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Delores Fisher San Diego Comic-Con 2017 Post 1

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Delores Fisher and Cosplayer (more Ethnic Cosplayers joining in the fun this year!)

Hello Sonic Tapestry readers. It’s a hot San Diego International Comic-Con 2017 SUMMER! Thankful for a cloud cover early Thursday morning, it got really hot.

Waking up with anticipation, I considered how to cover San Diego International Comic-Con this 2017. Since I enjoy featuring cosplayers from an “outside view angle,” with occasional social commentary, this year seems like a good time to change the game a little, especially on this Thursday July 20th, the first day of events.

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Remember to check out the Interactive Fun Zone with exhibits and Fun Foods!

 
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Delores Fisher and Pac Man Cosplayer

First,  newby Cosplayer photo etiquette:

#1 San Diego Comic-Con is the largest on the West coast so, decide what and where you want to photograph first

#2 Have your camera or cell phone settings ready, also have specific questions ready about how cosplayers put together their attire

#3 ASK to take a picture first-especially family cosplayers with children

#4 Adjust to “cosplayer and general crowd flow,” if they’re walking quickly in the opposite direction, perhaps going to the back of an event line, they may not want to stop to take a picture

#5 DON’T SNAP MID-BITE! Take pictures when they are posing for you—not eating

#6 Don’t touch unless cosplayers offer handshakes, etc

#7 Thank cosplayers for stopping and posing for a photo

And now, a few more first day photos!

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Delores Fisher and 1st official cosplayer of Day 1

 

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With Cosplayer by the boardwalk

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Loki and Thor in action!

 

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Star Wars Cosplayer (popular Cosplay theme this year)

 

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Many Family cosplayers this year

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Evening Cosplayer, Walking Dead (He was interviewed on one of the local news stations earlier)

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At evening IMax event

Many more photos and posts. Welcome San Diego Comic-Con International!

Delores Fisher

 

Lacresha Berry as Harriet Tubman: San Diego International Fringe Festival 2017

San Diego Fringe Festival International just completed its 5th year with local, national and international performers presenting their traveling shows to our very appreciative city. Fringe romped through our consciousness from June 22 through July 2nd. With a total of seventeen sites including a Family Fringe at the City Heights Performance Annex http://sdfringe.org/

Actress/educator Lacresha Berry and blogger Delores Fisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The City Heights Performance Annex with its indoor and outdoor stage areas, Fringe venue/space #17,  is well-known to most San Diegans in that area. Located on the crossroads of a culturally diverse neighborhood, the City Heights Performance Annex is respected for its embracing of the arts with innovative professional and amateur shows, school ensemble programs, dance festivals, entertainment representative of its surrounding rich cultural heritages. So are two other venues several miles away near Balboa Park. Fringe Space#7 Centro Cultural De La Raza and The World Beat Center Fringe space #8.

Here’s my World Beat Center Fringe space #8 experience.

Delores Fisher (selfie time!!) at San Diego Fringe Festival International 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last weekend, I notice the show “Harriet Tubman” is billed as a re-imagining of the life of anti-slavery activist; it’s playing one of my favorite San Diego world music spots, the World Beat Center. However, I  decide to go see “Kathleen Denny’s Nice Is Not What I Do”  at the Centro Cultural De La Raza and wait another week to see “Harriet Tubman.”

Curious as to what a re-imagining would look like, I buy my ticket and sit down. I am immediately aware of an anxious energy among audience members. The air is crackling with expectation. About five minutes later, a young African American woman in simple attire, white T-shirt, headband, jeans and tennis shoes, walks across the stage before house lights dim.

Lacresha Berry as Harriet Tubman at San Diego World Beat Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She takes her place at a microphone and waits for the house lights to go dark and the audience to stop talking. The lights go dark too quickly. The audience,  still buzzing,  becomes quiet. Lacresha has taken her mark on stage, waiting for almost two minutes  in an awkward silence. Then, lights go fast up, Berry pauses and dives hesitantly into an almost frantic monologue. Something is amiss. Who’s on tech?????? A clumsiness of house lights and sound in the opening scenes tempt me to excuse myself and leave. Berry keeps on.

Suddenly, resolutely, her pace relaxes and yet goes taunt at the same time. It feels as if a tightrope artist is battling unseen elements fifty feet above ground.

Then, I see it, that shimmering light, genius and experience,  tenacity and intuitive grit to get one’s voice, one’s message out to the people; Berry, a seasoned, well prepared performer, glimmers above apparent ill-timed lighting and sound cues for the rest of the show. I decide to stay. I’m glad I did. Ms. Berry’s acting and singing is nuanced and at times electrifying.

