Benjamin Isaiah Black’s “FINALE: Curtain Call”

***This was performed live on April 22, 2015***

This was the last show I performed before I graduated. It’s me doing what I do best, doing what I love to do. It’s poetry, it’s mime, it’s film, it’s theatre, it’s music, it’s entertainment, it’s inspiring, it’s encouraging, it’s uplifting, it’s art, it’s godly. I hope you enjoy it! God bless you, and I love you!

(c) April 2015, B.I.B. Productions

Advertisements

Journal Entry: Graduation

***This was written on May 23, 2015***

Dear Journal,
How’s it going? How have you been? I know this is two weeks too late, but I’ve graduated! As of Saturday, May 9, 2015, I’ve become a graduate of Ashland University! I’ve earned my Bachelors of Arts degree in General Theatre! It is fantastic! I am a college graduate! This is what I worked for the past 5 years toward! This is one of the major milestones of life I’ve been looking forward to!…And I’m going to miss Ashland so much. I miss it now. Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve had a number of dreams about Ashland. That’s been my home for the past 5 years, and now I’m done. I won’t be returning again in August. I can’t believe it. I had to say good-bye to the people, the city, the campus, the buildings, and my room…OK, so I’m a sentimental. But, can you blame me? I’ve spent almost a fifth of my life at Ashland! Whether time was spent in the theatres, the radio station, at a BSU/DOC event, in the classroom, in my room, or wherever, I loved my time at Ashland!
In fact, what all have I done at Ashland? Hmm…Let’s see if I can remember:
Freshman Year: Move onto campus (08/20/2010)
University Choir (08/2010 – 05/2011)
Scene Shop scholarship hours (08/2010 – 04/2011)
Member of BSU (Black Student Union) (09/2011)
Lip Sync Contest (09/2010)
The Bro. B.I.B. Show (09/2010 – 04/2011)
• Creator/Actor/Writer/Producer/Director/Recording Engineer/Editor/Sound Designer
Of Mice and Men, “Crooks” (10/15/2010 – 10/24/2010)
• Irene Ryan Award nomination
Adjusting Focus, “Chris” (11/2010 – 04/2011)
KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival) (01/2011)
Recital Crew employee (01/2011 – 04/2011)
Surround Sound (01/2011 – 05/2011)
Evening of Celebration 2011 (02/23/2011)
• Actor
BLACK: a one-man show (03/23/2011)
• First original stage play
• Solo show
• Actor/Writer/Producer/Director
Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Running Crew (04/08/2011 – 04/17/2011)
Inducted in APO (Alpha Psi Omega) (04/2011)
Leadership and Recognition Awards: Emerging Leader nomination (04/2011)
WRDL Award: Outstanding Newcomer (04/2011)
University Choir Tour (05/2011)
Sophomore Year: Pathways Leader (08/2011)
88.9 WRDL, Operations’ Director (08/2011 – 03/2012)
BSU, Secretary (08/2011 – 04/2012)
APO, Member (08/2011 – 05/2012)
University Choir (08/2011 – 05/2012)
Scene Shop scholarship hours & employee (08/2011 – 04/2012)
The Bro. B.I.B. Show (09/2011 – 03/2012)
Whistle Down the Wind, “Vicar” (10/28/2011 – 11/05/2011)
Meet Michael Kaeshammar (11/11/2011)
Meet & Interview Take 6 (12/07/2011)
KCACTF (01/2012)
• Irene Ryan Award partner
NIMH’s Last Comedian Standing (01/30/2012)
Evening of Celebration (02/29/2012)
• Actor/Writer/Producer/Director, Black Out
Mr. University (03/07/2012)
• Won
One-Act Experience/Experiment 2012, Running Crew (04/18/2012 – 04/21/2012)
Junior Year: Pathways Leader (08/2012)
BSU, President (08/2012 – 04/2013)
88.9 WRDL, Production Director (08/2012 – 05/2013)
APO, Member (08/2012 – 05/2013)
Scene Shop scholarship hours & employee (08/2012 – 04/2013)
Bus Stop, Sound Designer & Sound Board Operator (09/27/2013 – 10/06/2012)
Retirement Video for Ric Goodwin (01/2013 – 04/2013)
WRDL BHM 2013 (WRDL Black History Month 2013) (02/01/2013 – 02/28/2013)
• Writer/Recording Engineer/Voice Talent/Editor/Producer
Little Shop of Horrors, “Audrey II, Manipulator”/“Wino I” (02/22/2013 – 03/02/2013)
Evening of Celebration 2013 (02/27/2013)
• Writer/Producer/Co-director, Our Journey
My Me: Stage Play (03/06/2013)
• Fourth original stage play
• Second solo show
• Actor/Writer/Producer/Director/Music Arranger
A Life in the Theatre, Sound Designer & Sound Board Operator (04/10/2013 –
