Creative Director: jadebrieanne
Shot and Edited by: jadebrieanne
Novel by: jadebrieanne
And we’re back!
This week I had the honor of being given the FIRST read of an new and upcoming children’s book by Michael Roberson, photographer, vlogger, film editor and published author of the book “The Legacy of Kenzo”(a book we’ve previously covered here!)
Mike is back with another story from our favorite new children’s book protagonist, Kenzo with “The Legacy of Kenzo: Strength”, written by him, of course, and illustrated by Javier Salas.
Now as I mentioned before, I really really like the Legacy of Kenzo for having a young, empathetic, sweet boy of color at the helm and an array of colors and cultures weaved into his foreground and life. The original story of Kenzo tells us more about him.
Kenzo is from a royal family where his parents, Koumaneá and Yonka, were king and queen of the land of Geneva. The people of Geneva were kidnapped by the looter gang. Kenzo was seven years old when he and his family fled their native land from the looters. Kenzo has two extraordinary powers that only his parents are aware of, indestructible skin, and supernatural strength, which he himself has not yet discovered.
“The Legacy of Kenzo, Strength” really focused on the theme of Kenzo’s strength and where it comes from. What is Kenzo’s real strength? Is it the strength in his arms? Is it the strength in his legs? Or is this a story about the strength that lies in Kenzo’s heart?
Style wise, the illustrations from Javier are really dope. Amazing, really! It’s one thing to have the thoughts in your head, put on paper and published but it’s a WHOLE ‘nother sugar rush of excitement and fulfillment to have them illustrated! Javier does a good job of that. Javier Salas is a Colombian graphic design artist, with an impressive background: a background in the entertainment industry, four years in video games, advertising, and illustrating books. He is also a 2D artist.
His style is distinctive and fitting for a children’s book but at the same time, they are sharp and mature. Looking at them, if it were possible, I feel like I could watch Kenzo grow up in this style. The character design is neat and hip without being campy. Kenzo wears a sleek earthtone colors (my favorite is the scarf), slim jeans and some really rad sneakers. His new friend’s styling looks pretty cool too, from Grandpa’s hoodie and hair, to the facial make up or markings that really call out a bit of afrofuturism. A+!
This was really fun read. I don’t have kids and sometimes I’m so lost in the uber mature world of my own writing that I don’t take time and simply enjoy a good story. The Legacy of Kenzo, Strength is a good, good story. We get to meet some really cool new friends, we are reminded of just how wicked smart Kenzo and his parents are, and we see that Kenzo’s “Strength” is multifaceted. Kenzo, as a main character, has so much room to grow and I know he will grown into something big. I can see people finding and losing themselves in Kenzo’s intelligence, powers, and sweet, kind, courageous nature.
If you have a kid, you need to get them in to the world of Kenzo!
As far as the author goes, Mike has kept busy. Outside of authoring the Legacy of Kenzo’s book series, he has also been really involved in making sure that plenty of people know about Kenzo and his friends! He has engaged in a HILARIOUS “meme” marking campaign that I may have to “steal” as well as giving each of his characters “theme music.
You can find Mike on Youtube (Simple Mike), Instagram (@SimpleMike85), Facebook (Facebook@AuthorMichaelRoberson) and at his websitewww.simple-mike.com, where you can purchase the book as well as inquire about his other services!
Let’s call it…”You Won’t Lose Weight Until You Want to Lose Weight.”
It was February, 2016. It was still cold outside, cuffing season had been a failure and I was 50,000 words behind on my manuscript. So when an old friend invited me out for brunch (ON THEM) I quickly took the opportunity to drive out to Beyu Café to meet them. Who the hell turns down free food? I kiss their cheek, we find a table, we put away our phones. What happened in the next five minutes of us meeting changed how the rest of my 2016 (and beyond) would operate.
They go “Oh, girl!” [insert disbelieving laughter] ”You look like you aint missing no meals, so I know this will be a good spot.”
