Second rehearsal: Managing the war of bottled water, feeding my addiction, and behaving for comp’ny


Andrew Wesley and Darlene Fontaine working out  the Howard and Tiffany kitchen confrontation (Tiffany will be very pregnant in this scene, if that helps your imagery.)

The Saturday, Dec 7th rehearsal went well. Your boy was late – again! How can one be late for a rehearsal scheduled at their own house? Well… my son’s car has been showing its ass for quite some time in regards to starting (first replacing a battery terminal, now the battery itself… only five days after the day of the rehearsal, it was the ignition switch). Early in the morning, I had a block of time to jump start and drive it 40 minutes out to the garage we bought it from to leave there for the guy to test and fix. We took advantage of it. Meka, my wife, drove me back. The traffic was moving well enough. Or so I thought.

Fred called. He and other folks were already there with my sons. Checked my watch. Told him I could be there in 15 minutes. Had to get a pack of bottled water. Bought the fairly sizable pack. (Forgot how these artsy types like to take a swig and leave the rest of the bottle off to the side) Got there about 10 minutes late. I gotta work on being early.

I was happy to see that Andrew Wesley was able to make it (no more of me filling in, yes!). I was able to sit and talk with him as I had done with Darlene and Chante to get his take on his character, Howard. I learned a lot about Andrew. This brother drives over two hours from out of town in order to do this project! My chest swelled at such commitment. He has a deeply insightful grasp of Howard’s inner demons and dreams. He had the same concerns for several of Howard’s lines that Fred talked with me about (which is a sign for me to consider changing it). I was proud to show Wesley that I am open to making adjustments according to the script. I’m about making whatever I’m writing the best it can be, period. We even chatted about the possibility of future projects (I’m going to take some cues from a lot of the actors I’ve listened to in interviews about future projects.  They usually are tight-lipped about it, I suppose for confidentiality and to keep ideas from being ripped off.) Fred’s mentioned a few possibilities in the future as well. Bring it all on! I love to write. I am addicted to it. Always have been.

Rehearsal went well. Darlene was more animated than before. I learned that the later in the day it is for her, the better. energy-wise. It was great to see her and Andrew work through the kitchen scene for the trailer. Good chemistry and they look good together (not gonna lie, that mess is important). Bowser showed up and worked some things out with Richard in regards to their heated scene. Nina, my puggle/pitt/boxer mix, behaved herself and stayed out of the way mostly. She mostly laid out in the sun out back while everybody worked. I was at the computer for some time working on creating a facebook page for the movie. I would look back and see Erica and Deeana discussing camera angles, Fred going over lines with Andrew and Darlene, then Chante and Richard… I had some sublime, Robert Glasper-type grooves going in the background (all of which Andrew knows ALL about!). I love the energy of all of this. It felt like back in the day when we would have poetry nights at my spot during college at FAMU. Shoes off, incense going, folks sitting on the floor. Good energy.

While we wrapped up, Bower shared her smartass reply to my blog post of our rehearsal at the library. It’s all good. I got her back in a post on the movie’s fb page (check for a pic of her and Richard posing). She ain’t even ready for this! Fred, Erica, Andrew, Deena and I went to a nearby location to discuss how shooting it would go for the 22nd. Oh, and get this, we hop in Fred’s car and his battery terminal’s got jokes!

Everything worth achieving will always have challenges – including figuring out what to do with all these half empty water bottles.

Next challenge: Figuring out this SAG-AFTRA business. I went to an info-session about it at Miami Film Life Center. More on that later…