I have NEVER been tried on so many levels for any of my productions to date, and this play KARMA, was well worth EVERY adversity that swung at me because the end result was AMAZING and I definitely learned some important lessons moving forward!!!!!!! Throughout the three months of production, I changed the character of David’s role THREE times and a month before the show……after quitting the production of the entire show…….changed one of the lead male role of the character Jonathan….. Brandon Minor always comes through the clutch for me with an excellent performance.
Every week, myself and the cast faced so many trials in our personal lives, either it was conflicts in schedules or there was a problem at the theater that we could not rehearse in our time slot, casts were late, I had other obligations, ….. oh this list of craziness can go on. So with that said, we had the first all cast rehearsal Thursday night before the show. Where they do that at? I’m telling you, I don’t know how we pulled off such an amazing show, and no I’m not just saying that because I wrote it lol, but so many people who were in attendance gave it great reviews and feedback.
The day of the show, myself and the cast were PISSED because when we arrived at the theater we found out that we were doubled-booked with an audition that was taking place with over 60 people already in the theater that morning. The time block needed for my production’s set up and rehearsal was not on the theater’s calendar (only the time of the show was on there), that I had scheduled when I booked the show. So we had to go down the street, pay for and rehearse in the basement at Gill Park District which of course was NOT in our plans for that day.
Tears welled up in my eyes so many times the day of the show, it amazes me how I survived it all til curtain call. The cast and my stage director had to constantly remind me of God’s plans for my life in which their words were literally what kept me going cause I was like why is all hell breaking loose during this production? I concluded two things: Either the devil was trying to really keep somebody from seeing this show, because he knew it would change their life ultimately for the better OR I concluded, that God MUST be about to elevate me and open up NEW doors for Felicia T. Simpson’s Productions! #WontHeDoIt
Well, it was made perfectly clear as we looked around that theater that seats roughly 65 people, that Felicia T. Simpson Productions needs a B-I-G-G-E-R theater because we have “outgrown the space” as my sister Crystal Iris posted on Facebook, and were beyond filled to capacity. People were everywhere. I’m used to selling out shows at the theater but we had to use all of the chairs we could find and people were standing up and not complaining…..look at GOD!!! I’m still in awe as I remember looking out at the audience who came out to support the cast and myself. The pressing of my boiling points was surely a test that God, is about to elevate me into not only a new theater but also new networks which is of the uptmost importance to me.
Now, at a Felicia T. Simpson’s Productions, you are guaranteed to eat some good food, enjoy the commentary of our beloved MC Crystal Iris, drink some adult beverages, enjoy the show and then TURN UP and party afterwards!!!! There was catered jerk chicken tacos, jerk chicken pasta, fruit and veggie trays from the marvelous Mellynda Williams of Simple Sensations who always hooks us up with delicious foods for our rehearsals and shows and I always provide complimentary wine, beer and sodas for the audience. I aspire to make people feel exactly as if they were at home with me or just hanging out with me.
The roster of actors and actresses were of course my favorites to work with: Gerald Banton, Brandon Minor, Sherell Brown and Shakira Reedus. This time, I added a new leading lady, Tia Anderson who has become my lifeline daily and who stayed on top of things throughout the entire production. She had the audience laughing in their seats in whatever scenes she was in. Next was Gerrell Tucker who is not an actor but did a great job in the role of David, the best friend of Max (Gerald Banton), who swears he’s a pimp.
The audience really enjoyed this production because it talked about real life experiences of a love triangle…….but…… this time, the woman, was the “bad guy”……when it’s typically the man who cheats on his spouse type of story. Some of the male audience members came up to me after the show and thanked me for telling the truths about women who cheat, their consequences and that not all men are dogs. Then, I was told that I need a part 2 of Karma cause we definitely left the audience yearning for more (which was the goal). I haven’t decided if I want to write a part 2 for Karma for the theater or finally stretch my wings and soar into making it a short film or webseries. I have in mind the title for it but, I’ll reveal that at it’s appointed time.
In every curtain call, I honor the ladies by giving them their flowers on earth while they are still with me, followed by a slight roast of each cast member because so much goes on behind the scenes that the audience will never get to see or know about. Two of the flower arrangements were donated by my uncle who on social media, I refer to him as “the uncle” from Flowers Unlimited. They make the most beautiful flower arrangements in the city.
Also during curtain call, I allow the cast to highlight the things that they are doing in upcoming productions or mention the productions, television shows, plays, etc., that they have worked on. I truly believe in supporting my cast in all that they do and I believe that’s how we continuously work well together. No matter how many times, I want to cast all new people, oddly, we all wind up back working together again on another production of mine. I keep being reminded of how my biggest inspiration, Tyler Perry uses the same characters Cora and Brown in all of his stories.
Last but not least, during curtain call is where I give the exclusive details of the next production that I’m working on before I share it with the world on social media. The next Felicia T. Simpson Productions show will be called “Say, Amen!” This is a comical play about all of the things you say in your head to yourself, during morning service at church. I am already laughing writing the script. Also, “Say, Amen” will be co-written and directed by myself and Tia Anderson, which is something I have never done before. I’m excited to see that collaboration over the next couple of months so stay tuned for more information regarding that show.
If you attended the play Karma, what were your favorite moments in the show? Leave your answers in the comments.