I laughed it off, we had our brunch, we talked about old times and then I went home with about thirty promises to keep in touch. I didn’t. I’m really bad at that. It could be because as soon as I got home, the thought of contacting them didn’t register. I laid down on my bed, belly full of shrimp and grits, closed my blinds and sobbedcriedmoaned for the entire day.
I’ve done this before. I’m no stranger to crying over things I don’t think I have the power to change. It’s a routine.
I’ll look in the mirror–always in the same order, stand to the side, sigh, stand forward, sigh louder, try to hold my gut in, groan, cry a little, try again, cry harder.
Then as my tears recede and my face dries, I begin to make excuses. [Scientifically, not really but I’m sure it’s in a journal SOMEWHERE, the longer you look in the mirror, you begin to get used to what you see, and the longer you’re used to it, the less terrible it seems.] These excuses would lead me back into the living room, to watching some infomercial on Insanity, and then finishing off my leftovers without much [any] guilt or remorse to the woman who had been almost on her knees in sadness less than 10 minutes ago.
I’ll start next month, I would tell myself as I watched Shaun T whip people into shape.
That looks uncomfortable, I would tell myself as Julian Michaels ran through her second HIIT section.
I’m not strong enough for that, I would tell myself scrunching my face up at P90X’s Plyometric circuit.
Then the conversation happened again, not even a month later. A “What Happened?!” accompanied by a face drenched in horror when I told someone all the sports I played in High School. Obviously the “what happened?!?” wasn’t towards the fact that I didn’t play basketball or run the 100m like a gazelle anymore. It was the fact I DIDN’T look like an athlete or that I’d ever looked like an athlete. There was no evidence going by how I looked physically. I looked like someone who’d been eating swiss cake rolls like they’re the largest part of the food pyramid.
Get home and IMMEDIATELY repeat my sobcrymoan routine. And as I dry my tears, and eye the half Sicilian pizza I picked up on the way home, instead of making excuses that I looked fine…
…I packed workout clothes.
The next day in the gym was rough. It was true. I wasn’t an athlete anymore. I’d tried running a couple of years ago but running is just walking really fast. You don’t have to be the foremost expert in physical fitness to run. In the gym, I stared at the barbells, the dumbbells, the treadmill, that stupid little machine thingamagigger where you’re supposed to do bar dips or dip bars or…I didn’t know! I laughed, told myself I was insane for even trying, grabbed my towel and hauled ass.
This literally happened, as I approached the door, my hand slipped and I banged my head on the glass. I’m sitting on the ground, holding my head, and then I, in MY fashion, begin crying. The crying was delirious and I sounded so pathetic that I started laughing. The laughter was me telling myself, you’re stupid and you are laughing at you because you recognize you are stupid. I stood up, turned around, put on some Beyonce and grabbed the damn dumbbells.
It wasn’t easy. I never actually got easy. I researched daily–weightlifting programs, HIIT programs, tabata and yoga. I started following every fitness person who looked like they knew what they were doing on IG. I ordered their programs, ordered books on portion control and eating clean and carb cycling[which I still don’t get but that’s for another day.] Every day was a challenge because I was pushing my body to limits it hadn’t eyeballed fifteen years. It was HARD.
Changing my diet was even HARDER. You know that old saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen. They are very freaking right.“ I wanted to Chalupa, I ate grilled chicken and a side salad. I wanted a gigantic bowl of pasta, I had #Whole30 approved soup. I wanted a gigantic fucking hunk of bread, I ….just cried because you NEVER ever stop wanting bread. There is no substitute. I’m sure God loves to see us triump over adversity and that’s why they created bread.
So it was hard. But it started to work. My reward system of a Dr. Pepper after a great workout morphed into acknowledging the fact that I could feel muscle forming in my legs, in my arms. When I wanted a half dozen doughnuts, my reward system began to tell me that I was easily running 2-3 minutes at 6mph on the treadmill now when I could barely do 30 seconds [I still had A doughnut]. My reward system was what I looked like in the mirror. Posting pictures on IG of me working out became second nature. I wanted to remind myself I was working hard. I wanted other people to keep me accountable.
