I Don’t Know, Bey…

*My open letter to Beyonce*

To say I’m a Beyonce fan is an understatement.  To say I’m a Stan might be an overstatement.  But I respect and admire a woman who is poised, talented, beautiful, and humble…well, we may have to re-visit the humble part after the release of your newest song, “Bow Down”.   The woman who sang such girl power anthems as “Survivor” and “Run the World” is now telling b*tches to “bow down”.  And just last month, you wrote the greatest note about how you were so proud to perform next to your girls Kelly and Michelle AND gave props to Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys regarding their Super Bowl performances.

We all have haters-and I hate to use that term.  No matter what we do in life, someone is not going to like what we do.  And that’s totally fine.  You aren’t going to please 100% of the people 100% of the time; if you are, something’s wrong.  But who was the song directed towards?  And why put a song like this out now?  You’re 31 years old, a wife, AND a mother.  And not just a mother, but you have a daughter-a little girl that is looking up to you and will one day emulate you.  I could kind of understand if you put this song out on your first album, when you were a little younger and a little cockier and getting your wings as a solo artist.  But to put something out like this now…maybe because you HAVE proved your haters wrong and you HAVE proved that you can do it all.  Sort of like a “look at me now”.  I get it, kind of.  I guess I am just at a point where I don’t really worry too much about what people say about me.  But I’m also not in the public spotlight having every little thing I do scrutinized.  This song doesn’t even sound like you-the beat, the musicality of it all.  I just don’t get it.

When I found out you were coming to DC I was SO excited.  So much so, I rounded up some of my girls, and we went through hell and high water to get tickets.  Now, I’m re-thinking this whole thing.  (Well, not too much since I’ve already paid for my ticket.)  Maybe this is just a mid-career crisis and you felt like you had to get some things off your chest.  I guess I can respect that.  Since your concert is in July, I have about 4 months to get over you telling me to bow down.  I take that back.  I’m not a b*tch, so I will not take that personally since that was not directed towards me.  In the meantime, hopefully with the things that are sure to occur before this summer, I’ll forget about this song and can fully enjoy the Beyonce experience at the Verizon Center.  And if not…it’ll be totally unfortunate-for you and for me.   For you, because you’ve probably lost the support of one of your biggest fans.  For me, because I’ve seen a great woman and entertainer fall just a little.

Your Fellow Southern Girl,

Elle

“The Heart Specialist” Interview Part 1

“The Heart Specialist”, a romantic comedy based on a true story starring Wood Harris, Zoe Saldana, Brian White, Mya, and a host of other stars, initially premiered at the Boston Film Festival as a short in 2006.   After winning the festival, it took writer/director/producer Dennis Cooper a few more years to secure funding and turn this film into a full length feature.  This past Tuesday, October 4, “The Heart Specialist” was released on Blu-Ray and DVD.  I had the great pleasure to speak with two stars from the film, Mya and Brian White.  This post will detail my conversation with DC area native, Mya.

We all became familiar with Mya with her debut single “It’s All About Me” in 1998.  Since then, she has gone on to release six studio albums, appear in dozens of shows and movies, and won a SAG award for her performance in “Chicago”.   She’s currently working on her 8th album K.I.S.S. (Keep it Sexy & Simple) Version 2.  With an upcoming birthday (October 10), Mya is continuing having fun in her life but staying busy.  “The business is challenging”, Mya states, “but I stay grounded by having my spirituality and having a great support system.”  When asked what drew her to the role of Valerie, the ex-love interest of Brian White, Mya told me it was her “personal experience.  I was interested in the way the film exposed the medical field; plus the script was pretty funny.”  While she originally filmed this in 2006, she didn’t spend too much time with the entire cast, many of whom were added on later, but she still keeps in touch with Zoe (Saldana) and Wood (Harris). 

Mya always knew she wanted to act…but in the theater.  Growing up as a dancer, she had no idea her career path would take her down the road she’s travelled.  When asked if she knew her musical career would branch into modeling and film, Mya stated, “I never saw myself as a model; that’s not something I aspired to be.  But I did design a lot of sketches and outfits I saw being made for stage shows.  I did that before I even got my record deal.  So I definitely thought I would be designing over modeling.  Regarding acting, Broadway was something I wanted to be a part of early in my teens; so definitely acting, but maybe more in a theatrical way, in live stage performances.”   Regarding her experience while performing in the Oscar winning movie “Chicago” and thus winning her Screen Actor Guild’s Award for Best Acting Ensemble, Mya described her experience in one word-“AMAZING!” 