04/14/2013)
Theatre Award: Outstanding Performance Award, Little Shop of Horrors (05/2013)
Senior Year I: Theatre Senior Project (05/2013 – 04/30/2014)
• Playwright, The Response
Pathways Leader (08/2013)
APO, Liason (08/2013 – 05/2014)
Production Director (08/2013 – 05/2014)
Member, DOC (Diversity On Campus) (08/2013 – 04/2014)
• Formerly known as Black Student Union
March: 50 (08/28/2013)
• Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington
• Creator/Organizer/Student Leader
The Servant of Two Masters, “Florindo Silvio” (11/01/2013 – 11/09/2013)
KCACTF (01/2014)
• Student Directing Institute, A Raisin in the Sun
WRDL BHM 2014, (02/01/2014 – 02/28/2014)
Evening of Celebration 2014 (02/19/2014)
• Actor/Writer/Producer/Director, Thank You
• Plaque of gratitude
One-Acts & New Works 2014 (04/02/2014 – 04/06/2014)
• Tennessee Williams’ Moony’s Kid Don’t Cry, Director
• Jay Kunzi’s That’s What I’m Dreamin’, “Booty Magnet”
• Benjamin Isaiah Black’s The Response, Writer
Leadership and Recognition Awards: Diversity Enhancement Award (04/13/2014)
WRDL Award: Outstanding Senior Award (04/2014)
Theatre Award: Green Room Award (05/2014)
Theatre Award: Outstanding Performance Award, The Response (05/2014)
Senior Year II: Pathways Leader (08/2014)
88.9 WRDL, Production Director (08/2014 – 05/2015)
APO, Member (08/2014 – 12/2014)
Saint Joan, “Robert de Beaudricourt”/“Gilles de Rais (Bluebeard)”/“Bishop Peter
Cauchon” (10/03/2014 – 10/11/2014)
• Irene Ryan Award nomination
Homecoming King (10/11/2014)
In the Event of My Death, Assistant Sound Designer (10/30/2014 – 11/08/2014)
Black Magic (11/15/2014)
KCACTF (01/2015)
APO, Secretary (01/05/2015 – 05/02/2015)
Meet Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian (01/19/2015)
WRDL BHM 2015 (02/01/2015 – 02/28/2015)
The Wizard of Oz, Assistant Sound Designer (02/13/2015 – 02/21/2015)
Evening of Celebration 2015 (02/25/2015)
• Actor/Writer/Producer/Director, Motown: a Concert Experience
• Certificate of gratitude & Eagle Head
The House of Blue Leaves, “Billy Einhorn” (04/09/2015 – 04/17/2015)
Leadership and Recognition Awards: Diversity Enhancement (04/19/2015)
FINALE: Curtain Call (04/22/2015)
• Eighth original stage play
• Third & final solo show
• Actor/Writer/Producer/Director/Music Arranger/Editor
Theatre Award: Performance Award, Saint Joan (05/02/2015)
Theatre Award: Inaugural Brother BIB Award (05/02/2015)
• Award named after me
• First presentation of this award
Spring Commencement (05/09/2015)
Wow. I mean, wow! It’s been an unbelievably fantastic ride! I remember the day I moved on the campus almost five years ago. As a young freshman, I could not have imagined doing everything I did – or, at least, I wouldn’t have been able to predict doing it all! I’ve produced eight original productions (including my radio show), I’ve written eight original stage productions (including The Response), I’ve performed in a total of fourteen shows at Ashland, I’ve gained a number of awards and honors, I was in a web series, I produced a couple of films, my voice was heard on the radio a countless number of times, I met Take 6, I shook hands with Dr. C.T. Vivian, I created and led an event that celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom – and it has been phenomenal! Between everyone I met, everything I learned, everywhere I went, and the great and many things I did, I’ve enjoyed my time at Ashland so much!
I often wondered how I’d survive the “real world” after graduation. I was afraid because I didn’t know what was going to come next. While I still don’t know, and I’m still applying to places all over, I’m at peace now. I’m comforted. I realized that this was the same way I felt that very first morning, the day I left for Ashland, nearly five years ago. And look at everything God allowed me to do. If He allowed me to soar at Ashland, I know I have nothing to worry about, so long as I put Him first. With that being said, I look forward to applying the lessons I’ve learned at Ashland and moving on to bigger and better things. My Jesus is SO good! Thank You, Jesus! Praise You, God! HALLELUJAH! BOOYIKA!