Now I know that everyone is beautiful. I was beautiful at 200lbs and I’m beautiful at 165lbs. I’ll be beautiful when I hit my target weight of 150lb by April. But although I got so much fun out of dropping some pant sizes, watching my body change (not just my tummy but biceps and quads AND MY ASS) was critical to clicking on a “You are worth it, baby girl” switch in my head.
I move in confidence now not because I swim in all of my old pants, but because I know I can DO something…ANYTHING. People call me up for weight loss advice. Me. ME! They call me! Like…what? Right! People have called me inspirational. Motivational. And I’ve seen them get in the gym after a conversation with me. My confidence now lies in the knowledge that I own the power to change. I am elemental. I am the Last Fucking Airbender.
So I have nothing dramatic to say to motivate you. I don’t use “YOU CAN DO IT” inspiration quotes from Google to get people to want to get healthier (not skinnier but healthier). The simple fact is you won’t want it until you want it. You won’t lose weight (or get healthier) until you want to. You won’t get in the gym and lift until you want to.
I sure as hell didn’t.
There are a lot of children’s books. The market is kind of flooded with them so sometimes it is difficult to navigate the many many outlets to find something that will fit your child…or you because children’s books are just damn good sometimes!
This is doubly difficult for parents of color with children of color. To find a book that motivates them, represents them, urges them to find a space specific to their needs, wants and reality, and to find a book that markets them as a valuable entity is hard. It just is.
So whenever I get a chance to experience, or I am exposed to a children’s book that does just that, I am instantly excited.
That is how I met Michael Roberson, photographer, vlogger, film editor and published author of the book “The Legacy of Kenzo”.
Now, the wonderful thing about Mike and his book, “The Legend of Kenzo” is that although the protagonist is a young black male, and the story is centering his life as well as and friends and family who look like him, this book is something that children of all backgrounds and colors can get into. The story is wide-reaching, relatable and simply just dope!
Here, I’ll let Mike tell you in his own words.
So, tell us a little about the book and Kenzo. Who it targeted towards and who you hope buys it?
The book is targeted towards children who are between the ages of 5-12.
What was your inspiration behind The Legacy of Kenzo?
The inspiration to write a children’s book started after working with children for 15 years. I always had a connection with them, I understand them and they understand me. I want to give back to my community in Alexandria,VA, and show children that they can be anything that they desire to be. The only limitation is the one that they create for themselves. Another inspiration to write The Legacy Of Kenzo is the film director, Zack Synder. His visuals are amazing, and they inspired me to create a children’s book similar to his films.
How long have you been writing?
I haven’t been writing for a long time, however I have composition books that are filled up with notes, letters, and quotes. Writing helps me to release my thoughts. I have never thought about writing a story, until I had a dream one night, and woke up writing everything I remember; and the dream turned into a dope story.
How long it take you from start to finish? Conceptualizing it, plotting it out, editing, post production.
The entire process took a year to complete from start to finish. The hardest part was finding an illustrator that could share the same vision that I had for Kenzo. On the sixth illustration that the first illustrator had created, I decided to make a change. The illustrations were okay, but they look too dark, and it is a children’s story, the pictures should be bright and colorful. We could not agree on the changes and things fell apart. Kenzo was originally a panther, but the second illustrator accidentally drew him as a boy, and it is the best mistake ever! And that illustrator did not work out as well. I did not give up, and continued to search for an illustrator that can create Kenzo. Finally, I found the illustrator of the Legacy of Kenzo, Dorian Cottereau. With Dorian, he drew Kenzo and the other characters the way I visually imagined them to be. It was a great experience working with him. After the book was finished, I tried to contact him to start Book II, but he was nowhere to be found. ‘Till this day I still do not know where he is?
