My Birthday Month Has (Finally!!!) Arrived

Boy, I thought March would NEVER get here. I have a very special relationship with March. Not just because my Birthday is the 19th (Pisces, of course), but good things tend to happen to me in March. I get some good news. I’ve won some money. And I’ve even gotten a new bike (from wiffee) in March. Long ago I decided to celebrate the entire month, and not just rely on one day. This arrangement has served me well. I get to justify all sorts of excess. I can’t say no to myself. I feel like I can do (within reason) what I want. It’s not even actually DOING what I want, it’s the FEELING OF BEING ABLE TO DO WHAT I WANT….as the commercial says “priceless.”

This month I finished a revision of a play I wrote way back in 2007. It’s called “MASTERS OF SPIN,” and I wrote it after I read an article in the Baltimore Sun about Morgan State University and a local advertising/marketing firm. On a very small level, it exposed African American “hair issues.”

So with that as such a JUICY backdrop, I invented my own re-telling of events. Here’s the synopsis of “MASTERS OF SPIN”:

                     “Scott, Johnson & Vickers, a small public relations firm (4 employees, all African-American) has just won a prestigious award. However, success soon takes a misstep. Cleopatra Scott, the firm’s CEO, volunteers to launch a series of Public Service Announcements for Douglass College, a historically black local college. Unfortunately, D’Acosta Johnson, the firm’s Admin. Assistant, included inflammatory language in the flyers advertising the PSA’s. The flyer announces that the criteria for the PSA auditions revolve around certain “hair requirements.” The irony is made more pronounced by the fact that D’Acosta, the young African-American woman who composed and circulated the flyer, is currently a student at Douglass, and Cleopatra is an esteemed alumni who’s also African-American

                      How does a small firm of “Spin Specialists” unravel their wrongly miscalculated deed? As Cleopatra starts the process of examination, she finds a hornet’s nest of racial myth and madness that includes a very personal level of outrage. Cleopatra’s indignation is matched by D’Acosta Johnson’s more “modern” racial ethos. D’Acosta believes that, far from being controversial, her actions were entirely pragmatic. As everyone’s reactions are investigated and questioned, we see a conflict that extends across generational as well as racial boundaries. Ultimately, the Masters Of Spin must find a new direction and heal internal and external wounds.”

I’m excited about it. It dives into “regular life” for a PR firm. I won’t say much more. We’ll see what happens. I keep a file of “script ideas,” and this is one that I didn’t abandon. I have a few more. We’ll see if March can bring any good New-Productions-For-Alonzo news. If nothing turns up in that department, I have lots of March rituals that have served me well. I usually take a beautiful bike around my B-Day and this year I’m headed off to the Mount Vernon Trail. A few years ago I did the WO&D trail. That was 45 miles each way.

Mt. Vernon Trail

It was a GORGEOUS day, and my Bike Friday got me “out and back”. The Mt. Vernon Trail is different. It’s not a long ride — about 36 roundtrip, but it’s a lovely route. Ahhhh — trail bliss. Also, the NCAA B-Ball Tournament reigns supreme in March and I always find myself up near midnight watching somebody drain a long-distance three. Ahhh, ball bliss. So anything that comes my way artistically will be the cherry on top. I bought a Joseph Campbell book yesterday and was reminded of when I first discovered Joseph and his philosophy. One of the stories I’ve always remembered is that, at a young age (sometime around the time we’re teenagers) we all enter a forest. That forest represents our journey into adulthood. Some of us come out of the forest very intact. Others, not so much. The forest can halt our maturity, or make us more prepared. Most of the major religions have a hero who’s entered a quest. And after they return from the quest, they’ve been enlightened. And they share their enlightenment.

But, what if your personal quest doesn’t just end when you’re young? What if that quest extends for your entire life? You engage in a search. You’re seeking answers. Maybe it takes a lifetime for them to arrive…….that’s what I see as my Playwriting journey. A lot of achievements, great and small, that come in and out. In and out.

We’ll see what March 2016 brings to the equation.

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