“B-Side Man” on the air in Atlanta & Veteran’s Teaching Update

DO I EVER LOVE SPRING! Next to Fall, this is my favorite time to be alive. Spring is possibilities. Spring is development. Spring is the time for serendippity. I’ve felt that way forever. There is no better time to be walking in sunshine. Or sitting outside. Or reading a blog post.

New News! Yes, the Atlanta Audio Festival has just about arrived and “B-Side Man” will be one of the participants. Want proof? Just check out their line-up and you’ll find me.

Atlanta Audio   It feels like I’m living with that play on a daily basis. It has all the truth the real world will provide. When I die my tombstone should say “Here lies the man who wrote “B-Side Man”. Do I want all of Atlanta to listen to my play and through word-of-mouth I become an overnight sensation? Let’s just say I wouldn’t turn it down. I doubt many people can name more than one (if that) successful contemporary playwrights. I don’t need to be one of those people who have a zillion productions and takes up all the space on a theatre program listing all his productions and affliations. That’s not me. Face it. If you’ve seen any theatre in your lifetime you know there’s alotta bad plays out there. Alotta “nothing” plays out there. But if nobody is putting me in the “spectacular” category — I guess I gotta do it myself. See what Spring does? It empowers even the most UN-humble Playwrights.

Starting in June, I’ll be taking classes to become certified to teach veteran’s in the state of Maryland. Veteran Ready Training that Judy Rollins created in association with the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC)  and Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) ensures that participation in these training sessions will be required for any teacher who will be working with Veterans through MSAC grant programs.

Becoming a certified veteran’s teacher would be a wonderful opportunity. It takes you out of the “free-lance” realm and makes everything a bit more legit. Enhanced credibility would be a beautiful thing.

We’ll see how the rest of Spring unfolds. But right now it can do no wrong.

 

 

“B-Side Man” Joins Atlanta Fringe Audio Festival

fringeaudioThis time of year (February/March) seems to always unearth some form of good news for me. And so I’m tickled to discover that “B-Side Man’ was chosen to be part of the Atlanta Fringe Audio Festival. Fringe Audio is part of the Atlanta Fringe Festival. The plays will be read aloud, sort of an ongoing radio show. They’ll be using my Soundcloud recording of “B-Side Man” (boy am I ever happy I made that!).

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And kudos for Atlanta Fringe for creating an Audio category for their festival. This allows so many podcast/audio worthy projects to be heard in the light of day. Storytelling has never been bigger! But who am I kidding? Do I care about them? I’m a Playwright! I got my own 40 some-odd-years of dramatic burdens to haul around. Of course I’m just kidding. The Audio of “B-Side” will be available from May 27th to June 16th. So I’m officially thrilled. You never know who might hear the play, or who might pass along hearing the play, or who might know somebody who heard the play and passed it along to one of the Theatrical Gods of Destiny who may then pluck me up into Playwriting Wakanda Olympus.

 

 

Opportunities Knocking at Ma Door

The Holidays are here and December (shopping) madness is in full swing. Though I love Christmas with a passion, I’m most excited about what’s coming round the corner in 2019. I was once again asked to be a judge for Maryland’s Poetry Out Loud Competition.

Cayla Turner Poetry Out Loud State Champion Photo Credit Edwin Remsberg(2)

(Pictured: Cayla Turner, Maryland Poetry Out Loud State Champion — photo by Edwin Remsberg)

In the past, I’ve had an outstanding time being a judge for the competition. The poems and the participants really, really grab you in the moment. I can’t say enough about the experiences I’ve had in the past. The poems all come from the classic tradition, but it’s how they’re delivered that makes them become, as they say, “re-imagined”.

I’ve also finalized the Veteran’s Storytelling Workshop, but it looks like I’ll be having my “classroom” at the Institute for Integrative Health”.

Nicole and I will also be participating in the “Love Letters Project” February 13th, at the Maryland Art Place. Here’s a description of the event:

Cupid’s Arrow, taking place on the eve of Valentine’s Day, indulges in romantic love: Nicole and Alonzo Lamont with a tale of stolen moments blooming into a marriage; cabaret performer Betsey Hobelmann honoring 18 years of marriage with a song; husband, father, scholar-activist, storyteller and drummer David Fakunle praising his love; and more. The event includes audience members sharing their own testimonials of  Valentine’s love, accompanied by jazz vocalist Simone Speed, who offers song throughout the evening. A moment is given over to Ken Royster, whose photograph of a young couple included in the exhibition perfectly invokes the theme of romance.

We’ll be describing, reading and performing excerpts from the very FIRST love letters we wrote to each other. And performing a small section from “B-Side Man” that recalls our very first meeting. WHO KNEW! Twenty one years later, WHO KNEW all this would be, in the words of Carly Simon, “coming around again”.

There could be more on the way, but I don’t wanna jinx it. I’ll take these for now.

 

Introducing my pals at “Limestone Connection” — Holly & Jason

Two great buddies o’ mine, Holly Morse-Ellington and Jason Tinney have several new sites involving podcasts, music and storytelling. I’ve known Holly and Jason for several years, but got to work with them this summer, I directed Holly’s one-act play “Free To Go” at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre.

Manhattan Rep Theatre

 

 

Well, they run the full creativity gamut. Here’s their Bandcamp site for their DEBUT album…Limestone Connection

Storyproof provides a more in depth look at the full-range of their passions.

Screenshot 2018-08-16 15.49.46 copy

We’ve made plans to collaborate on various projects, but for now they’re getting all their ducks in a row. From the moment we met, I thought they were the cat’s pajamas. They provided me with feedback for “B-Side Man,” and in my book I count them both as aces. I rarely meet folks who I pretty quickly gravitate towards. You can go through alot of false starts (and steps) finding the genuine article. But enough from me. When you get a moment jump in with both feet — and go check out both their sites.