Who inspires you and your craft?
The film directors, Zack Sydner and Christopher Nolan; and music composer Hans Zimmer. Hans Zimmer is one of the greatest musical score composers of this time, I love the sound that be brings to his characters. Zimmer is the reason why I am giving all my characters their own theme music. Book II will be available in audio, which will allow everyone to listen to each character’s theme music
Who do you wish to inspire?
I want to inspire the younger generation to continue to use their imagination to create the future that they want. It’s easier to change a child’s way of thinking rather than an adult, we could fix a lot of the world’s problems if we put more attention on children and their minds. For example, if we teach children about finances in Kindergarten through 12th grade, those children wouldn’t even come close to being in debt. I want to represent the idea that anything is possible, and the best way to do that is leading by example.
What’s Your Legacy?
You can find Mike on Youtube (Simple Mike), Instagram (@SimpleMike85), Facebook (Facebook@AuthorMichaelRoberson) and at his website www.simple-mike.com, where you can purchase the book as well as inquire about his other services!
So, can I talk about Carrie Fisher? I’m going to talk about Carrie Fisher.
From a very young age, my mother sat me down in front of a television and showed me Star Wars. As you can tell thirty years later, I am a fanatic. I’ve seen them all, multiple times and outsidede of my UNDYING love for Anakin, I have an unyielding love and gargantuan levels of respect for the women of Star Wars. Especially Leia. Carrie Fisher played her the only way that Leia could be played–sarcastic, witty, independent, and very aware of her own power and influence. That’s a powerful thing to see as a girl, at a young age, when male protagonist are being forced down your throat, where you are shown that you can only be a badass when a gun and a penis. Carrie Fisher let me know that you could be in a science fiction movie, be an absolutely necessary figure and driver of the plot, elemental to it even, retain your femininity and exhibit your power–over men, over politics, over the galaxy.
Carrie Fisher, however, is not Princess Leia. Princess Leia is a character she brought to life and only exists inside of our hearts and in a galaxy, far, far away. Carrie Fisher was much more than that. She was a bookworm, losing herself inside of the magic of books and stories. She was an author–Postcards from the Edge, Wishful Drinking, The Princess Diarist. She was a screenwriter and a script “doctor.” She was a producer and a speaker. An advocate for mental illness. And she was an actress.
All of these things combined is what made Carrie Fisher, Carrie Fisher, a woman we will never forget. She never lost her humor, she never lost her smile, her acerbic wit, and her ability to affect the galaxy at large.
We might be saying goodbye but the universe is welcoming her back.
Rest in Peace, Carrie Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016)
Hamilton is a cultural phenomenon. If not one of the greatest, most galvanizing phenomes, it has had an impacting ripple on theater at large, especially bringing actors of color into positions and roles they may have been (may being a strong word for absolutely) denied in the past.
Like some of you, I have not been able to see the actual show. Thanks to YouTube, I’ve seen clips but never the entire show. But like any other piece of Hamiltrash I’ve listened to the soundtrack enough to be a member of the chorus should the opportunity ever arise.
Not that it matters. I put on a stage production of Hamilton almost every other night. The soundtrack, in itself, is so well put together, that it tells the story for you. Most musicals have numbers that speak on a theme in the play, a moment. No. The Hamilton soundtrack takes you from start to beginning. It is a musical that is in its entirety completely a musical. There are few “scenes” of dialogue. But everything else is presented to you in song, through prose and cypher.
Like I said, a cultural phenomenon.
So it pains me to try and do this but I’m going to attempt it.