Mya continues to stay busy and has numerous projects and activities on which she’s working.  First, K.I.S.S. Verson 2 will be released via her website, www.myamya.com, in December 2012.  She will also participate in a marathon on November 6 in New York City for the ING NYC Marathon.  To find out more about Mya’s team, to hear her personal message, and to donate, visit her site at www.AnimalLeague.org/RunMya.  To keep in touch with Mya, visit her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MissMya

I want to thank Mya for allowing me to interview her.  Don’t forget to get your copy of “The Heart Specialist”, currently available on Blu-Ray and DVD!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Mya with co-star Brian White

My 1st Earthquake and Other Tuesday Happenings

As a Southerner, born and raised, and a DC resident, I NEVER expected in a million years to experience an earthquake on this side of the country.  A hurricane, a snow storm, possibly a tornado, but NEVER was an earthquake on my radar.  So imagine my surprise when my building started to shake yesterday.  I was home, minding my own business, baking some chops, and then my house started to move…and wouldn’t stop.  The shakes were accompanied by a noise that got louder and louder.  The only casualty was a beautiful black elephant a former co-worker gave me as a gift.  😦  I loved that daggone elephant,  I just hope I can replace it.  It didn’t dawn on me that what I experienced was an earthquake until I got online and checked Twitter.  (I know, social media.)  Thankfully, there were not any human lives lost or injured.  I was very happy that I was not on a bridge.  I would have been scared out of my mind. 

So, I went to my PT job last night and was asked to sit in the Security office for a spell. “Why?” you may ask; well, I’ll tell you.  There was a young lady who was in custody for shoplifting, and they needed a woman in the office until a parent came to pick her up.  As I was trying to appear that I wasn’t paying attention, my heart broke seeing this young girl, in her school uniform, sitting on a bench with handcuffs on her.  It took everything in me to not react when I first walked in and saw what I saw.  I do have to commend the head of security as he talked to her and tried to tell her the error of her ways.  It seemed as if she was a good kid who got caught up.  Unfortunately, kids stealing (or trying to steal) for my job is nothing new, but I was happy that I was able to witness him imparting some wisdom on this young girl.  I just hope she gets it. 

Yesterday was filled with too many emotions.  After a good night’s rest, I feel much better.  And the highlight of my day yesterday?  I got called for an interview, which will be this afternoon!  So say a prayer and wish me luck!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

My Rant for the Day

First things first- Can I say that I am beyond SHOCKED that news has surfaced Will and Jada have separated????  Yes, I know that I don’t know them, but let’s be real.  We hold celebrities to certain statuses in our lives, especially when it comes to relationships. weight, looks, money, etc.  And it seemed that the Smiths had it together-a beautiful family, talented kids, businesses, both were currently working.  I know more than a few of us thought that Will and Jada were the epitome of Black Love, right up there with Ossie and Ruby, Angela and Courtney, Bill and Camille, the list goes on.  I know it’s NOT going to happen, but we should leave the Smiths alone during this very personal matter. 

Next up, I saw “The Help” last Sunday.  While I appreciate my girls inviting me out and having a bang-up Sunday night, I really don’t know my thoughts on the movie.  I had no desire to see the film, but I didn’t have any plans (and they changed the time they were going just for me), so I decided to go.  “The Help” was an enjoyable film, but I don’t know if I liked it.  Honestly, I have to see it again before I can do a real Southern Girl Review.

I bought Beyonce’s “4” about a week after it came out.  I am probably once of the biggest Bey Stans there is, but I don’t think I’m a fan.  As I told a friend, I’m not a Ballad Beyonce fan (think “Listen”); I like more up-tempo, dance hits (think “Single Ladies”).  And since her newest album is more ballads, I wasn’t feeling it.  I have been listening to it more with the intent to give the album an honest listening to and determination in my opinion.  As of today, the jury’s still out. 

So, that’s my rant for the day.  No rhyme or reason, no logic.  Just my thoughts on some things that are going on in pop culture.  And for those of you who know how I feel about the Kardashians, I purposefully did not discuss Kim and Kris’ nuptials this weekend.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern Girl…in the city!

I Saw Jill Scott!!!

If you know me, hell, if you read the last post, you know how I’ve been feeling a little sad for the past few days.  Well, imagine my surprise when my friend/soror called me yesterday and told me she had an extra ticket to Jill Scott’s Block Party, complete with Mint Condition and Anthony Hamilton and asked if I wanted to go!!!!  Do cats have whiskers?  Does a bear pee in the woods?  Is this country going through it’s own hell right now? (Ok, bad joke.)  But you get the picture; OF COURSE I wanted to go!  So after saying “Hi!” to my other soror/friend Najeema after her triathlon, I proceeded to go home, shower, change, and get ready to see my crush Stokely Williams and my musical idol Jill Scott. 

We had great seats, the concert started on time, and I had an absolute BLAST!  Mint Condition, Anthony, and Jill sound EXACTLY like their albums, so you know what this means…they can actually SING!!!!  I was thoroughly impressed by Stokely, because not only does he sing, he plays guitar AND drums.  Mint Condition sang some classics and some new material from their new album.  Anthony Hamilton was great, as were his background singers.  And Jill, ah Jill…she was simply amazing!  I haven’t heard her new album yet, but I was singing along with every song from previous albums.  She sang a few of my favorites, and she sang them well. 

And, if the greatest of those performers wasn’t enough, Doug E. Fresh was the host and DJ Jazzy Jeff was the DJ!  It seriously was a party in the Verizon Center last night.  The audience was live, the performers were live, and I had a great time! 

I’m so thankful to my friend for thinking of me, probably more than she realizes.  She’s a subscriber, so I want to say “Thank You!” again for thinking of me!  Not sure where the Block Party is going next, but if you have the opportunity to go, you should!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!