Suzan-Lori Parks

One of my favorite quotes is, “You’re only yourself when no ones watching!” Well, who said it? I’ve met celebrities, well-knowns, etc.  I’ve never really been star struck, maybe the occasional, “Oh wow…that’s Alan Rickman teaching me how to be an actor” (true story).  But never really been “star struck”.

Well, that changed for me this year.  Her name?  Suzan-Lori Parks.  She has been a source of inspiration for me for a few years now.  I had two opportunities to see Suzan-Lori Parks in person this year.  The first time was during her “Watch Me Work” session in NYC and the second time was when she came to SDSU and spoke.  And every time I saw her, I got so excited, giddy and overwhelmed.  I remembered my eyes stinging as if my eyes were welling up with happy tears.  Okay, I’ll admit it, I got so excited I started crying a tad.  I even had the chance to take her photos…but until I have permission to release them…they shall remain hidden.  My camera has captured true genius.  I also had one of my biggest breakthroughs in her presence during her “Watch Me Work” session and I had the chance to talk to her about Japanese Eyes/American Heart.  She loved the idea, the topic and my passion for it.  When I received encouragement from her, it was my confirmation.

If you don’t know who Suzan-Lori Parks is, stop.  Google, check out The America Play or Topdog/Underdog, know who she is.  Especially if you’re a theatre person.  She is brilliant.  So brilliant and a genius.  Aside from family members, if you ask me who is my biggest inspiration and who has influenced me into the artist I am today, I will say Suzan-Lori Parks.

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