10 Best Songs
#10 – BURN
Probably THE angriest song on the soundtrack and that’s a tough feat to task. Cabinet Meeting #2 is pretty much Thomas Jefferson foaming at the mouth then being a petty asshole. Meet Me Inside is daddy issues GALORE and Adams Administration is more…freighting than angry. Eliza, played by the lovely Philippa Soo, is angry, pissed, RAGE FILLED. And it’s not the kill everything walking rage. It’s the disappointment type of rage your parents throw at you. She basically sends him to timeout from her heart and her bed by the end of the song and all you can see is an visibly upset Eliza and a pouty Alexander being sent to his office to sleep. Forever. The song has so much meaning because of amount of Eliza’s anger, she removes herself from the narrative. She is so angry she doesn’t want anyone else to know ANYTHING (a juxtaposition to her husband telling the world EVERYTHING). Phillipa’s vocals are just amazing. Halting, strong, and emotional.
Best Line: “And you are paranoid in every paragraph how they deceive you…YOU, YOU, YOU.”
#9 Cabinet Battle 1 & 2
A fucking rap battle. Two of them to be exact. A RAP BATTLE. They are duking it out via rap battle and they are NOT holding any punches. If you had any wishes that Thomas Jefferson (played by Daveed Diggs) and Alexander Hamilton (Lin Manuel Miranda) were going to be anything other than enemies, Cabinet Battle 1, destroys that. It includes Jefferson’s lines of “But Hamilton forgets. His plan would have the government assume state’s debts. Now, place your bets as to who that benefits: The very seat of government where Hamilton sits.”
He’s known Hamilton in the play for 20 minutes. Yeah, not going to be BFF. But we are talking Alexander Hamilton. Can’t shut the fuck up Alexander Hamilton. Can’t let an insult slide Alexander Hamilton. Hot tempered, “what the fuck did you just say???” Alexander Hamilton. He gets his in too. It’s always hard to tell who wins the battles. They are just that good.
Best Line (where Alexander just goes slam the fuck off):
“Thomas Jefferson, always hesitant with the President
Reticent—there isn’t a plan he doesn’t jettison
Madison, you’re mad as a hatter, son, take your medicine
Damn, you’re in worse shape than the national debt is in
Sittin’ there useless as two shits
Hey, turn around, bend over, I’ll show you
Where my shoe fits.
Yeah. Not going to be BFFs. At all.
#8 Take A Break
A lot of things going on in this song and it captures a lot of things that happen in the Hamilton (and by extension the Schuyler Church) household. Alexander has been threatened with losing his job and the already non-stop workaholic is burning the midnight oil in the middle of the evening. Eliza is showing her everlasting patience, even if it slips a bit here, for her husband’s methods of madness, but still pushes him to spend time with his family. Angelica (played by the lovely Renee Ellis Goldsbury) serves as a source of inspiration and a distraction (romantically) from the stress Hamilton is experiencing. All of his family members see it (even little Phillip who composes a poem for his father) and think he needs to take a break. They spend the entirety of the song trying to convince him to one, be successful but two, as the song goes, “TAKE A GODDAMN BREAK.”
End the end, in Alexander “Can’t Take a Hint” Hamilton fashion, he doesn’t and it proves to be disastrous.
Edit: This also introduces Eliza and Phillip’s shared theme of counting in French.
Best Line: Basically Eliza and Angelica scream singing at him to take a fucking break. (Really, Angelica came ALL the way from London, damn.)
This song is so underrated. Hamilton is in a fix and according to him there is only one way to fix it. He overvalues his own intelligence, his own methods to solving problems and it leads him to the third biggest conflict of the play: the consequences of his actions. He pretty much is gearing up to ruin his own life here. But the way that Hurricane plays out, you kinda…agree with his methods? Alexander Hamilton up until this point has had a pretty difficult life and Hurricane encapsulates that, summing up his hardships and swinging up through to his victories, which he attributes to his skill with the quill (which is undeniable). The ominous “Wait for it! Wait for it! Wait for it! Wait!” at the end, however, lets us know that Hamilton has made the wrong choice.
Best Line: Alexander at his best, being braggadocios about what he’s done and how it will solve his problems
“I wrote my way out of hell
I wrote my way to revolution
I was louder than the crack in the bell
I wrote Eliza love letters until she fell
I wrote about The Constitution and defended it well
And in the face of ignorance and resistance
I wrote financial systems into existence
And when my prayers to God were met with indifference
I picked up a pen, I wrote my own deliverance!”
