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    Seems like I’ve been saying that my entire life. When anyone has difficulty pronouncing or spelling my name, I reference Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. And as soon as I do, invariably the person’s face lights up and their eyes go wide with recognition, no matter what age or ethnicity. Aretha was and still is loved around the world. I remember hearing that she was nearing death and my heart like everyone else’s was saddened. I prayed for a miracle, but I left the outcome in God’s hands, knowing that he has given each of us an appointed time to leave here. This morning while on my way to film a commercial, I learned that Aretha had passed away. Normally I dance in the car on the way to set, but today was bittersweet. The only music blasting was Aretha’s mega hits like Respect, Natural Woman, I Say a Little Prayer, Chain of Fools, songs that I listened and danced to as a little girl and into adulthood. Oh, what a woman, oh what a life, oh what a legacy. When I think about all the contributions Aretha has made it takes my breath away. As...
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     (My sisters in the series played by Lee Sherman, top center and Jeryl Prescott, bottom left.) My head was bouncing, my fingers were snapping, the music was blasting, and I was singing my heart out to Cardi B’s “I like.” In case you’re wondering, no I wasn’t at the club on a Saturday night. It was Wednesday, August 1, and I was in my car on my way to the set of the groundbreaking new web series East of La Brea. And yes, I was beyond excited about being cast as Darlene, aunt to the character Aisha Hassan, played by Geffri Maya (Private Practice). East of La Brea is a groundbreaking web series that follows the lives of twentysomething Muslim women, Aisha Hassan (Geffri Maya), a black Muslim, and her Bangladeshi-American roommate, Farha Munshi (Kausar Mohammed), both of whom are struggling to navigate the changing landscape of their native Los Angeles home and their own ethnic communities. The series is produced by Paul Feig's production company, Powderkeg. Paul is an actor, film director, producer (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters to name a few...
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When I wake up and before I retire for the evening, I take time to give thanks for all that has transpired during the day—good and bad. I also spend time being still, clearing my head of all the thoughts that bombard my mind—the woulda, coulda, shoulda thoughts from the past and the present. I breathe deeply and let the peace that passeth all understanding take over my being. I find that when I start and end my day like this, for the most part, I can experience a great deal of serenity. I’m in that population of folk who need to tap into a Higher Power to make it through each day—days that sometimes can be filled with enormous challenges. As a writer and actor, I face rejection daily, and I would be lying if I said it doesn’t hurt. Yes, it’s gotten easier over the years, but there are some days that I just don’t feel like being told no. And in most cases, I’m left hanging. After so much time passes, I’m left with no other choice then to conclude that the agent/publisher isn’t interested in my novel or that the casting person/director/producer wasn’t feeling ...
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I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day and that the year is starting out well. I wanted to drop by to let you know what I’ve been up to lately. At present, I have two new completed manuscripts, the start of a new standalone series: The Dancing Hills Mystery Series. One of the manuscrips is currently under consideration by a fabulous literary agency. If all goes well, I'll be able to make an announcement soon regarding representation and eventually a book deal. I’m thrilled with the finished products and can’t wait to introduce this new work to the world. The stories are full of twists and will keep you turning the pages and one has a paranormal element. In a word, they’re both delicious! On the acting front, I’ve been auditioning and am hoping to soon land my first gig of 2018. I must give kudos to The Brogan Agency. Shaw Brogan and her team are some of the hardest working agents in Hollywood! All in all, I’m blessed. Looking over my life, I have to say that being in my fifties is a delight! God truly saved the best for last. My twenties were tumultuous...
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Happy 2018! My hope for all of you is that you realize your wildest dreams in this New Year. I have high expectations for 2018. Someone once said that an expectation is a planned disappointment, but I choose to disregard that. I choose to believe and have faith. I choose to not give up five minutes before the miracle. What do I mean by that? I think the following situation I experienced will shed light on this phrase. The other day while I was shopping at Albertson’s, there was a young man in front of the store selling candy. I recently cut back on sweets, so I was not interested in his product. Moreover, I had no cash on me. I noticed that several other customers were passing him by, barely looking his way, and steering clear of the young entrepreneur.   On the way out, it was hard not to have compassion for him, especially when I got a glimpse of his dreary expression. At that moment, I was moved to do something special for him. I drove to the bank that was directly across from the store, got twenty dollars, and headed back to  Albertsons. It to...
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