Thursday, March 24, 2011

*Notes from THIS Choreographer*

Over time every artist; whether you’re a dancer, writer, musician, actor, or graphic designer develops their own personal and professional style.  As a choreographer; I teach young children to adults every dance style imaginable and my methods are the same…with a few tweeks and twerks every now and again, of course.  At this present time I’m choreographing a middle school performance of, “Guys and Dolls” and it was funny to me that during a rehearsal I recorded the kids so we could critique their performance and on my ride home I had to laugh out loud at the things I say during notes!  Notes are a theatrical term used to give all of the helpful hints, critiques and evaluations of an artist and/or scene performance.  Notes happen once the scene, song or routine has taken place (usually at the end of the show or Act) and the artist is either standing or sitting and writing whatever notes the director, musical director or choreographer has to say, so that the next time they perform they are cleaned and polished!  Here are a few of my customary notes, and or, things I might possibly shout out during a rehearsal.

1. Practice should be done on your own time!!  At rehearsal, you are performance ready!!

2. Memory!  One word….wretched!  What’s up?!  You’re acting like you’ve never learned the routine!

3. You really gave it to me!  Nice work!

4. Don’t just stand there when I’m not working with you; go over eight counts, dance, stretch, kick a leg…do sumpin’!!

5. Perfecting time!!!  Personally, my favorite part!  If you don’t know the routine by now…u WILL when I get through!

6. Give me some spice please!  Make it caliente!

7. There you go!  Give it to me!

8. Attitude and hair are your BEST props! J Work it out!

9. Never get the same note twice!  

10. You’re moving like you’re scared…don’t be scared!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Khrystian Tid-bit

A condom is cheaper than child support and ABSTINENCE is FREE!  (my friends)

~wait for it (Katt Williams voice)~

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Art of the Re-Gift

It's one of those things that everybody does, but nobody talks about!  Holidays, birthdays and special occasions usually involve gift-giving of some sort.  Most times re-gifting is planned...other times...not so much.  It begins with a gift.  One person receives a gift, has a gift, or has something in their possession that they can't or won't use and so... would serve as a greater gift to someone ELSE (at least one can only hope)!  It doesn't necessarily mean the original recipient thought the gift just means it doesn't work for them or they can't use it.  It also doesn't mean the person receiving the gift just means they are more suited for the unknown gift.  Heck, and to keep it really real, as I do; you may just not have it to do at  the time and the best solution for you will be to re-gift.  Whatever you're initial reasoning it's all about the effort you place into re-gifting.  Practicing the art of re-gifting...because it is a special craft!
There are specific cases when re-gifting absolutely WORKS:
1. The person you're re-gifting does not know it was a previous gift, otherwise known as hand-me-down.
2. The gift is perfect for them.  (their personality, size, or it's just plain ole' something they wanted)
3. The gift is in perfect condition! (original tags attached, fresh, preferably perfectly packaged)
4. It's useful! (it may not have worked for you...but it's PERFECT for them)
5. Accompany the gift with a thoughtful, NEW card.  (it ties it all together)
Here's when re-gifting goes WRONG!  ABORT MISSION!
1. The person receiving the gift knows it's a re-gift and they were presumed to believe it was original.
2. It was something you didn't want, and now...they don't want it! (because it's out of date or season, not their personality, size or style)
3. It's been used! (missing pieces, fragrance low, tags are worn so bad they are soft or there's stains)
4.Original names are still on the gift. (please double check the gift...common courtesy!)

All in all, there's nothing blatantly wrong with re-gifting (my opinion) however, there's a certain decorum you MUST practice when doing so:
Awareness is key-Make sure the gift will suit your receiver and you understand the gift must be in great condition, examine it, and then bag it!  Place yourself in the receivers shoes!
Now to be clear:
It's a total other story if you're giving away something...that's NOT a gift.  When you give away something; you don't have to wrap it, it's not a surprise, and the person receiving it more than likely is clearly aware that it may or may not have been used. 
Here are some lovely ideas for re-gifting:
*Travel vouchers
*Movie Passes
*Gift cards

It may never happen, especially if you follow the art of the re-gift however, just as's-
What to do when you've been caught re-gifting:
1. Acknowledgement-  Do not insult the person's intelligence or pretend like it never happened.  Express to them exactly why you would give them the re-gift:
2. Profess- "It's perfect for you." "When first I got this, I knew you had to have it."  Any variation to the above will do.  As long as you're honest and sincere, they should understand.  If you're gifting'd think they know you. LOL!
3. Embrace-Throw a hug in for good measure, and for goodness sake make sure the card is thoughtful and the bagging or wrapping is impeccable!



