My Top 5 Must Have Items

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Everyday during the hustle and flows of my life, I must at all times, carry these beloved items in the image above, with me everywhere I go.  I’m sure most of you are shocked that I didn’t include any a book, money, wallet or the likes.  I’m a natural born hustler so even if I left my wallet home one day, I’d still make a way to survive, not to mention I have Apple Pay, PayPal, Chase, etc., apps on my phone.

Here’s a breakdown of my top 5 must have items:

  1. Cell phone: I’m sorry, we live in a world where our cell phones are our like mini laptops.  I can use my iPhone for damn near anything of the uptmost importance in my life.  I hate talking on the phone but I’ll text my life away, answer emails, stay engaged on social media, etc., on my phone.  I pride myself on ignoring my teenagers when they text me begging me for money! #SorryNotSorry
  2. Cell phone charger:  No long dissertation needed for this one, it’s obviously a necessity to have if you carry your cell phone with you.  But you’d be surprised at how many of my friends and co-workers travel without their phone chargers.  It’s kind of like having peanut butter but no jelly.
  3. Pen:  I don’t have a certain brand of pens I like, I just have to have a pen with me at all times.  I’m huge on taking notes, journaling and writing down my thoughts because at thirty-something years old, my memory tends to leave me faster these days.  I’m also not picky about the pens ink color, just a pen that works will suffice for me.
  4. Yellow Highlighter:  OMG I am the highlighting queen!  In my journals or books that I read, (books didn’t make this list sadly, it would be #6 though), I am ALWAYS highlighting key points that either the author shared in the book or if a quote or a bible verse stood out to me as I’m writing in my journal.  I should probably invest in Sharpie stock cause I run through yellow highlighters so fast.  Unlike with pens, I am very particular about using yellow highlighters verse other colors.  I just feel so professional using yellow highlighters lol.
  5. Journal:  My journals are my everything so of course I keep them with me everyday.  I even keep my journals near me while I sleep.  I’m known to be awakened between the hours of 3am-5am with so many creative thoughts that I have to write them down.  My journals are my calendars on some days, my “Dear God….” journal entries, they’re my planners, vision boards,  bible study notes and anything else that I feel the need to jot down at any given moment.

 

What are 5 things you carry with you everyday? Post them in the comments below.

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#Setlife

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From my caption on social media …..#Setlife, I couldn’t believe I was actually on the set of an independent movie being filmed.  I’m into theater and always trying to learn about the filming industry because one day, I’ll be making the transition into becoming a filmmaker.  The title of the film is MaDonna’s House.  According to the writer and director Kenetha Lanee, “This film follows the lives of five black sex workers in the Storyville district in the early 1900’s in New Orleans.”

I came to the set for support and being a woman of service that I am, I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing, so I got busy working.  I designed the women of the cast hats they were wearing, it was also super cool transforming the set from a modernized cafe to a brothel-like look from around 1910.  The shots that were being filmed on that day was supposed during the evening on the script and of course we were shooting during the day time so it was cool adjusting the lighting around the establishment.  I was helping out in every way I saw an opportunity.  I didn’t realize that filmmaking is a tedious task and I appreciate cinema professionals even more now.  We were interrupted by the sounds of life going on around us outside, throughout the day but the cast and crew continued to work hard in spite of the distractions.

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The cast and crew were super cool, and talked as if we had known each other for years.  Some of us even hung out afterwards for drinks and pizza.  Everyone on set had such great feedback whether it was about the script, the cast and crew and the level of professionalism throughout the day that apparently is not seen on other sets that they’ve been on.  As a playwright and director, I appreciated learning more about filming and thank God I’ve studied photography because I was able to understand some of the technical terms being used as the cinematographers were doing their thing.

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In the picture above, what had happened was lol…… I was asked to play a small extra role in the film because someone didn’t show up that day.  I nervously said sure, not knowing what I was going to be doing.  I was given clothes and was now apart of the cast.  I didn’t have any lines to memorize (thank God), I was in a club scene so all I had to do was dance with a handsome fellow for a few seconds (Oh, woe is me lol).  Lunch was provided along with snacks and beverages throughout the day.  I was able to have some wine and tasted the whiskey that was apart of the props on set and it gave me a boost of energy that was much needed mid-day.

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I’m still on a natural high from that day on set. Seeing women of color (shown in the picture above) doing their thing in the film industry as writers, directors, actresses, etc.  It was another confirmation for me that I am in alignment with my purpose.  We will be sharing more of our stories in front of audiences nationwide, and we will need your support.  This is a white male dominated industry but we are women of color who are busting our asses to have our independent stories seen and heard as well, and on as many platforms as possible.  Although I am still interested in theater and currently working on producing my next theatrical production called, “Say, Amen“, I feel like I’m always connected more with filmmakers and maybe that’s a sign from God that I’ll be transitioning to filmmaking sooner than I think.