#6 The World Turned Upside Down
Here is your rallying call. Here is where, after spending song after song talking about battles, do you actually feel like you’re in the middle of one. The story goes that Hamilton quits being Washington’s top camp de aide and Washington(Christopher Jackson), needing Hamilton to both survive but not wanting to lose him as his “Right Hand Man” gives Hamilton a pretty simple task and the battalion he wants. Alexander takes his command and RAMPS IT ALL THE WAY THE HELL UP and what we get is this thrilling, fast pace recount of not only Hamilton’s battle at Redoubt #10, but also Hercules Mulligan’s (Okieriete Onaodowan) major role in espionage and the major campaign (The Battle of Yorktown) involving Washington, Lafayette and (inhales) Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau. The music itself will have you out of your seat but it’s the enthusiasm of the entire cast pouring everything they have into this number that makes it so riviting. It may be the most inspiration song on the soundtrack short of “My Shot”.
Best Line: “Hercules Mulligan, I need no introduction! When you knock me down I get the fuck back up again!”
#5 The Schuyler Sisters
Do you want to dance? Do you want to learn about Manhattan? Do you want to meet three of the boldest, intelligent, prominent women in the 1770s? Meet the Schuyler Sisters and their Destiny’s Child, En Vouge, Dream Girls introduction to the world. Honestly, anyone who can get through the The Schuyler Sisters without literally dancing or screaming “WERK!” doesn’t have a soul. It also manages to definitively set the characters for each of the woman. Angelica, as the oldest, is smart, politically minded, well-read and not afraid to tell you. Eliza is full of wonderment and curiosity as she takes in the city that is beginning to mean so much to her. You can tell her personality isn’t as large as life as her older sister. And Peggy (Jasmine Cephus Jones- my forever girl crush)…let’s you know that she is there. WHICH, means something. Peggy is always a footnote when it comes to Angelia and Eliza but Peggy always has a way of letting you know she matters. Considering how BADASS the actual Peggy Schuyler Van Rensselaer was (such as staring enemy combatant-and their guns- in the face as they came to search our their father Phillip Schuyler while her sister and mother and children were hiding upstairs. She was able to stare the rebels down, get them out of hte house and save her family without batting and eyelash. PEGGY IS BADASS!).
Best Line: “I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine. So men say that I’m intense or I’m insane. You want a revolution? I want a revelation! So listen to my declaration!”
#4 Wait For It
Aaron Burr, sir. Aaron Burr was a bad guy. Not EVIL but…self-serving as all hell. Yet, we learn why. In Wait For It, Leslie Odom beautifully runs down Aaron Burr’s history. We learn about his love interest, Theodosia, his parents, his grandparents, and why he is an orphan. We learn about what drives Aaron Burr. And that right there, learning the antagonist’s motives, no matter what format, movie, book, TV series, will instantly endear you to them, especially if they are good reasons. Basically Aaron Burr wants the same thing Alexander Hamilton wants; to build a legacy, for people to remember him, to do a good job.
The way they go about that is what separates the cautious Aaron Burr and the rash Alexander Hamilton.
Wait For It is Aaron Burr’s “I Am Here”, Wait For It is Aaron’s Burr’s “Alexander Hamilton”, Wait For It is the one of only three times that Aaron Burr lets us in and we LOVE him for it.
Best Line: “I am inititable, I am an original!”
#3 Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
WHEW. WHEW! If you’ve been through the soundtrack then you know that Act I was watching Alexander Hamilton climb the proverbial impossible to climb mountain, slamming his flag into the summit and yelling “I TOLD YOU I COULD FUCKING DO IT!” Act II, on the other hand, is someone (Alexander Hamilton) pushing Alexander Hamilton REALLY hard off that same mountain and laughing (Alexander Hamilton, again) as Alexander Hamilton hits every rock and stone on the way down. We all know what happens when you fall off a mountain and literally hit the ground. You die.
But Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story isn’t about Alexander Hamilton’s death which happened in the preceding song. It’s about ELIZABETH HAMILTON. I made this case to someone. The name of the play isn’t ALEXANDER HAMILTON. It’s HAMILTON. That includes Eliza, it includes Phillip and their adjacent family. It’s about the Hamilton family. And nowhere is this spoken the loudest as when the entire cast of the play ask who will tell Alexander’s story (who will technically be the heir to his purpose, who will become the central figure of their family) and they all answering with a soft resounding “Eliza.”
Eliza begins to tell what she did after her husband dies. What she has done, that even if it was in his name, she did with her power, with her strength, with her good heart. She still loves her husband dearly (this is accurate. It is said when she was very elderly that she often spoke of wanting to hurry up and die so she could be with Alexander. This is 40+ odd years after he has died). Eliza, in the end, turns out to the driving force of this play. That although Alexander was its central character, the FIRE of it, was Eliza Hamilton. She is the only reason we have this play, because of her tireless work in making sure her husband got what he wanted in the end; a legacy.
Best Line: “I put myself back in the narrative.”
Non-Stop literally doesn’t stop. It never stops. The entire song rolls and rolls and rolls as it recounts what happens after the war: Alexander practices law (while Burr just “works” next door). Washington is being asked to be the first President of the new United States of America, Angelica has “recently” gotten married (she’s been married the whole time actually), Lafayette is back in France, and I’m gathering Herc is flourishing somewhere with his tailoring(???). Eliza has given birth to Phillip and Aaron Burr, a new father himself, is trying desperately to figure out how Alexander DOES SO MUCH SHIT.
John Laurens(Anthony Ramos), however, has died.
We are getting the answers to Aaron Burr’s question. At the end of Dear Theodosia there is a scene that is not included in the soundtrack. It’s Eliza reading a letter from Henry Laurens on the death of his son John Laurens while in South Carolina. It’s somber, it’s heartbreaking and as Alexander Hamilton’s best friend (and rumored lover) the news tears him apart. Completely. It changed him. Changed the way he made friends (which is he didn’t), morphed who he was as a man. He finishes the scene with “I have so much to do.”
Thus we get the NON-STOP workaholic Alexander Hamilton, driven to succeed for his family, wanting a distraction from the heartbreak of losing his best friend, and to cement his legacy.
Best Line: “I AM ALEXANDER HAMILTON, HAMILTON. JUST YOU WAIT! I AM NOT THROWING AWAY MY SHOT.”
(Tie) #1 – Satisfied
Angelica Schuyler is something special. Not in the same way that Eliza is, as this driving force in the play, but Angelica is the grounding force. Everyone turns to Angelica. Everyone relies on Angelica. When Eliza wanted to Hamilton, Angelica took care of it. When Burr needed to be put in his flirty place, Angelica handled it. When Hamilton needed someone to encourage him towards getting Congress to approve his plans, he turned to Angelica. When he needed someone in his corner after the Reynold’s pamphlet, he turned to Angelica. Thomas, in history often turned to Angelica and I can’t imagine too many other founding father’s who weren’t drawn into Angelica’s realm of intelligence, council and beauty.
But what about Angelica?
Angelica is sacrificial in a way that she would give the shirt off her back (or corset) for the ones that she loves. She exemplifies this time and time again. The most prolific of those times. Satisfied.
Angelica “met” Alexander first. Angelica flirted with Alexander first. Angelica melded minds and matched wits with Alexander first. Yet in Angelica’s world, she was always second. In this situation, her beloved sister and her ‘helpless” eyes were the siren beacon that Angelica, once again, could not come first.
She could not.
Satisfied is guttural, it is fast paced, it punches you in the gut. We learned EVERYTHING we need to know about Angelia in one song. Her position in the world, how she sees herself, what she needs to do to survive.