Sincerely,

Benjamin Isaiah Black

(c) May 2015, B.I.B. Productions
(P) BOOYIKA!, Inc.

I’m About to Graduate

***This was written on January 8, 2015***
***This was filmed and shown at Benjamin Isaiah Black’s FINALE: Curtain Call***

BRO. B.I.B.
I’m about to graduate.
Ain’t it great?
May 9, I’ll wake up no later than 8:00,
I’ll get up and prepare myself to cross the stage.
After 5 long years, it’s finally come to this.
Funny how I knew this day would come, my time at Ashland’s about done.
Yet I can’t believe I’m about to say good-bye to these days of fun –
The events and the atmosphere,
The buildings and the cheer,
The people I’ve met who I love dear,
I love them so.
In a short while, I’ll be saying good-bye to it all,
To this place that’s been a home for 5 years.
I’m about to graduate.
Ain’t it great?
Then why can’t I celebrate
What awaits me?

INNER VOICE #1.
You don’t know?

BRO. B.I.B.
Know what?

INNER VOICE #1.
Know the reasons for your doubts,
What your nervousness and confusion are about.
You know. You know you do.

BRO. B.I.B.
I don’t know what you’re talking about. I haven’t got a clue.

INNER VOICE #1.
Sure you do.
How prepared are you for what’s out there?
You think you’re ready for the real world?
You’ve got no place of your own, no car, no job – you’re broke.
You’re going back home with Mom and Dad? That’s a joke.

BRO. B.I.B.
What’s wrong with that?

INNER VOICE #1.
You plan on living there forever?

BRO. B.I.B.
No.

INNER VOICE #1.
When are you going to get it together?

BRO. B.I.B.
Would you go?

INNER VOICE #1.
You’re never going to be successful, never –

BRO. B.I.B.
Yo!

INNER VOICE #1.
If you don’t start putting work in.

BRO. B.I.B.
What do you want? Why are you here?
Would you clear the crud out and stop drawing near my ear?

INNER VOICE #1.
I want you to hear your inner thoughts and realize your true fears.
That’s why you’re nervous. That’s why you’re not at ease.
Say what you’re feeling. You don’t have to hold it in like a lion that’s been tamed.
Just say what’s on your mind.

BRO. B.I.B.
Fine! I’m afraid!
I’m afraid! I admit it, I’m scare!
I don’t know what the crud to expect out there.
How do I know I’ll be successful?
How do I know I’ll be great?
I don’t know where I’ll be in 5 years – I know nothing about my fate!
What if I’m not talented enough to make it far?
I have no money, not even for clothes or my own car!
I spend time watching YouTube video, letting out laughs,
When that time could have been used perfecting my crafts.
What if opportunity after opportunity slams doors in my face
And I’m left in some dark, neglected, forgotten place?
That’s not me. That’s not who I want to be.
I never imagined that kind of life for myself.
I’d rather stay here in familiar territory.

INNER VOICE #2.
Now, you know that’s not your story.
You’ll already be paying 5 years worth of student loans.
You want to pay more?

BRO. B.I.B.
What if I died here? They can’t get me if I’m dead.

INNER VOICE #2.
They’d come after your family, bruh.

BRO. B.I.B.
Crud.

INNER VOICE #2.
Are you really going to allow fear to paralyze you from experiencing all that God has for you?
Don’t sacrifice what He created you to do.

BRO. B.I.B.
How do I know this dream of mine is true?

