This nervousness is astounding, my heart is beating fast, sweat is forming in places that are dumb. Back of my neck, inside of my thighs, the crook of my arm. I had been nominated for 4 Academy Awards, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actor, Original Screenplay and Best Original Song. By this time of night I’d lost 3 of them and now it was time for the last category I’d compete in and one of the last of the night, Best Actor.
This was one of the best years of my professional/ personal life. I wrote a movie for me to star in AND I got to work with 2 acting heroes of mines Meryl Streep and Steve Martin. I had become engaged to a childhood friend that summer and became a step-parent to his 2 kids Savanna and Rob Jr. I also inked a deal to write a pilot for HBO about the lives of escorts to the stars, that was getting a lot of buzz. In other words, a fucking fantastic year.
My friend Zarah was by my side at the Oscars being the support, the comedian (we played guess who gets drunk quicker) , and my edible buddy (she owns an edible bakery). I admit I wasn’t largely favored to win any of the major awards but best Original Song, I thought I had it in the bag. Top 10 hit, platinum seller but alas so was Sam Smith’s ballad that ended up winning. I found myself tearing up after not winning that one, my self esteem was slowly falling down. In my eyes this award show was my moment, my HEY WORLD IM HERE, my launch pad. One by one after each announcement of the winner I had to fake a smile, damn those cameras.
It was after the winner was announced for the screenplay award where I decided I was gonna take a year off and cry, eat, sleep. You know stay at home and play househusband. One thing about me it shows on my face when I’m upset, worried, irritated, hungry, happy etc and boy was my face twisted up that night. Commercial break comes and a tap on the shoulder jolts me, it’s Samuel L Jackson whispering in my ear “keep your head up brother, shiiiiid you’ll be up there next year. You new to the game. You can’t always win awards but you put out good work and the rewards gon be great. You’re a champion Youngblood. Believe that shit” before I could respond we were back from commercial break.
Best Actor category up next, the sweat is on my eyebrows now, Zarah is holding my hand. There are some great actors nominated tonight Izaya Spencer (acting school buddy), Sharlto Copley, Orlando Bloom and Matt Damon. I’m rubbing my leg with my right hand, tapping my shoe and the winner is called and it’s…….Orlando Bloom
I jump up and start clapping, seeing me do it the other nominees follow suit. Standing and clapping, my mind is cloudy, throat is dry, hands now hurting holding back the tears. I could play it off and say I’m just happy for my buddy Orlando (first nomination) but it’s a mixture of disappointment and genuine happiness for the winners.
It was my first as well, do I count? I could see the headlines now, and I’d be in them as capital L for loser. On the way home I’m silent, Zarah is running down the coolest moments of the night, who she met, who she’d fuck, whom she wouldn’t. She gives me a hug before she walks up to her townhouse and whispers “You’re my Champion forever and always ” followed by a kiss on the cheek and then she skips to her door. The driver gets on the PCH and that’s when I lose it, tears streaming down my face. I had to let it out, the driver sensing discomfort just let me be. He put on some music and the first song that comes on is Champion by RuPaul…..45 minutes later I’m home.
Rob comes at me both arms raised and we hug, sobs coming from my mouth, nose stuffed up. He knew as soon as he saw me, I felt embarrassed, distressed and low. Letting me go, I then go into my meditation room and see a bouquet of flowers with a note attached from my spiritual mentor it read “To my friend, always remember : Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday. -Wilma Rudolph followed by Best of Luck my friend signed OPRAH WINFREY
A smile appeared on my face. It was time to regroup and so I started my meditation……
Hey Everyone, I don’t believe I did this last year. I’m gonna do a synopsis of how my year has gone down with the help of gifs (love them). My goal next year is to contribute more to this space so you can get to know me better through words and photography, I think I may do a whole redesign of the blog but we shall see…….
All I Ask
I was in a temporary job in which I didn’t love just getting by in the start of the year. I was working a shift that didn’t allow me to do any of my creative endeavors that 2015 had me interested in (acting classes, doing plays etc) my thought process was do a good job and you may become permanent. So I did, perfect attendance and stellar call quality according to my superiors I wouldnt been a model permanent employee, but because this was still considered temporary I took other interviews hoping for a full-time permanent position. I’m asking the heavens to bless me with full-time employment so I don’t default on my car loan, credit cards, student loans etc…
I got let go from that temporary job with the reasoning “They just don’t feel you are long-term employee material”. My question is who is? Do I want to stay making Lil money with a fucking bachelors degree? No. So I am going to better myself AND search for other opportunities while working, it only makes sense right? So they were right in retrospect, as soon as I found another opportunity I was out of there quick, fast and in a hurry. Luckily I qualified for unemployment benefits that got me through bills-wise. I already had trouble with stress and depression tied to my self-worth and this little setback didn’t do anything to help matters.