Berry situates Harriet Tubman in socio-cultural parameters that many young Black girls face today; this narrative strategy divides the play into major sections with several subsection of different characters. She even re-imagines Tubman in the foster care system, placed into the home of a wise care provider, Mama Kit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The young actress’s portrayal of mercurial Harriet Tubman intertwines with her portrayal of a twenty-first century young Black girl who has Harriet Tubman’s childhood and adolescent personality.

Lacresha Berry’s premise is intriguing. Without the romanticized notions of nostalgic history, spotlighted within today’s educational philosophies and biases toward non-compliant young Black female searching for freedom to be who dream themselves into being, beyond preconceived racialized gender narratives—Harriet Tubman might easily be labeled a highly problematic student.

Lacresha Berry as Harriet Tubman in the 21st century

 

In addition, some things come easy to her, others are difficult to learn. She lashes out in frustration. She challenges authority. She has an oppositional personality. She hears voices. She is in special education classes. Let’s be honest, a child or adolescent Black girl in today’s twenty first century society, with Tubman’s unpredictability, she WOULD be in special classes with an IEP.

Through various scenes,   characters, and songs, the audience experiences an illuminating roller coaster ride examining Harriet Tubman from different perspectives, embedded in a multi-lens educational narrative.

Berry has done her research; she uses quotes from leading educational specialists to bring academic substance to her performative narrative, encouraging us to think:what if?

Berry as Tubman re-imagine

 

 

During the Epilogue, Berry allows her audience to consider how past systemic barriers that are historically romanticize can breathe oppression into our contemporary lived-experiences. We must be willing to reflect on and create alternative future narratives based on our past and present in an ongoing expansion of hard won freedom.

Lacresha Berry as Tubman, a poignant reflective monologue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other educators in the audience felt a distinct resonance, as Afrofuturist Lacresha Berry, in a Stuart Hall sense, “speaks of truth to power.”

Lacresha Berry and international educator Fannie Garvey

 

If and when this show comes to your city–go see “Harriet Tubman” with Berry. Art at times can interrogate those slippery/dry places of reason and systems, hegemony and obtuse projections toward equity. This show is one of those times.

 

Berry and Pasadena Talk Show Host Debra SMILElady Johnson after show

 

Musewoman, Delores Fisher

Eric Freeman Blues Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delores Fisher (before Summer Break)

Summer blogging. . .

It was only a month before summer break and I was getting restless. I had planned to blog about San Diego’s street musicians again. They are a fascinating group. A few are especially unique. Every now and then, a street musician’s artistry haunts my thoughts.

During weekends in late April along the Broadway pier, I’d look for Eric Freeman. He’s a raw singing blues man with a sound like that which emits from old 33 1/3 vinyl records. The first time I heard him last summer, he was sitting near the Maritime Museum ships playing his slightly worn resonating guitar.

Eric Freeman Blues singer and guitarist

 

He stopped his set and we chatted for several minutes about lyrics, vocal styles,  early blues riffs, how he learned to play as a youth. Then he plunged into another song. I listened for several minutes more, then strolled on.

It is now almost a year later, June, only one month since spring semester ended.

This past week, May grey and June gloom finally stomped out of our atmosphere as playful pre-summer sun partied across the morning sky with much needed warmth. I am getting up AFTER 6:00AM, taking an occasional afternoon nap. reading, reflecting, blogging, playing piano, listening to music.

Listening? Oh yes. Listening. New CDs and artists seem to appear on my radar every day. Some have paid their dues. Some have not.

Unfortunately, unrealistic young musicians generally seem to fade into routine low wage jobs as life in the industry becomes tangibly in-your-face- real.

Today’s 21st century seasoned musicians make ends meet, gig whenever they can, and woodshed frequently to better their chops before they go cyber. They walk, take the trolley, or the bus. I met Eric one morning on the bus, guitar in hand, going to his day job.

Eric Freeman on the bus

We talked about life challenges– painful personal and general events, blessings, and an unsettling desire to positively touch others’ lives with our art. He’s alright for a blues man. He hasn’t gotten jaded like some of them I met years ago while hosting blues night at the old Hot Monkey Love Cafe on El Cajon Blvd right before the turn-of  onto College Avenue. He is cheerful with red-eyed tiredness.

That was the last time I saw Eric doing daily people stuff. It was a good memory.

It’s now 8:25 AM. I’m about a quarter of a mile further along the sitting at a table on the patio of Broadway Street Pier, sipping hot Ginger and Honey tea with a splash of whole milk, restlessly blogging.

Delores Fisher, Early AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe I’m just tired from insomnia. I got up early and took a walk to the the waterfront. Great grey herons have returned to San Diego Harbor. One let me take it’s photo before spreading its majestic long wings to glide on air under the pier and out of sight.

