Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ooops if you missed it: I'll be on Law & Order!

I'm happy to announce that I filmed an episode of Law & Order. I was told that my episode would air on December 3rd--by an official letter from the creators of the show-- but I got several calls and texts saying people saw it already!!? Go figure? Sometimes they do holiday repeats and maybe you'll catch mine on Dec. 3rd as I was told. . . I played "Nurse Pelzer" and had scenes with the two new detectives played by Jeremy Sisto and Anthony Anderson. Its a cute little scene with the detectives and my sleeping patient (in the picture above awake!) and I felt just like my Mom--Deborah, who happens to be a nurse in real life! There is certainly more to come!

Saycon Sengbloh!

Monday, November 10, 2008

First Black Elphaba. . . 44th President

I've been floating on a cloud this week as I saw my country the United States of America show up in record numbers to vote for our President-Elect Barrack Obama! This FIRST, is one that astounds a nation which at one time supported slavery and Jim Crow. So many people of our nation were so emotional for so many reasons and we are reminded of so many FIRSTS that have happened in American popular culture: in music, sports, literature, science, architecture, and visual art. African-American FIRSTS in entertainment have been particularly inspiring to me: Halle Berry winning the Academy Award for Best Actress, Outcast as the first Hip-Hop group to win Record of the Year at the Grammy's, Phylicia Rashad's Best Actress in a Play Tony win, and my own personal first as the first black woman to perform Elphaba on Broadway: Saycon Sengbloh!

There have been dynamic FIRSTS in politics that continue to occur each year but this time was different. The office of the President of the United States of America, the identity of the First Family, seemed different! Because with so many negative representations of people of color presented, with advertisements that rarely use children of color or women of color as the American example somehow--outside of politics--this election has made many people who have doubted themselves feel "good enough", feel "welcome", feel "Yes We Can" be fully American. Yes, 42 years after the civil rights movement we are still in need of encouragement, boy has slavery done a dosey on our collective self esteem! Obama's movement has made many people in this country feel:"Yes We Can" begin to get beyond the difficult parts of our history and let people know that we can look at people for who they are. And love them and respect them beyond the color of their skin!

I have gotten so many letters from girls and boys who were so excited and proud to see a Black woman performing one of their favorite characters, "Elphaba", in the musical Wicked. I was in Wicked for nearly 2 and a half years and I learned so much during that time.. .it wasn't always easy and I was so busy in my own experience of working at the Gershwin theatre that I didn't truly imagine so many kids would be inspired. Oh, but the letters flew in, the artwork the fan sites, all the love that said "We're so proud of you!" and "We can do it too!" I found out over the years that these things have meant alot to young people of color. Barack and Michelle Obama have inspired us all and I hope to inspire in the way that they have! God bless America!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween was fun. . .Canvassing for Obama is better!

Halloween was fun but voting will be even better!
Hello people after 3 weeks away, I'm getting back into the mix of writing this blog, "Saycon Talks". Oh so much has happened between now and the last time I wrote. I hope everyone had a great time on Halloween, I celebrated several times. First at a charity event at B.B. Kings NY I dressed as a little devil, I even met Captain Crunch and Chewbacca from Star Wars. The next day I met with my friend Maia to to take her kids trick or treating, I'm away from my nieces and nephews and so it was fun to do that with her, this time I had a more tame leopard ears and tail! Later I met my good friend Justin for a party for some "Gossip Girl" stars. After seeing him as "Angel" in the Broadway cast of Rent Justin had a full beard and military garb dressed as revolutionary Che Guevara! At this event party goers went all out! My favorites were "Brad & Angelina" complete with babies attached to their suit and dress lapels. And I also loved "Elliot" dressed in a red hooded sweatshirt who came to the party on a bike with E.T. and Reeses Pieces in a basket attached at the front! So Authentic!!!!

I got up the next morning to join friend and poet/writer Aquaila S. Barnes and do my part to help the Obama campaign to victory in Pennsylvania! We got a rental car and with a bag of chips and Mapquest directions on hand, we set out on our journey! Like many people I didn't know that my voice would count but I found that the people of Southwest Philly were happy to have the encouragement of individuals like our selves knocking on their doors. "Southwest Philly for Obama" was so organized, and full of vigor, I can't help but think back to the days of the civil rights movement and the level of organization it takes to reach people and get them involved.
The feeling at the grassroots level was amazing, a video of Michelle Obama streamed over the loudspeaker and lots of information was available to help. We walked on foot as we canvassed the neighhborhood making sure no voter would be disenfranchised, providing information about rides and locations to their polling location and instructions for the voting machines in the booth. I'll never forget meeting a super skeptical man and a newly registerd young man living right next to each other--talking with them was really deep! I look forward to Tuesday November 4th, the day that I get to cast my vote!!! Go OBAMA!!!

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