If you’re into filmmaking, what’s some lessons you’ve learned that you can share with others to help others avoid making those same mistakes?  Please share in the comments.

 

Living My Life More Abundantly

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Image from Pinterest

Over the past few days, I’ve been learning how to live my life more abundantly.  Up until these very days, I haven’t been living my life to the fullest.  I’ve been watching videos by mother Oprah Winfrey, Marshawn Evans Daniels, Lisa Nichols and in just a few hours, read Steve Harvey’s book, titled Jump to get me on the right paths.  I’ve been speaking positive affirmations to myself and over my life every morning when I wake up to start my day.  I’m going back over my vision board I created in January and activated my faith and doing the work to see my visions, manifested in the natural.

Now, what led me to this new mindset you may be wondering? I can honestly say it’s been a mirage of things, but mostly, my desire to be a full-time writer.  For the last month, I’ve tossed and turned all night, woke up every hour, cried some nights cause going to work not doing something I love, kept me up, literally.  I just wanted more for my life than a regular type of living.  My former job took a lot of my physical and mental time and space in my life, that I was on empty when I got home and couldn’t do nothing but go to sleep.  That’s not a healthy way of living!

I believe God was trying to get my attention each one of those nights that I couldn’t sleep.  I can recall seeing visions of me standing before crowds of women talking, empowering them through stories of triumph over adversity.  I could literally smell the women in my dreams perfume, and then I would wake up —  the DREAM would be over, and back to reality.  Reality being, going to a job that I no longer felt valued and losing sleep for.  But, because just like a first time high, I wanted to dream those dreams again and again, where I was living my life in abundance.

When I say, “living my life in abundance” I’m not talking about just financial gains, although that is apart of my dreams.  I’m mainly talking about making space in my life so that I can put the work in and have my dreams become my reality.  I bought a gold sparkly poster board and started tapping words of affirmation that I read every morning, to help me Speak those things into existence….. I believe that when you speak words of affirmation, you are putting into the universe, what will be given back to you…positive energy.

Next, I quit my full-time job and took the offer of a part-time position so that I can spend more of my time …..writing….networking….putting myself in environments of where I want my dreams to intersect with my reality.  Yes, there will be a pay cut but that’s how serious I am about living my life more abundantly.  I don’t start my new job for another week (I made that request for this much needed vacation during the interview).  So my first two days unemployed, I have indulged my brain soaking up so much knowledge reading books and watching videos of people who are living their best lives now, and those same people also have gone through adversities and are living to tell us about their journey’s.

So now a days, I’m feeling good, even posted videos on Instagram in my stories (which I never do) looking a mess cause I had been getting my life snatched.  I was motivated to get out there in this big world and write.  Write to the faithful 8 viewers on my website, the sixty plus people who show up at the Playground Theater to see my stories, the thirty-something people who like my praise reports on my Facebook posts and my favorite, the two or three people who I inspire by telling my stories on whatever platform and share their stories with me, that keeps me going.  That keeps my pens glued to paper, to help me write more stories.

I’m more excited by the impact of my stories than I am about the number of likes or viewers, on my platforms.  I struggle at times posting on this site cause naturally I think, only 5-8 people are going to view it.  It takes too much of my time, preparing my posts for only 5-8 people to view it, not comment or even share the post …no shade readers/viewers just speaking facts.  But then I look at the careers of Luvvie Ajayi, Necole of Hellonecole, Myleik, etc., and these are black women who are successful bloggers and thriving in this blogging industry.  I’ve heard their stories of them starting out, and I too have faced some of their same struggles and that gives me confirmation to, keep writing.

Writing for me is a place where I can just be myself.  It’s the place where my life experiences meet other people along life’s journey and we connect, if only briefly and through my writings, I am able to connect families closer together, heal the broken hearted, break cycles of abuse or dysfunctions, or high-five someone virtually who is thinking about relocating, scared but because I had crazy faith and relocated unexpectedly, they too have relocated, and are living their best life, now.  Writing for me continues to open up doors of opportunity for me.  Being a student of life, I am determined to keep living and learning how to get the most out of each moment and every opportunity that I’ve been given, that will ensure my success in all areas of my life and I’m here for that.

Steve Harvey said in his book Jump that, “There should be nothing bigger than your dream.” I am declaring that today, moving forward, my dreams are going to be my priority.  Living my life in abundance means being a better version of me, including a healthier me (pray for me cause me and exercising are like learning a foreign language, it’s going to take some work) and putting in the work to live a purposeful life and leave an impact on someone’s life with my legacy.