Great Grey Heron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night, tired of going to events and blogging, I stayed in and binged watched “Housewives of the Potomac.” So far, its drama/trauma laden story lines are not as messy as most in the genre. This allows me to feel connected and from time to time take sides from a distance with Black women whose societal connections are leagues above mine http://www.lifeandstylemag.com/posts/the-real-housewives-of-potomac-season-2-cast-instagram-snapchat-128970  

 

The current Real Housewives of the Potomac cast June 2017

Yea, I watch the lives of Charisse, Robyn, Karen, Monique, Ashley, and Giselle play out on the little screen especially since it’s summer break and I am intentionally taking a pause to do research. “Housewives of the Potomac” helps me relax. So does sitting harbor-side.

Harborside

Let me describe Eric a bit more.

Eric plays an immediately recognizable raw non-21st century commercial blues style when he’s just jamming without an audience. It’s a style I like and listen to a lot.

We often talked blues during last fall and winter. He easily runs through names like Albert King and Big Bill Broonzy, with a brief demonstrations if you ask. Eric’s voice has been nasal and gravelly since we first met while he was busking;  he seems to be able to play almost any kind of guitar with ease and he’s now added harmonica to his sets . Like I said,  when I first met him, he had a really nice toned resonating guitar. Now, he’s got an old beat up acoustic but its a replacement until whenever he gets his next resonating.

Eric has quite a few youtube videos and faithful listeners who like his raw style.  Late spring, I saw him in a street performance around dusky sunset.  He was sitting on a business’ front steps on 6th street in the Gaslamp Quarter, another San Diego area where buskers perform. He had to correct me when he was talking about his challenges to playing and sounding like he wanted to sound. I was excited to be allowed to take this video. I started listening more closely after that. I wonder where he is now?

Update: July 3rd. I saw Eric looking worn and tired like blues men can. He was southbound, probably Mississippi or Louisiana. He was trying to start up a new gofundme page. He’s ran into a stretch of hard times, looking forward to traveling to find something better. Said he’ll get his instruments out of the pawnshop and head back to slower paced living.

If Eric’s still here in San Diego, hopefully he can get a good gig before he leaves. If you’re in town or visiting, look at club listings, visit the Gaslamp District or Embarcadero/waterfront and  listen for a guitar playing descending plaintive riffs, a harmonica wailing a train whistle, and a nasal/gravelly voice wailing about “Hey, pretty baby, honey knock yourself out” . . . It will probably be Eric Freeman.

Delores Fisher
Musewoman

Percival Everett: Award Winning Author Reads From His New Novel: So Much Blue

April 3rd was an interesting day for many students, staff, faculty, and community members who came to see award-winning author Percival Everett at San Diego State University’s Montezuma Hall.

Award winning Author Percival Everett

Presented by the Beautiful Arts Club and the Department of Classics and Humanities, the reading caught many students by surprise, due to the image flier.

So Much Blue by Percival Everett

Most of the audience thought that Everett’s newest book addressed blues music and Black urban lives. It does not. He humorously noted that the book cover was not his choice, but if it sold more copies . . .well. The story line revolves around a young woman, the color blue, and the Vietnam War. That’s all I’m going to reveal.

Percival Everett

At times the plot sounds like a mystery novel, a  script for a film Noir set in Vietnam, dark, mysterious, looming imagery. Yet, it  also has unexpected splashes of wit and wordplay that sends imaginations soaring into smells and sounds, and memories of unspoken encounters and narratives  The excerpt is full of Everett’s dry wit and satirical irony.

Percival Everett is an award winning author. He works in academe and talks about life with a perspective that to some is “off setting.” To others, it is refreshing.

As an author, he plays with a reader’s sensibilities of gender and race. Often allowing them to believe what they want about characters as they read, often basing their interpretations on daily interactions and expectations. They are sometimes surprised to learn that the characters on which they project their daily reality, are not what they seem.

However, as an academic and a Black male of the 21st century,  Everett is a realist. Asked about race, he stated (I  paraphrase his comment here). Not to be fully aware of how one presents and is “read” racially is folly. The lived experience of being a Black man in America is an everyday reality that does not rule my existence as an overarching oppressive shadow, it simply…is.

Award Winning Author Percival Everett and Blogger Delores Fisher

Everett’s reading from A Blue Afternoon was a quiet, informative, intimate, and nuanced presentation. Blue Lagoon is on the shelves now. If you haven’t read Percival’s Everett’s work, add Blue Afternoon to your summer reading list.

Musewoman

Dr. Sharon Elise: “A Way Out of No Way: Black Women Making Change Then and Now” Lecture at SDSU Thursday March 16th, 2017

Dr. Charles Toombs SDSU Africana Studies Dept. Chair, Delores Fisher blogger, lecturer, Dr. Sharon Elise, CSU San Marcos Sociology Dept. Chair

Hello to all my readers in the US and a special thank you/hello to readers in Norway, Italy, France, Iceland, Bermuda, Spain, and Mexico.

