I’m going to keep this blog post short and sweet, because well, real talk… in an effort to write the “perfect blog post”, I’ve just delayed writing it by 12 days, and that’s stupid because then nothing gets accomplished. This being realized, I will now begin every day repeating the mantra, “not everything I write has to be witty and brilliant and filled with an unnecessary amount of parenthetical clauses (Amen.)”
Anyway. Two weeks ago, my dear friend Arjun Gupta (of Showtime’s Nurse Jackie fame) was doing a reading of a play, written by his dear friend Rachael Holder. The play was called Dead Fish, and it was about relationships, family, dreams, ambitions… the stuff us 20-somethings relate to. Obviously. I related. Which is rare, because I’m not the “theater-going” type. I have a short attention span and generally prefer a TV screen with DVR capabilities to pause, rewind, and fast-forward.
Fast-forward to the post-reading hangout at Snake Pit Bar on Melrose, where the cast is hanging out. Included? Tatyana Ali (known to 10-yr-old Samia as Ashley Banks, as well as the artist behind the hit song “Daydreamin”, which I purchased the CD single of.) Anyway. Arjun does the introduction, I compliment her on her shoes, we make small talk about our funny/awkward bathroom moment from an hour before (not suitable for the internet), and then actually have a real conversation. (I do not bring up the fact that she is Ashley Banks. Mostly because well, she knows she’s Ashley Banks, and she probably already gets the “Weren’t you on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?” on a daily basis from people who just see her in the streets. By getting a formal introduction by mutual friend Arjun, I had told myself that I could not let my 90s-loving self be seen.)
Our convo begins with talk about the play. How it’s so awesome, how Rachael did such a great job with writing it, how we hope it goes into production so that she can be a part of it. In fact, I was curious as to find out how she got involved, and it turned out she was connected via Facebook (so, we must thank Mark Z for this inevitable meeting, I guess.) I ask her if she had done plays before, to which she informs me that she grew up in theater. I immediately gain respect for her, because that means she’s a REAL actor and not someone who just “made it” in TV. We talk about the play and how I’m not really into theater but there was something about this play…you could feel the emotion, you felt the breakups on stage.. it all felt real. Which then gets us into a whole conversation about the way art can emotionally connect, whether it be theater, or a film, or especially, music.
SK: “Like right now, Drake, Take Ca–”
And before I can finish my sentence, Tatyana smiles, gets excited, and shares with me her love and adoration for Drake.
TA: “How did I KNOW you were gonna say Drake?!” (I dunno. Maybe you’re psychic?)
I tell her about a situation in my life that is complicated and somewhat similar to that described in “Take Care” and “Make Me Proud.” “Make Me Proud” is her jam, she says. (I feel like Tatyana and I are bonding over heartache and break and fun love and happiness and sadness all with the mutual understanding that we both have that “Take Care” album on repeat. I even tell her about the podcast I did where KT Tatara and I breakdown the album, track by track…I have no idea why I tell her this, as if I expect her to search and listen to said podcast from like four months ago.) Anyway. In this moment, we both just…get eachother.
It’s an interesting moment because, as consumers of television, we watch TV to find characters we relate to. And growing up watching Fresh Prince, I obviously connected with Ashley, solely because she was the little sister and the closest in age to me. So to connect in real life? Well. Ten-year-old Samia would be proud (you could say…almost as proud as Drake is of Nicki Minaj.)
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