Alonzo published in “Eclectica”

It’s been an artistic summer so far, directing Holly Morse-Ellington’s “Free To Go” in NYC (featured actors: Holly and Jason Tinney), and now “B-Side Man” was just this minute published in Eclectica magazine. (click on the book) Eclectica, started way back in 1996 is one of the oldest — and still surviving –— online ‘zines. EclecticaAnd they published the whole dang play. Not an excerpt, the whole dang play! I love how they gave us a tease about content, and while it’s all minimalist to the bone, they definitely captured the overall essence and flavor of the playwright and the play.

I’m particularly thrilled about the “Contributors’ Notes” As you scroll down, you’ll see that they didn’t skimp on putting in the whole kit’n kaboodle about Alonzo. Yes, I wrote it, but did I think it would ALL make the final cut? Needless to say, I’m happy it did. As always, I feel as though there could be more “B-Side” opportunities on the near horizon, since it’s such a tight little nugget of drama & literature.

And look for future collaborations between Alonzo, Jason and Holly, they’re the equally eclectic duo who form “Limestone Connection.” They write plays, prose, essays, work the storytelling gumbo pot and it all comes together under a great big “southern gothic/e” blues & folk umbrella of many colors.

So hooray for good news in the summer. Moving forward, the forecast is sunny. Let fall and winter artistic news be the chewy gristle of a cheap steak, summer should feel like brand new duds splashing down the boulevard. We all yearn to be in full regalia in summertime.

 

New Horizons: Teaching Storytelling class with VetArts Connect at the Reginald Lewis Museum

Starting in September I’m happy to say that I’ll be working with veterans once again. I’ll be teaching a storytelling workshop at the Reginald Lewis Museum right here in downtown Baltimore.

Reginald Lewis Museum   I was contacted by JW Rone, Director of Veterans’ Initiatives at The Institute For Integrative Health, who asked if I was interested. I had reached out to the Veterans Initiatives months ago, just to offer my services.

Veterans

Well, out of the blue an opportunity arose that seems right up my alley. The workshop will run from Sept. to March, hopefully it’ll culminate with a performance. Whether that’s a reading, or an actual on-it’s-feet storytelling event, much like The Telling Project — either way seems exciting to me. I think I have something to offer, regardless of format. And I plan on bringing my “A game” to the experience. I’ve mentioned a zillion times what an organic and thoroughly transformative process it was working with “Telling,” and I wanted that experience to continue. Lucky for me, it has. It seems that my lot in life is to discover ways that I can fully utilize whatever writing and directing skills that I have. And the outlets that I’ve found are always “soulful” in nature. If I have any legacy outside of writing my own plays, it’s that I was fortunate enough to allow others to find their own voice, and realize the power behind their own words and deeds.

Carving out a career in Playwriting can be damn sobering and, at times, soul-crushing. Hey you could throw in a full liter of “depressing” too! But you can’t let the amount of productions, publicity (or lack thereof) or recognition define what you do, or who you are. For me, sharing has been a wonderful antidote to all the missing elements that a life in the theatre can bring.

Coming Soon: “B-Side Man” Published in Eclectica Magazine

 

The July edition of literary arts ‘Zine Eclectica Magazine will have none other than Alonzo LaMont’s “B-Side Man”. I don’t know if they’ve published plays before, so if I’m breaking new ground — it make perfect sense. Since I think the play is pretty, “groundbreaking.” I’ve been seeking opportunities for “B-Side” to be recognized outside the world of theatre. I think there’s a world of alternative performance, audio or yes, literary avenues to discover & I feel there’s a home for “B-Side” among a few of those places. So first came Soundcloud and now I’m officially in the literary arts “scene.” I feel my inner hipster shining through!

Eclectica  I’m through the roof thrilled to be included, and I hope everyone appreciates the honesty and style of the play. The more I hear the language and events that it details, the more I’m convinced that the play is more than just my evolution, or my life. Nothing would surprise me about where “B-Side” ultimately lands. Basically it was a three year project to fine-tune and tailor it, to realize what an inspired direction it should take and most importantly how my voice should sound. I worked on it constantly, and finally crafted what I think is an epic journey. Can’t wait to see it online.

“B-Side Man” on Soundcloud

I was lucky enough to make a recording of “B-Side Man,” special thanks to my extraordinary engineer Dominic Delauney, that’s now on Soundcloud.

Have a listen and hear all the “juicy” details surrounding how Alonzo became Alonzo! I think it captures the play even more than performing the play did. I’m hoping to discover a creative outlet that deals with storytelling, or vice-versa. We’ll see how that goes. It’s springtime and hope always springs eternal. Happy listening!

 

 

 

Breakfast Too Pretty To Eat

This morning, wiffee Nicole came up with this delicious concoction for breakfast.

Homemade Gourmet Breakfast

And yes, that’s the chessboard I play (with myself) on most every day. That’ sliced avocado, soft boiled egg, sliced asparagus and chives sittin on top of it all. A small “schooch” of tabasco completes the ensemble. And it tastes as great as it looks. The actual star of the show are the chives. They add a certain scent, and play well with everybody. The aspargus are the thinner ones, and the crunch they provide highlights the softness of the avocado. Boy, she whipped this up in no time, and I just wanted to look, no touch, for a second. And then I wolfed it down. Eggs and asparagus make fine paleo companions. I’ve seen them made together, but the eggs are over easy. No matter how you make ’em they’ll fit. Wiffee made this in about 10 minutes or less. Can’t wait for this to be on the menu again.