As Lemon Anderson’s play ToasT came to a close, the actors lined up for a final bow, as the intense emotions of the final scene was still etched on their faces. I too sensed the goosebumps on my arms in the small intimate Public House Theater in the East Village, as the audience enthusiastically applauded the cast’s gripping performance; especially that of Hill Harper, Keith David, and Phillip James Brandon.
As I cheered and hollered, I felt what I could only describe as a surge of inspiration.
I’ve been around a lot of creative energy lately, and I love it. From witnessing the fruit of the labor of artists, actors, writers, and musicians, I come away more and more encouraged. Seeing people love and excel at what they do for a living lets me know that it’s possible for me also. I can relate to the passion in a singer’s eyes as they hit the perfect note on stage, and I can sense the gentle care of the artist’s strokes as they accurately portray an emotion on canvas.
I empathize with their experience because my senses tingle and my lips smirk as my thoughts and emotions converge to form the right words on paper.
Being in New York has allowed me the privilege of surrounding myself in raw talent. I’ve been enamored to vibe with eclectic bands like Hiatus Kaiyote at the Gramercy Theater, and to see the beautiful barrier-breaking art of Kehinde Wiley. And even back home in Florida I’ve had the pleasure of seeing one of my long-time friends, Alain, showcase his music live.
I feed off their talent.
I feed off their energy.
But I would be lying if I didn’t say it evoked some sense of jealousy. I long for the day when what I love is what I do for a living. To wake up and know my gifts will be nourished is a dream that I hope will soon become reality. I am my happiest when I know my talents are put to use, which explains the slowness in my step as I commute to my 9 to 5.
Right now I feel all of this creativity ready to burst out at the seams. I no longer want to sit back and wait for opportunities to present themselves. I want to be innovative, pave my own path, do my own thing. Just straight passion in all I put out to the world.
I’m ready. I know I am. I just need the discipline and the focus to do it; not to mention confidence in my gifting when discouragement would like me to believe I should crank out a literary masterpiece every time my pen touches paper. Creative geniuses make it look effortless, but beneath the visual perfection of their work lies countless hours of labor.
As I walked down the steps of the theater, still feeling a high, I made my way uptown a few blocks over to Union Square and sat down on the cement steps. I opened up my notebook, and feeling overwhelmed by all of the inspiration around me, I just began to write.
I’m learning how important it is to surround yourself with likeminded people without isolating yourself from opposition or criticism. I find that a community of creative likeminded people serves as an incubator, assisting you in the hatching of your abilities. It wasn’t until I joined author and blogger GG Renee’s Words That Move writing workshop that I discovered a group of women as eager to convey real life and emotion as I am, while still being excited about seemingly dull things like journaling classes.
The warmth of this energy is like a mother’s embrace. I’m in a crowd of people from all walks of life, each with their own voice, talent and infectious drive. For some, they may wonder in this sea of noise,Why should my contributions matter? And yet, the stand-out works that I’ve found in concerts, museums, books, and theaters, have encouraged me to believe that they do.
But when I do feel discouraged, I simply find my way back to that source of creative energy.