EYTeen Review, Childhood to “Reality”, and Eyes of Flaco

Happy Monday (if there is such a thing)!  I have to admit this past week was quite an eventful one for myself to include stage performances by EYTeen Spot, playing catch up with old friends that speak of having their own reality show, and to end the week with a member of the CloudCity Crew to launch his own views of life and it’s laughter through the reflections of his shades.

The Ritz Performing Arts Theatre housed a very healthy crowd that on August 14th 2009 that came out to support, be entertained, and informed by the ensemble of EYTeen Spot.  Upon entry into the Ritz immediately you’re taken back to the days of great entertainers with posters spot lit on walls with images ranging from James Dean to Jimmy Hendricks that help to instill a sense of what foundation this building was built on, the arts.  Those artist just mention as well as numerous others that have walked through the doors of the Ritz had something to say through their artistic talents whether it be film, theatre, or music  as their outlet exude a spirit that was kept alive on that hot, sticky, August afternoon in Mid-Town Elizabeth.

The high school aged young men and women from Elizabeth, NJ wanted to let their inner-city experiences and trials put on display not just for their fellow Elizabethans to digest, but hopefully to get their voice heard to a broader audience and the acoustics of the Ritz Theatre to assist in that.

I immediately took to heart of stories portrayed on that stage dealing with violent outburst of fistfights and gunshots at either a St. Michaels or a St. Patrick’s hall party only to find out it was about a guy dancing with someone else’ girlfriend.  Eyes and hearts opened as you were immersed in the experiences displayed of a young teenager left with no one at home to embody the role of a positive influence only to be lead towards the glitz and glamor of a rap artist to show you how to live your life through money, guns, drugs, and hoes as the only means to make it out of a tight situation.  When it seems that the violence, music to tattoos, and the desires to believe you can achieve true independence without taking heed to the words of those that came before you; consumes you through this story unfolding in front of you on stage you come to a realization similar to achieving nirvana that this is a cry for help and support for these youth.

This far cry was heard long before this production took place by a gentleman and a native of Elizabeth,NJ; Theodore Perkins, EYTE Found/Producer.  Theodore with the assistance of his EYTE Staff, Building Future Leaders Staff, and te young men and women who performed made it known loud and clear that the youth of Elizabeth need more assistance, facilities, programs similar to EYTeen Spot, and just an overall influx of the arts pumped into their city.  I see significant areas of Newark, NJ making a comeback so why not Elizabeth get on the bandwagon and focus on cultural redevelopment especially if it is to include the foundation of its city, the young men and women that call Elizabeth home.

My hats off to everyone involved with this production with the very short amount of time that was allotted to pull this off I found it most entertaining and enlightening.  Names to follow are those that played significant roles in bringing this vision to life, but let it be none this would not have been so without the young men and women that played their parts from stagehand to acting.

EYTE Staff

Theodore Perkins – EYTE Founder / Producer                       George “Twopointoh” Peters – 2009 EYTE Director

Safiya Grimsley – Acting and Dance Instructor                        Genese Martin – Acting Instructor for Stage

Omar Scroggins – Acting Instructor for the Camera

Building Future Leaders Staff

Tyresha Cogdell – Coordinator                    Donald Johnson

Schakia Arrington                                         Bridget Rose                          Orly Meneses

I had the pleasure this past Sunday night to be in the presence of an old childhood friend that I haven’t seen for quite some time (nine years I’d like to believe).  She can light up any man’s online experience with her Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace (which I’m glad to say I do not have an account for) page with very little , if any, effort at all.  To be specific and to the point I speak of none other than my dear friend Ms. Sheri “CheryzOnTop” Bailey which I will also throw in that she’s from Elizabeth as well.

I’m pretty sure you’re wondering why the hell I’m speaking about this young woman  as if she’s a celebrity and well……the truth is that anyone that’s in her presence in her city of residence, West Palm Beach, would consider her somewhat of a big deal.  Please do not get it confused because Ms. Bailey at first glance may throw you off and immediately the stereotypes can kick in, but rest assure she is a woman who knows what she wants, when she wants it, and will not hesitate to let you know that she is not beat for the assistance of any man to get what she wants.  Smooth, confident, but not arrogant, sexy with classy, luminous, cool, calm, forward, collective and a hint of goofy that always reminds you Ms. Bailey is as down to earth as you or I and these brief words will best describe my friend.

On our initial encounter we were both on our cell phones trying to locate one another within the court of the hotel she was staying at.  We welcomed each other with the typical, but mutual, big embrace and the usual “Wow, you look the same as always!” line (sometimes that’s not always a good thing, but I took it as a compliment).  She was as stunning, bright, and pleasant to the eye as always which is why I asked her from the jump “So how come you don’t have a reality show yet?” and to my surprise she told me that she had something I the works.  Normally she would give off her high pitched, cute with a little bit of goofy laugh that would indicate she was just BS’ing, but no laugh surfaced.  I was taken back quite a bit as we headed to the elevator up to her room to grab something she forgot and share greetings with other mutual friends.  Back outside while slowly strolling to the car Sheri continues to fill me in on  a little more info on the whole “reality show” project and who she has involved in it.  Not to blow anything up or get the guys drooling over this idea of Ms. Cheryz on your HD flat this whole concept is very much in alpha stages and for  computer geeks take that as something that hasn’t reached a “version 1.0” just yet.

From the hotel we made our way to a little bar/restaurant called City Tavern located on Elizabeth Ave (take a guess what city…..yeah, that’s right) where we shared drinks and discussed everything about our future endeavors, five year plans, and the typical twentysomething’s dialogue when you’re in “reflection” mode.  Sheri doodles on her napkin one of those diamond/sickle shaped “S”s that were common to do on the covers of our marble Mead notebooks in the midst of a light debate of how thirty is too old for her to have children.  On my end I’m starring down at my drink, twirling ice cubes in my brown concoction counter clockwise, listening to her argument respectively and me disapproving her view by stating that one should live their twenties without children if able.  I personally believe that as a first time parent at or over the age of thirty you would have more to offer your child in many aspects, but definitely life skills just to put something out there compared to a parent at 24.  I can’t recall how that topic came to a close, but I’m sure we just had that awkward silence to signify that we agree to disagree.

We called it a night after her second Remy and my third Jack and Coke.  Heading towards Newark Airport we arrive at her hotel where we exchanged embraces like we did earlier that night and I saw her off to the elevator before driving away.  I don’t care how fine her hair was that night I still remember my childhood friend with those three pig-tails (she’s going to kill me for saying that and my girl just for posting this).

In wrapping  this post up I just wanted to thank you for stopping – taking your precious time out for me and stay blessed, stay positive, and stay you.  Keep an eye out for my man, CloudCity Crew member, Flaco – I’ve been waiting  a minute to get up with him and get a better perspective of what it is he’s trying to contribute to the blogosphere, but I dont know where the hell he’s at tonight.  I’ll try to get something up here soon, but if he’s staying on top of his game you can see what he’s about bringing you that pot of  HOT STEAMY GRITS (because those three words go with any damn song-seriously)!


1 Response to “EYTeen Review, Childhood to “Reality”, and Eyes of Flaco”

  1. 1 bigmeats
    August 26, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Really like what i hear, keep it up we will take over this blog thing by storm so go grab a seat on the porch and wait to be internaly warmed by a hot pot of HOT STEAMY GRITS!!!

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