.

Remember that show – Co-starring Rachel True?
She was Mary Jane in Dave Chappelle‘s “HALF BAKED” view.

Anywho – Essence & Rach’ were half sisters on UPN’s ‘modern URBAN family’ convey
and their casted commonality father figure was the dynamic Obba Babatunde.

Of course thinking about Obba, naturally lead me to hover
in thoughts about my theater fam and his fantastic brother
whose known for multiple achievements and is still going on strong.
One of my favorite exhibitions of AKIN is in PBS’: WISHBONE.
Him and that dang dog had it going on.

I thank God for all that is good and for the degrees of seperation that do connect us,
I’m Qui
Still stunned by fates opportunitic sum – having studied under Akin in Texas.

TBS: Are We There Yet?

In Griot, Music, Networking, TV Shows on January 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm


Gosh I’m just giddy with anticipation that ‘we’re almost there’.
I can already feel Terry Crews ‘nem in my hair. lol!

NEW EPISODES START January 12 – Wednesday night
TBS – very funny, keeps your belly tight.
That’s right!

Yep! He’s ba-aaaack!
Ice Cubes view is never whack!

Therefore I do support the journey of the ethnic familial flow
and I couldn’t resist hipping you to their upcoming episodes:

Oh No She Di-in’t
Wed. January, 12 at 10/9C
When Nick’s new field producer, Sam, turns out to be female, Suzanne is convinced she’s trying to steal her man, a suggestion Nick thinks is absurd–until Sam makes a move on Nick. Guest starring: Sandy “Pepa” Denton

Nick’s Manny-Pedi
Wed. January, 12 at 10:30/9:30C
When Suzanne crashes a night with Nick and his boys, Nick pays her back by showing up for spa treatments with Suzanne and her girlfriends. Guest starring: Toccara Jones

Gold Party
Wed. January, 19 at 10/9C
When Marilyn throws a gold party at Nick and Suzanne’s, and Nick learns Suzanne’s wedding ring isn’t real, he sets out to have a real ring made before Suzanne learns the truth, while Suzanne thinks she has lost her wedding ring forever and panics trying to replace it. Guest starring: Ice Cube

Boy Has Style
Wed. January, 19 at 10:30/9:30C
When Suzanne suspects that Lindsey‘s athletic new crush from school is gay because he has style, Nick sets out to prove that he isn’t, until he can no longer ignore the signs and helps the boy tell Lindsay the truth.

Man and the Bragging Snafu
Wed. January, 26 at 10/9C
When Nick’s colleagues at the station encourages him to send Lindsey and Kevin to a private school, Nick and Suzanne look into it, only to be misled about the process. Guest starring: Wayne Brady

Suzanne Theft Auto
Wed. January, 26 at 10:30/9:30C
When Suzanne is overly protective teaching Lindsey how to drive, Nick takes over and makes Lindsey feel confident, until she scratches Suzannes’s car and chooses to lie about it.

Despicable E
Wed. February, 02 at 10/9C
Nick attempts to have a night out with Lindsey, but when all she wants to do is follow around a young celebrity DJ who doesn’t even know her name, Nick tries to teach her how a man should really treat her. Guest starring: Michael Strahan and Lil JJ

She Got Game Night
Wed. February, 02 at 10:30/9:30C
When the Kingston-Persons decide to have a game night, all bets are off, as unlikely friends are drawn to one another when paired together for games. Guest starring: Ice Cube, David Rasche and Toccara Jones

The Valentine’s Day
Wed. February, 09 at 10/9C
Nick tries to help Kevin with his Valentine’s Day at school, but his advice backfires when Kevin gets sent home.

Parent Teacher Trap
Wed. February, 09 at 10:30/9:30C
When Suzanne gets roped into a committee at Kevin’s school where the other moms are mean to her, Nick volunteers to fill in, making things awkward when the ladies love him.

Are you watching“ARE WE THERE YET”?
Wednesday nights @ 10/9pm & 10:30/9:30 on TBS.

LAUGHTER IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL.

Not a PARTY – A Get Together

In Politics, TV Shows on July 6, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Are We There Yet

Yes I’m an early fan of Ice Cube’s “Are We There Yet” TV Series, starring Terry Crews and Essence Atkins on TBS. Please tell me you’ve been watching it. “The Get Together” was Episode 10, Nick thought it would be cool to have a “Get Together” with his wife and kids of 1 year. Mostly because everyone seems to be moving in different directions – socially – and he wanted to induce an-in-house “family social” that everyone could enjoy.

