Let me start by quoting from the beginning of July’s post.
“A month ago, I was basking in the afterglow of The Silent Goodbye.” I’m still basking in it, a little bit. Such a great show and a great experience!
“A month from now, I’ll be reminiscing on Who You Callin Black Eh? and being grateful to have had great roles in live shows for back-to-back months.” Very accurate. We even won a Teen Choice Award for WYCBE! And yes, it’s been awhile since I had two back-to-back bookings . . . but read on . . .
“A month after that . . . well, let’s be honest, I’ll be excited for Caribana, but maybe there will be a new booking to celebrate then!” Again, accurate. And then there was a new booking to celebrate! That third booking started the whirlwind week that’s just now wrapping up for me, and I wanted to take a moment – and a breath – before plunging into a new workweek, so this is my chance to fill you in on everything about the Caribana Week.
The incomparable Octavia Spencer is portraying the legendary Madam C J Walker (an African American beauty and haircare entrepreneur who built her own fortune in the early 1900s) in a new Netflix series, and I was cast in it as a dancer in a juke joint. Loved being a part of this project! The costuming and wardrobe was out of this world in its authenticity and, well, fun =D Plus I got to meet and work with some fantastic and incredibly talented individuals. (I particularly loved my cute little button-up leather heels, although I do wish I’d figured out a way to stop my feet from hurting — this, as you’ll see, was a recurring theme for the week.) I’m not allowed to post any pictures from set, but stay tuned — the air date is this fall!
So that was my Monday: being on set in Hamilton. Tuesday (and from this point until the end of the post, you can keep an eye on my Instagram page for more pics and video) was my Caribana kickoff, first finally visiting Maracas in Kensington Market for some delicious roti and doubles (I’m going back there SO soon, lol), and then finally attending a Toronto edition of Tuesday on the Rocks and thoroughly enjoying every minute of it (I mean, it’s KES the Band, so how could I not??).
I haven’t gone to Sweetness on the Water in a few years, and it was nice to spend a Caribana Wednesday night admiring the city’s skyline with soca blasting once again =) Unfortunately, this is the night my feet started really giving me trouble, with the parade itself still three sleeps away . . .
I had some hope that soaking them in a pool for awhile would help. Hello, Soca Or Die =D (and a chance to take photos with KES bassist Riad and Shal Marshall!)
The pool definitely helped. Gumbo, however (one of the best dance parties you will ever go to), did not. Oops! Haha . . .
Up next: Friday Night Mas! I’d heard about this event last year and decided to give it a shot. I still think my section should have won (Old Town Jab forever, lol!) but I’m definitely glad to have been able to check out such a fun take on Grenada’s Monday Night Mas, close enough that I could walk home afterward
Then, at long last, we woke up on Caribana Saturday morning and I prepared to play mas for my fifteenth year in a row. I jumped up with Saldenah for the first time, opting to match my fiancé for any pictures taken and be able to keep him close I have a lot to say about the parade itself, so I’ll probably do a separate post on that topic alone.
And — sorry, tortured aching feet — the weekend wasn’t done yet!! Sunday ended up being a marathon of a day: a farewell breakfast for my friend and her partner as they left town (no pics taken), church (no pics taken), the closing performance of The Lion King’s 2019 Toronto run (didn’t get pics of all my family who attended), and a lovely family get-together to celebrate my uncle’s birthday (out of the few pics I took that I’m permitted to share, here’s me with a cousin who lives in Edmonton and who I am SO glad I got to see before she leaves again).
And after lots of food and baby cuddles and a sleepy drive home, I let myself sleep in. My feet are grateful and my heart is full.
Now . . . after a breath or two on this holiday Monday . . . let’s see what else August has in store!