How are you living a life, more abundantly?  Let’s discuss it in the comments.

Lesson Learned: ACCOUNTABILITY

Be Accountable words on a to-do list dry erase board telling you

 

While reading the book, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, I came across this question: What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from a past mistake?

For me, this question has two part answers: one answer is personally and one answer is professionally.  The answer to this question personally is, I’ve learned how to love more and not be selfish in any relationship.  Although I’m still learning this OMG am I always a student of love… I’ve learned from the loss of a relationship some time ago with someone in my past, to listen more and be accountable for my actions.  In that previous relationship, I learned so much about having more of an emotional connection with my partner, not just physical and materialistic things that women seek in relationships.  I was so used to my physical appearance “being enough” to stay in the relationship, no matter how dependent or toxic it may have been.  This was the first relationship that I experienced having real adult conversations, i.e., budgeting, household expenses, goals, boundaries, etc.  In other previous relationships, mentally, it went more like this:

Me to guy: What do you want me to do?

Guy: (Without saying a word but showing me by all of his actions): I’m going to waste your time year after year because I don’t value you.

Now this year, I’ve been all about applying the word: ACCOUNTABILITY in my life.  So I learned that if I held the men accountable for their flaws/mistakes, I must also look in the mirror at FELICIA.  My idol Shonda Rhimes has her mantra, “Say Yes” ….mine is just being more accountable in all all that I do.

Next, I’m learning how to be more accountable in my work environment.  As I work in a very emotional and sometimes hostile environment (a juvenile detention center) I always say to myself: No matter what happens, be responsible for your actions.  For me, this one statement helps me continuously hold myself accountable for all of my reactions to people and circumstances, no matter what!

Whenever I do motivational speaking engagements I make sure I let everyone know who’s under the sound of my voice, that I MAKE MISTAKES, DAILY.  Being a leader, you’re oft expected to know everything and expected to lead a life of excellence.  Talk about peer pressure.  Once I hit my years in the 30’s, I learned quickly that my excellence truly comes from serving others, and was a hard lesson for me to learn.  Most of my peers are running around chasing professional titles with corner offices, or starting families and I’m just trying to network with people whom I can better serve.  I aspire everyday to lead by my actions and not just by my words or empty promises.

Serving others always help me reach my goal of being accountable and is also the gateway of reaching my highest potential and or accomplishing goals in my life.  I hold myself accountable, every step of the way.  Whether it’s while I’m working in the production stages of theater or dealing with a crisis on a unit at work.  I do self check ins A LOT!  If my tongue gets too jazzy (which it will ASAP) I’ll hold myself accountable, and take action to reset circumstances or my relationships with people.

Ask yourself, What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from a past mistake?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments or use this question as a journal moment and write freely and most importantly, honestly.

CASTING INFO FOR MY NEW PLAY: “SAY, AMEN.”

 

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**CASTING FOR NON-PAID CHICAGO, IL ACTORS/ACTRESSES**
Looking for the following roles to play in an upcoming play called “Say, Amen.” This is a comical play about the things people do and think to themselves while attending morning services at church. I am a local playwright, director, lead storyteller of Felicia T. Simpson Productions and producer from Chicago originally but now live in NOLA and looking to network with a new community of theater professionals. If you’re interested PLEASE email your acting resume (if available) and headshot image to felicianewme@gmail.com and put in the subject line which role you would like to audition for.
Here are the descriptions of the character roles:
Reverend Leonard Clemons:
An AA male who can play the role of a 40-45 yr old
First Lady Dorothy Clemons:
An AA woman who can play the role of a 40-45 yr old
Sis. Ivory (usher):
An AA woman who can play the role of a 45 yr old mean sassy role
Bro. Dante:
An AA male in his 30’s who can play the role of a gay choir director
Taneisha:
An AA woman who can play the role of a single mother in her early 20’s
Sinclair:
An AA male who can play the role of a 16 yr old with an edgy look
Kenneth:
An AA male who is 8 yrs old
LaToya:
An AA woman who can play the role of a stripper in her early 20’s
Deacon Thomas:
An AA comical woman who can play the role of a 40 yr old flirtatious
Norma Jean Brown:
An AA woman who can play the role of a 80 yr old
Sis. Corrine Jackson:
An AA woman who can play the role of a 75-80 yr old
Sister #1:
An AA woman who can play the role of a 40-45 yr old
Sister #2:
An AA woman who can play the role of a 40-45 yr old
Extras:
(2) An AA male and/or woman who can play the role of choir members in brief scenes (no lines to memorize, only lip singing)