The menu was pot luck and wouldn’t you know, everyone that turned up brought store bought potato salad, except for Suzanne, who actually made her famous home made potato salad at Nicks request. He insisted a party isn’t a party without it….and obviously all of the guest felt the same way; there were big bowls of potato salad on every table… end and coffee table included. The house swoll up with guests invited by guests. Suzanne ended up kicking everyone out by saying, “That’s it! Everybody out! This party is over”. Everyone in the party turned at once and replied, “It’s not a party, it’s a get together”. What is it with black folks, get togethers and potato salad?

Are there hidden urban messages under these storylines?

Absolutely – the tv series is chalk full of “messages”: Like Suzannes young son keeping the lotion on his night stand…and he’s not ashy. GiGi, (Suzanne’s best friend) won’t date a guy she doesn’t like but will let him spend a months worth of his salary on her and Lindsey, (Suzannes daughter) @ the mall. (GiGi’s not a miner, but she was gold digging).

Once there was a soul food scene in the “Viral Video” Episode 7, where they lightly made repeated mentions about how over indulging in greasy, fatty, fried foods could lead to diabetes and high blood pressure. We laughed — but the message was dead on.

Nick (Terry Crews’ character) is a good show of a black man who works for himself (small business consultant) and stays successfully afloat in his relatively new relationship with his wife Suzanne, (a stay at home mom/artist). Parallel relative.

The politics of the show are pretty reflective of the average black, formally educated, two parent, middle class family – and it’s funny too (as the truth usually is). It is always good to good to laugh at thyself. 🙂

I’ve DVR’d every episode and watching them with my kid is time that I treasure,
I’m Qui
Supporting Ice Cube’s work feels like a party – but it’s really a familial get toether.

Are you watching yet?
Channel: TBS

Are We There Yet?

In Movies, TV Shows on June 3, 2010 at 1:52 am

Ice Cube and Terry Crews
CAN’T LOSE!

Terry Crews and the rest of the cast of the new TBS comedy “Are We There Yet?” have done what many thought impossible.

Since the early days of TV, it’s been accepted that it takes a week to film a sitcom episode. That thinking might change with “Are We There Yet?” filming three episodes a week.

“For years everyone in Hollywood said this kind of schedule was impossible. But we did it. I do have to admit, it’s really not as hard as you think. But it takes a lot of coordination,” Crews says. “Our thing was ‘It’s comedy. Relax.’ We aren’t doing Shakespeare.”

If you’ve seen either of the “ARE WE THERE YET” films that Ice Cube has starred in, the TBS version follows suit. NICK (Terry Crews Character) marries a single mom SUZANNA (played by Essence Atkins) of two kids. The children like Nick enough to give him a hard time every now and then, while “the married life” encroaches on his fantasy side.

No– Nick isn’t playing off on his new wife, but he certainly isn’t shy about calling out her “bed time appearance”. The wrapped and pinned down hair do that Suzanna wears to bed is a little sobering for the newlywed husband who cracked on her saying, “In the daytime you look like Halle Berry – but at bedtime you look like Tyler Perry”. lol!

Two months ago I went to a house party around the time that Erykah Badu was under scrutiny for her “Naked Grassy Knoll” video, and as stunning as her naked body was, (mother of 3 kids), there was a guy at the party that was miffed because Erykah’s hair was covered by a rising stocking cap. Erykah was just keeping it real. But because of “the stocking cap factor” – ol’ boy at the party missed the concept & deeper message of the video. Terry Crews represented “that young mans stand” with his Halle Berry/Tyler Perry crack on his wife.

It’s a sitcom show. It’s taped on a set. Kind of like the way “MY WIFE & KIDS” show looked. What’s most impressive about this project than others before it, is the unprecedented pace at which they are taping/producing the show. ICE CUBE is a genius when it comes to “not wasting time or money”. His professional antics are catchy and his progress is on going…

Are we there yet?
I’m Qui
…and I’m on my way!

Ice Cube is a great filmmaker to study. KNOWLEDGE is KEY. WE must support WE.

“ARE WE THERE YET” comes on TBS Wednesday nights @ 9/8c