Darkness and Light
When summer started to roll in, so did me eating my feelings and feeling down because I’m going to interviews upon interviews and still nothing. One company I interviewed with twice and they were known to hire any and everybody…….. but not me. Bitches
My favorite part of the summer? I decided to take singing lessons to keep my creative juices flowing and I thought i was okay at it on the way to being stellar at it. It was a testament to me doing something I’ve always wanted to do and finding a way to get it done. I met some cool ladies there who were all in the same boat I was in (learning) and it was a highlight of my year.Middle of the summer I decided to check out a play that one of my acting teachers wrote and it starred a couple of peeps I had acting classes with, I happened to sit with The Lady H another acting classmate who was also there for support as well. I went through my story and she offered to go over my resume and give me tips on how to stand out in a crowded employment field. She spruced up my resume and sent me links to some openings and encouraged me to join LinkedIn. The Lady H was a blessing beyond words and I thank God i was able to get out of my own way and not turn down help because of pride and what not.
I wanted to share my writings with the world and so I decided that I would submit some of my poetry for publication. I learned that you really should read the publications you are submitting to, needless to say my selections didn’t get picked and a valuable lesson was learned. Score one for experience……I woke up one morning in July and while trying to rush to the bathroom for my morning whizz, my mother hit me with the news that my cousin had passed. He was only 2 years older than me, we weren’t close to be honest, that was a product of my insecurities being around straight dudes and what not, but when we did see each other it was all love. I was in the midst of taking singing lessons and he was a music producer. Who knows what could have happened if we mixed and I had opened up about this part of my life. I try not to dwell on the what could have beens. Rest In Paradise
Hot, Humid August rolls around my unemployment benefits are at an end, resubmit my updated polished resume to all the different job search engines and I get some calls. Interviews roll through and I get 2 job offers in one day. Which do I choose? It came down to the schedules being offered and so I chose cable. I’m still there, going on the 5 month mark. Some days are longer and harder than others but that is to be expected in Customer Service. I’m still playing catch-up with getting my self-love back on track, I did connect with some cool people on social media whom I could consider friends, maybe one day I’ll share some vocal stylings on this here blog. 😉 I traveled to Toronto a place I’ve always wanted to visit and I booked a trip to Los Angeles in February 2017 , so more travel is definitely on my itinerary for this upcoming year. I learned I am resilient, confident at times, lazy, undeniably cool, charming and blessed.
I admit it, sometimes I don’t want to talk. Sometimes I dont want to go out on the town and have a drink or three. Your constant stories and escapades about how you are getting laid is just a reminder that I’m not. I wont text you everyday because I feel like I’m a bother. That being said, I’m a great friend to have. I like to support my friends, hang with them ( doing new things is always a plus) eat with them and generally learn more about your lives. I get immense joy from finding out something that I would have never have guessed because of preconceived notions about you.
I always found it easy to make friends with females because guess what we both like men. When I wasnt down with admitting it, it was always at the back of mind. It was kind of like an information hunt for me what is there to know, what nudes can I see of your man-friends :-). My issue in making friends with other dudes was my fault i just came to realize. In my journey of being totally authentic in everything i did, I regarded most straight dudes with the same feeling. They wouldn’t like me if I was authentically me. That, I found out wasnt totally true but it was good to believe so I could keep folks at a distance, I would hide certain facts, try to know about sports and or players on such sport teams and so on. That kept most dudes from asking questions. It was also easy to assume that I was straight because I’m a big dude and I don’t dress gay (yeah I don’t know what that means either).
This post came up because I was cool with someone I met last year. Some of the same interests and it was cool talking to another dude while being my authentic self and not feeling judged for it. I started to notice that I was the only one initiating the meetings. My mind started to come up with some dastardly scenarios (as one mind does). Was I clingy? Did he feel sorry for me and that’s why he was acting like my friend? Were we really friends? A lot of people use that term very loosely. It was strange to me because we went deep on both sides while telling our stories. This year I reached out twice and while there was a response of I’ll let you know what my week is like. That was in April, It’s almost Sept. I guess his week was like leave me alone, I don’t wanna fucking be around you.
Was this a test from the universe? Telling me to let my guard down and let the chips fall where they may. To see if I could take the heat of a friendship that I created in my head AND be willing to give it another go round without closing up again and again. Letting folks in with no promise of reciprocation? Could it be also true that what goes around comes around and I have acted the same way and didn’t know it? So many questions. I believe I am miles away from where I was as far as being open and honest. I do have friends I’ve known a long time that I love dearly, as i get older i realize closing myself off wont help me.
This summer has taught me that having a network to help can be crucial in me being a successful person. Getting help is not weak. You can do a lot alone but you can do more especially with people who genuinely want to help you. I’m gonna pay it forward. Be open to possibilities all over the place who knows what could happen right? I’ll be crazy and I’ll be cool, I’ll work on sexy and all the right people will come into my life right?