We know that Angelica would rather give up on someone who is so very much right for her, so that her sister can experience happiness. And you can hear it, you can hear that heartbreak and that disappointment in her toast to her sister. The final resounding “FROM YOUR SISTER! ANGELICA IS ALWAYS BY YOUR SIDE! TO YOUR UNION! AND THE HOPE THAT YOU PROVIDE! MAY YOU ALWAYS….BE SATISIFED.”
She knows so much about her sister and she knows so much about Alexander, these two people that she loves so dearly. And she knows that despite their happiness, despite Alexander’s proximity, she will never be satisfied.
Best Line: Angelica reading Hamilton COMPLETELY in the span of 3 minutes.
“The conversation lasted two minutes, maybe three minutes
Ev’rything we said in total agreement, it’s
A dream and it’s a bit of a dance
A bit of a posture, it’s a bit of a stance. He’s a
Bit of a flirt, but I’m ‘a give it a chance.”
(Tie)#1 Guns and Ships
Have you heard Guns and Ships? Do I have to go through the reasons why this is the best song on the soundtrack? Do I?
Because I’m not. I’m out of breath rapping it word for word anyways.
Best Line: The entire damn thing.
Note: It does show a progression in Lafayette, not only as an General, but as a English speaking immigrant. In My Shot, he has trouble with English, showcased with him not getting the pronunciation of “anarchy” right. In Guns and Ships, he raps English with a speed and agility that no one else has ever seen. Ever. Daveed Diggs holds the RECORD for the fastest spoken song in Broadway HISTORY.
Alright. Now the bad part.
10 Worst Songs
BYE! LOVE YOU!
Relatively soon, which depends on which relative you ask. (bah dah-ting). Although we won’t be seeing this for some years, the partnership between Universal Parks and Resorts and Nintendo is a BIG FREAKING DEAL.
Sounds like being on shrooms without actually being on shrooms. Or, you know, virtual reality. Either way, fans of Nintendo (which is every human on this planet) are waiting anxiously to see what this partnership could mean.
What if they develop a REAL Water Temple.
Oh, crap. That’s terrible.
You can learn more about this partnership at the official Universal Studios’ blog on the matter at http://blog.universalorlando.com/whats-new/nintendo-universal-parks/
I’ve just discovered something so excellent and divine that I had to stop myself from squealing (mostly because the neighbors told me to limit my squealing to once a month and Star Wars took that squeal out of me earlier).
What have I discovered?
Per their website:
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So apparently this weeks theme is Disney. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it’s the holidays. Do we associate the holidays with Disney? No? Eggnog. It’s eggnog. That’s Christmasy.
Nonetheless, we are going to keep on throwing coal in the Disney train until the Disney train is…taken over by Zombies. (That reminds me, we WILL be talking about Train to Busan at some point. Which…is not Disney and not Christmasy. It’s sad and its scary as hell. Digression)
This Disney post is one that made me smile. Firsts are important. Your first step. Your first day of school. Your first accidental taste of wasabi because you were curious as to what that green stuff was. All fantastic. Well Disney has its first too. But one that stands out a little more than the others is Floyd Norman.
Floyd Norman is an animator, writer, comic book artist and all around amazing individual. Floyd is also considered a “Disney Legend”. He is the first African American animator at Disney and helped with projects such as sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and the Sword in the Stone.
Floyd is SO amazing in his lifelong dedication to the arts that a documentary entitled “Floyd Norman: An Animated Life was released. The very best news of this all is, IT’S AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX NOW.
That’s right. Now I wouldn’t suggest this be the choice of your Netflix and Chill sessions, because I think that’s…just…not right but also you need to pay attention. Can’t do that trying to slide to 2nd base now can you.
For more information about Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, you can head over to Netflix to see it as well as www.floydnormanmovie.com/ to learn more about Floyd and to purchase the DVD.