The Creative & Called Make Peace

You are so ugly…

Can you imagine hearing those words everyday of your life?  I can. At age 24, I was diagnosed with vitiligo, a skin condition that caused me to lose pigment on the right side of my face. That led to severe low self-esteem. Low self-esteem led to an abusive relationship that led to depression that led to a suicide attempt. Just as I was about to turn the wheel of my car to slam into an interstate wall, Jesus spoke to save my life and began to heal me. He used my love of the arts to do so and encouraged me to finally pursue my dream of living and practicing my art in New York City.

In NYC, I learned that the arts could be transformative as well as entertaining. People were using the arts to empower people from all walks of life, and I saw what I did in a whole new light. I also saw my first one-person show and from that moment on, I decided to make solo performance my craft of choice. As my creative self took over, I no longer cared about the Christian side of me. Once again, the arts won.

But, at 32, God reminded me that He had work for me to do. This time, His call was loud and clear. He wanted all of me—the artist and the Christian. This time, I answered the call, but still didn’t know how to make peace between the called and the creative. Ironically, the economic downturn held the answer.

In 2009, as one of the millions laid off, the lack of support in NYC forced me to move to DC to be near family. I feared the artist in me wouldn’t survive, but God knew otherwise. He led me to the Theatre Lab School of Dramatic Arts Honors Acting Conservatory, where I met Carol Cadby. This was no chance meeting; for, it was Carol who convinced me to dust off my unproduced one-women show, Thank You for Staring, which chronicled my experiences with vitiligo.

At age 40, I debuted Thank You for Staring at the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival, and God used audience reaction to remind me of His call and to remind me of the power of the arts. I had finally found my pathway to peace. At the beginning of 2014, I applied to Wesley Theological Seminary, and the rest they say is history, that is history in the making…