INNER VOICE #2.
I thought you knew.
You know God made you with a purpose in mind.
He’s got great plans for you so divine.
Don’t let fear bind you, don’t be blind to the truth.
God has been watching you the whole time.
Your life is proof of that – you wouldn’t be here if He wasn’t on your side.
He is in front you, next to you, and behind,
Covering you from all around.
He’s even with you right now.

BRO. B.I.B.
How am I supposed to believe that?
Look at where I am, who I am, what I am.
Does this look like someone who’s gonna be a great man?

INNER VOICE #2.
Can you lend yourself to God’s plan?
Have faith in Him?
Trust that He knows what He’s doing even when you don’t?
Don’t think that He’ll let you down now, ‘cuz He won’t;
Not after everything else He’s brought you through.
Don’t act like you’re hearing something new.
Five years ago you said a prayer,
And Jesus heard and answered it because He loves you and He cares.
During those years, He’s seen you through great ups and downs,
Each trial and tribulation –
It was Him who made a way out for you in your situations.
Now if Jesus, THAT God who lives in you
And brought you through everything you’ve been through –
If He provided you strength to endure back then,
What makes you think He wouldn’t do it again?
He’s always there for you, especially when it’s hard.
Just believe that He is who He says,
That He’ll do what He says He’ll do.
God’s not a man that would lie.
You know this is true. Now apply.

BRO. B.I.B.
I’m about to graduate.
Ain’t is great?
And now…I can’t wait!
I anticipate to see what God has ahead.
I gravitate to His Will.
There’s nothing to debate.
Father, please help me eliminate my fears and doubts,
Not to hesitate to follow You.
Your power and might are great, so who am I to underestimate You as You go to elevate me?
That fascinates me.
I will follow you down the narrow and straight,
Working hard with all my strength
Remembering You’re not through with me yet, You did not eliminate me.
You don’t hate me.
You strengthen me.
Educate me in You.
You have a great future that awaits me,
And so I thank Thee.
There’s much to celebrate.
A word I must emancipate.
Have you heard? Ain’t it great?
I’m about to graduate!

(c) January 2015, B.I.B. Productions
(P) BOOYIKA!, Inc.

Here She Is!

***This was written on August 4, 2012***
***Dedicated to Rachel SuperStarr Black***

What can I say, ladies and gentlemen? Here she is!
This young lady who has grown right before my eyes.
You may not be amazed by her success, status, and fame,
But I saw her from the very beginning.
From the time she was small and could barely reach the door knob
To the time she was old enough to develop her personality, so odd,
She has always been a joy and a delight.
At the entering of her presence, a dark and dim room will become bright.
Her beauty full and divine face,
Her smile, made with Love and Grace,
This young lady who I’ve always known–
What can I say? Here she is!
This special person, who I have the privilege to know
This talent, this blessing from God that I’ve seen grow
I know she’ll be big! I know she’ll go far!
She’s a gem, a miracle, a star.
No words can describe how much she means to me.
She’s more than the SuperStarr, she’s my sister!
What can I say?
I love you! Congratulations on your success! Ladies and gentlemen, here she is!
Ms. Rachel Kathleen “SuperStarr” Black!

(c) August 2012, B.I.B. Productions
(P) BOOYIKA!, Inc.

Baby’s Cry 7

***This was written on June 6, 2010***
***This is dedicated to the high school graduating class of 2010***

Well Ma, well Pops, we’re finally here
Let’s get ready to go, the ceremony is almost near
Now don’t go crying, Mom, this is a time to celebrate
Through those weepy eyes, how are you supposed to see me graduate?

This was no easy task as you two know
I had a lot to learn, and I needed to grow
But you know, while this wasn’t the easiest thing to do
The work was worth it knowing that I’m about through

Let me go ahead and spin, watch me twirl around
I’m in shock and amazement when I see me in this gown
I put up with so much crap, stress, and hassle
Now I can’t wait to turn my tassel

Thank You Jesus for this moment that has finally come
Mama, Daddy, come take a look at your son
Is this how you pictured it? Is this how you envisioned this day?
I owe a lot to you guys for your support and all the times we prayed

All at once this feels exciting, scary, and insane
Anyway, let’s go – I have a diploma to gain
These past years have been great. I’ve gotten a great education
Looks like it’s all paid off. Here comes graduation!

Congratulations graduating class of 2010!

(c) June 2010, B.I.B. Productions
(P) BOOYIKA!, Inc.