In 2016, I had this epiphany that I wanted to create a literary variety show that would be pegged as the Reading Rainbow for millennials. Like all ideas, it’s PERFECT as soon as you think it, but the execution is where the magic lies…or rather where the magic is made.
My dream at the time was that I just wanted to be on PBS. I had envisioned and visualized my life as a PBS host, making a show that would last as long as books were published, with and without me. I could see it, I just couldn’t speak it yet. And it would take a year of working the idea into something that was palatable for viewers and readers to consume, something that PBS would want to even distribute.
So, I’m explaining the abridged version of course because the longer version is still too confusing and raw for my own comprehension. Regardless, I was fortunate to win a grant from the National Black Programming Consortium to produce the four episodes; I was fortunate to work with talented performers, writers, and producers in various capacities, and I was fortunate to learn what I was capable of in the two years since conceptualizing the idea to having four episodes done. It was anything but smooth sailing, but as that cliché goes, alas, I learned to sail my ship.
This ship is a metaphor for my artistry. Despite the ups and downs of this journey, what I’ve gained aside from realizing my dream of being on PBS, is that I am an artist. I am a creative being with the purpose of transforming the literary experience. I know this more now because every time I think of something else to do, a thought that is ever-present, my truth returns to books. I don’t know why, I don’t know how this plays out, but the only thing I know how to do is wake up everyday and figure out what it is that I’m supposed to do next, with books.
If I’ve learned anything else in the past two years, really the past two months, it’s to do the thing and then move on. After holding onto these four episodes as long as I did, I can’t explain the bittersweet relief of finally sharing them really felt like. I’ve likened it to pregnancy, (though I’ve never been, so my apologies to the people whose bodies have experienced this) in that I carried and incubated this thing and while parts of it was a beautiful and exhilarating experience, I was beyond ready for it to be out into the world. I’m sure I’ll share more about this experience, but getting back to writing, this is all I have to say at the moment. If you’ve watched the episodes, let me know what you think. I’m excited for what I have on the horizon, so cheers to the first project that showed me how to create.