How do I begin to express how I was, and how I felt at the NYU Latino Art Gallery & Book Discussion (open to the public) event. "Memorial and inspired" as I said to myself while embracing each of the guest panelist at NYU. Getting my art and other stuff from being displaced in this auditorium and getting ready to leave the crowded room of students that have heard all 8 of us that late Wednesday afternoon, on November 4th.
I never dreamed that art can take me this far! I never placed myself were people would ask for my presences for any art related functions such as public speaking. It's true. And it's not because I never valued my art as such, I just kept creating, because I thought that's what's you suppose to when you love something so much; you keep believing on it for it to exist, not for fame.... But I sure do understand why I have to continue it and it's not only for it's existence but for the many voices out there that are like mine or similar. The day before this presentation, I really got very nervous.
I even wrote notes and recited in front of a mirror. I spoke with Crystal Clarity who was also another featured artist as well for this event the night before, and what I have learned from her is "Courage". Not just courage to be on front of an audience( if your publicly on the spot light as often as a live art performer, the audience are your peers your friends your community, it becomes natural/normal.). What I learn from Crystal in our conversations, was that we as artist do struggle very much not just to maintain content with what we do, regardless of it income or the lack of it, but the persistence and fire to believe in it in a place and time that we are all in. Our conversation the night before helped me reline my thoughts better and even objectives as well, as to how in the world would I will be able to make a speech about my life and my art journey in 20 minutes, and what I wanted to give back to the NYU student body.
Arriving to NYU wasn't easy, because I was carrying my large laundry cart that had various art works for display. Andre Trenier ( an art battle champion), linked up with me on the 4 line and traveled from The Bronx to our destination. We were greeted by Jasmin who was one of the people that coordinated this out reach and discussion panel orientation, and the one that lead us to the auditorium / room. There I was a room filled with many students seated and getting comfortable before the presentation begin. I automatically saw Crystal Clarity from a far, and approach her and my other friend who linked me up to this great opportunity, Vanessa Martir, a novelist and a writer, who published her books a few years back. I also saw many other guest speakers who I either heard from and never met in person, and others I have heard from word of mouth.
After her verbal presentation, along followed Alicia Anabel Santos, an author from Harlem, who is currently working on a film called:"Afro Latinos: The Untaught Story". I was privileged as well to see her presentation and her current documentary that day as well. I has mixed feelings after viewing the film, mixed in a sense the exploratory of the history that made up the Latin culture on all the south, Central and the Caribbean islands.
There was a Question and Answer session to her showing and then followed J.F. Seary and educator poet and an actor. She had presented her poetry to us in a most professional and awe manner. The giving back from these ladies to the NYU community got me sitting on my seat as to WHAT IN THE WORLD WOULD I BE SAYING, what should I tell them or express where I would feel that they can take something home with them that can maybe impact their lives? WHAT? Phew... there was a 10 minutes break, I told Jazim that I had to use the bathroom, and out I ran to the nearest restroom... Can I tell ya, I was rehearsing again in the bath room and also as I was washing my hands.. I felt so nervous, as I looked up and onto the mirror, that my throat started to tighten up and also I started to slightly panic. I took several deep breath and stretched a bit, as if I was going to run a unexpected marathon. I ran back to the auditorium and open the door, and there I saw Glendaliz Camacho standing on the corner where the previous ladies has already spoken their art. Huh? wasn't it my turn, as I looked to her in a very curious and also confused way, she looked back at me, and jazmin explains that I took too long and if I didn't mind her starting next, I was like, sure no problem, (great for me.... more time to out line my words together, cuz I ain't that good talking).
Glendaliz is a co founder of La Menta Collective, and her presentation with writing and poetry sure made me laugh as I enjoyed her story telling and reveling dating story to us all. After she finished her works, and she walked back to her seat, I sat there staring at the table for a bit. Then Jazmin called my name, and I felt all my joined scream GO ON GIRL GET YOUR ASS UP THERE....! and so I did. I walked to the designated spot and explained to every one that I was so honored to be apart of this program with everyone there, and also explain that I was not a poet like those here that had already expressed their talents before you, I went further by also explaining that will briefly talk about my past, current affairs and activities and what I have hope to do in the up in coming future. Ahhhh I took a deep breath. Lets begin, is what I said to myself as I saw all those faces staring back at me. I smiled and told my story.
After my story I directed my attention to the audio visual people that were right behind me, and then signal them to begin showing the very short clip of "The ARTIST PROCESS" that was created by Tasty keith and the Bondfire family to the people in this room.
I took the advantage and breathed in some more... all eyes on the screen, and everything went silent. The filmed came to a closed and then there was a brief Question and Answers for me. Some asked about my military connection with that of art, how I managed to stay focus while being a full time mom, and others asked about how to maintain a life style such is this and pay your dues, and live comfortably in New York City.
I was signaled by the amount to applauds that my time was up, and boy was I thrilled. I do hope those that listened can take with them a big piece of me home. Then followed right behind me was Anthony Morales who talked about his findings of poetry and literature and being of Puerto Rican decent, then cam my home girl Crystal Clarity that I am so proud to know. You have to be there to have had your soul shaken by her words and how meaningful it was to connect with a fellow artist that do understand the hard work of being a lady, and artist, and a believer of positivity and how it all can work well with others in a WORLD of ours in this life time. I am so proud of her!
Last minute panelist Questions and Answers were given to us all, and hope honored I have been while really giving them the honest response as best as I have given to the students there. Last applause and then GOOD night.
Thank You for reading
alot of love to you all