Now-a-days kids aren't taught it...and adults don't show it!  It's a sad thing to be writing about...but it's a necessary evil that must be discussed!  To people, I might say something like- "If your parents didn't or won't teach you, I'll teach you about respect."
It starts with us...the supposed "adults"!  We're the one's the kids look up to for guidance and as role models.  Period!  It doesn't matter if you want to be one or not!  Your positive or negative actions are watched...and it's especially sad, if you have children and have no regard for your behavior around them!  Being a parent is a RESPONSIBILITY!  Any doofus can produce a child, but it takes responsible individuals to raise a child and be a parent!

The dictionary defines respect as:
: an act of giving particular attention : consideration  : high or special regard : esteem  : the quality or state of being esteemed  : expressions of high or special regard or deference

One particular rule I was taught is to respect my elders.  When I was a child it was super easy to decipher an that I'm older the line has become fuzzy.  Not to mention the fact, that most elders, now-a-days, aren't respectable!!  I believe, however, the underlying theme is still prevalent!  Just show consideration to people, their space, opinions, and feelings...PERIOD!  Respect is earned, not deserved!

It's simple and if you didn't care about anything I just wrote in the prior lines, take heed to these next gems of wisdom:  Don't do and/or say things that you have to consistently apologize for. Live your life unapologetically- not because you're rude and pompous, but because you're living on purpose...with consideration to those around you!  (Khrystian Tid-Bit)

PETA Patrol: Go ALL or Go Home!

Per my morning ritual; I was listening to the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the morning they had an interview with Taraji P. Henson discussing her recent PETA campaign.  It's the same highly publicized campaign that the few participants bare all in the name of PETA.  I’ve always liked Taraji as an actress, however; after a previous interview I heard her give on the same show detailing her decision to work with Tyler Perry on his feature film, The Family That Preys; I was totally turned off by her attitude! 
I’ll begin there:  On that particular interview I found her to be abrasive and a tad bit catty.  She and Tyler Perry, whom was included in the interview, went back and forth with banter, however; I found her remarks to him to be rude and slightly demeaning.  Maybe she meant no harm by her comments, and maybe that’s the relationship she and Tyler Perry have, and she’s certainly entitled to be herself and my opinion means absolutely nothing and won’t make or break her bank account, BUT…it is what it is, so I’ll continue.  Make no mistake; I’ll continue watching her on the big screen and I’m sure if I actually chatted with her personally I would feel some other sort of way…maybe NOT, but I’m open to a change of opinion. (wink to Taraji)

Back to PETA Patrol---
During the “PETA” interview and her decision to, rather be naked than wear fur; I got to thinking of PETA and what they stand for, and the negative connotations associated with those of us that possibly wear fur, or those of us whom believe that God gave us (humans) dominion over all the animals of the land and sea.  I thought, “Oh Em Gee!  PETA is not and/or SHOULD not be just about fashion and fur!  That’s not a stand!
Go ALL or go home!”  I said that all in my mind as I was listening to her speak because she said, “I can stop wearing fur for the cause.”  She went as far as to say, it was like destiny that she was asked to be apart of this campaign because years back she was watching some documentary over cruelty of animals and was convicted then and there and began crying in her living room in front of the television.  It MOVED her, she said passionately.  Then, when Jay asked if she was going to stop eating chicken; she said, “Not my wings!  Surely I’ll continue eating hot wings!” 

LOL!  See my point?!  Yes…it was funny, but it was also TYPICAL!  People make all these judgment calls and criticize and state these monumental facts of life or convictions, but they don’t even know what they truly stand for! 

I felt like; if you’re not able to stop wearing leather, eating your beloved chicken wings, steak or shrimp and don't even get me started on wearing leather boots, then sit your ass down!  This PETA, they actually are very militant in what they stand for, or at least they should be; but I suppose for the publicity…(Side-Eye)...well we know how THAT goes!  I’m sorry but the sad reality is: Some people care more about these animals than they do humans!  You know it’s true, if you’ll send a man to jail for allowing dog fighting to go on at his home, but allow rapist, molesters, murders and drug dealers to walk the streets.  Those same types of people DESTROY life too; HUMAN life as a matter of a fact! 

FACT:  We had a cold winter here in Texas.  There are homeless folk (humans, hello?!) under every bridge; I hadn’t seen not one person picking them up, taking them to their home, feeding, bathing, and clothing them.  Let it be a dog, or even a damn tiger…they’ll be up in the house with you, next to you and your kids, wrapped in a snuggie for a family portrait!  I mean, we really need to get our minds right!  HUMAN life is more important and shouldn’t be discarded because you think an animal has your back and won’t let you down!  Let, even for a second that tiger get hungry enough…he will hunt for blood, and if you’re in the vicinity…sorry folks, you’re going down!