Rewriting my story and owning it!

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I was clearing out my “drafts” folder and realized this post was never published. Two years ago, just eight months before the release of my debut EP “The Restoration”, I was given the opportunity to share the stage with two Maryland-based poets which was my first time as a paid feature. For me that was a milestone. I don’t get asked in my own city, maybe because I’m new on the scene, maybe my age and maybe because I don’t fall easily into any type of spoken word category but I am learning to sit comfortably with being not popular. I am okay with being different because it’s about the process of creating art for me and the energy I get when I know the audience is responding and feeling my written word. Ironically a month from now I will be featuring for the same poetic prowess Simply Sherri in Baltimore for her Heard it Through the Grapevine and I am looking forward to the experience. It’s a treat to be surrounded by the energy of the artists in the DMV and I can’t wait to see them again, they always give me so much love in return!

Anywhoo…just thought I’d post this and I hope that I will see you in October! Visit my  Facebook page for updates and more information or CD Baby to hear samples and download my debut EP titled “The Restoration”.  I truly appreciate the love!

I’m starting to understand how this life journey works. Half way into writing my story, just a few months from reaching what is supposed to be my golden year and I am finally giving myself permission to rewrite my story. Every few years I get to the end of a chapter, look back, reflect, revise, and restate my vision for my life before I move on to the next. This past Saturday night was one of those times when thoughtful contemplation met up with years of unconscious manifestation and moved me towards a new chapter in my life. When Sherri of Simply Poetic Entertainment contacted me to see if I would be interested in co-featuring at her first Philadelphia edition of Heard it Through the Grapevine, I was pleasantly surprised! I met her once as the spotlight artist (opening up for her and the other feature) last August so when she contacted me I had to make sure feature meant what I thought it meant before I got really excited. As she expanded on the details I knew I had to say yes. An evening of wine and love poems; that had Toni Love written all over it!  I started to think about the poems that I would recite. The flyers and event page went all over social media and I promoted the show with the same reserved passion that I always do but I was still nervous about making sure I carried my weight as a performer. 

I arrived early, asked them to save me a glass of Sangria from the wine tasting (I can never eat or drink before a performance, it makes my stomach uneasy!) and sat down to calm myself. What many don’t know is that I almost always completely blank out before a poetry reading. I can’t remember anything I’ve written and I often grab a book or start printing out poems so that I’ll have them in written form just in case. My biggest fear is that I’ll stand up and forget everything.  I panic, I pace and then I remember to sit down and breathe. As I sat I saw faces of love walk into the small gallery one by one. Friends who lived on the block I grew up on, a sorority sister who drove a few hours to get there, fellow poets, my Italian mother (that’s my nickname for her), and my brothers. I watched them add chairs as the room filled and the walls expanded. By the time I took to the mic it was standing room only. I was still nervous but excited and overwhelmingly grateful at the same time. Sherri said “you have a lot of support here..I’ve been asking who they are here to see..”  It was a vision that I didn’t know would be replicated seven months later at my EP release party. There’s nothing like looking out into a room full of faces that reflect genuine love. Nothing. 

I recited four poems and sang a bit too. It was an exciting night! The quote below is a comment sent to me the next day from the host of the event. I hope to see you at a performance venue soon. I will always return the love.  #loveistheanswer

Toni Love: I knew when I met you last year you were a dynamic performer and would wow that crowd. Your energy is incredible and your words were amazing. Let me know when you get that CD done, so I can get one.

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About Toni

A mom-preneur, writer, poet, and lover of children and life. Looking for nothing but joy in this lifetime!
This entry was posted in Gifted and Talented, Hope, Keeping the Love Alive, Life After 40, Local Artists, love, Oprah's Life Class, Original Poetry, Passion, Poetry, Recreating yourself, Support Local Artists and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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