DR. Sharon Elise

It’s always a pleasure to listen to Dr. Sharon Elise Lecture. She is  the current Department Chair of Sociology for CSU San Marcos. Her lecture style draws you into an ongoing conversation. Her topic was one of several presented by the San Diego State Africana Studies Department’s Africana Women Lecture Series founded by award-winning professor and community participant Dr. Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers. This was the keynote speech of the week.

It’s sometimes not easy to think about racial narratives and ways in which they have hindered people’s lives. Stereotypes often create more barriers than access roads to achievement. Dr Elise reminded us that truth about people and lived experiences are multi -layered and never as simplistic as most general history books would like us to believe. After doing “the research” and engaging content with emotion as well as mind, kernels of lived experience begin to nourish. Stories of Black women and the cost of resilience in times of challenge, crisis, danger, devastation serve not only as cautionary/instructive narratives, but also exemplars of positive being. Much needed in today’s world in which accept 15 second sound bites as all that there is to a person’s or topics’ truth.

Dr. Sharon Elise discussing Zora Neal Hurston

Truth is an interesting topic today. With all sorts of terms connected to the concept of reporting, journalism and the word “News.” Dr. Elise encouraged the audience to shine a light into those dark historical corners and illuminate African American women’s lives that have been swept into obscurity. As we inquire into where we’ve come from, today’s young scholars will discover a truth often spoken by elders, “Know where you been so that you can seem more clearly where it is you want to go. Students and faculty were encouraged to remember that as scholars looking for societal or community “change” in Black women’s  lived experiences with reality in order to compare past to present, and present to future one needs  to develop good research skills, creativity, vision, persistence, and patience.

Dr. Sharon Elise, faculty members,  and students after the lecture

I first met Dr. Elise as a poet on the San Diego poetry scene. We shared coffeehouse several stages and many long conversations.

After conversations about family, life, and mates, husbands, I began to appreciate my mother’s love for my father at a time when the world little cared about or respected Black family ties, love and marital commitment. She is referenced in one of my poems about Berry White the singer whose dulcet tones sweetened the hearts of many Black men and women towards each other. Fun songs to sing and listen to–songs that drew me and my mom and siblings together.  http://www.dreamagic.com/cgi-bin/PoetryGen.cgi?author=Delores_Fisher&html=fisher6&title=For_Berry_White&number=0010 

Dr. Sharon Elise and Delores Fisher

Dr. Elise’s gracious conversation, keen analytical eye, and genuine care for scholarly discourse was evident then as it still is now.

Musewoman,

Delores

Reflections: Playwright Paul William Taylor Sr.’s “He Was A Slave”

Paul Wm. Taylor Jr.’s plays are always a communal and educational event. Generations come to see his plays and often discuss thought provoking scenes all during intermission. It’s what we have come to appreciate and expect from this insightful writer’s introspective dramaturgy.

Paul Wm. Taylor Jr, Delores Fisher, Gloria V. Verdon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This February, playwright Paul Wm. Taylor Jr produced another production at the Community Actors Theater(CAT) in San Diego California. His one act drama “He Was A Slave” explores ways in which ancestral memory interweaves throughout African American’s real lived-experiences as synchronic life events intersect and mingle on a diachronic cultural time continuum.  The audience views this continuum of time-place memory through the narrative of slave character George Washington Jones.

Paul Wm. Taylor Sr. has written several plays with successful production runs–see my review of his play “Rants” that examines African American inter-generational relationships,  https://sonictapestry.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/theater-review-rants-at-san-diegos-cat-theater/ 

Although Taylor tours some of his plays on the K-12 public school circuit,  He enjoys being in community at Jennie Hamilton’s Southeast San Diego theater. His play “He Was A Slave” is one of his education plays.

Playwright Paul Wm. Taylor Jr.

Without giving away too much of the plot, the play opens with Scottie Nic center stage (yes, the same Scottie Nic  stunt double for Terry Crews in the “Longest Yard”). Nic’s opening monologue is a short lecture about Black history month. His narrative is interrupted by a thick rising mist from which emerges George, the slave character played by Paul Wm. Taylor Jr. Using mist as a motif for ancestral phatasmogoric absence and presence, time is collapsed and expanded.

 

The “Mist” summons slave George Washington Jones

Young actress Heleena Mosley and San Diego actress Shea Coleman create a phantom Greek chorus,

commenting on pathos filled moments from George’s life with song.

Shea Coleman, Paul Wm. Taylor Jr., Heleena Mosley, Scotti Nic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chronology intersects and merges at various points throughout the play, informing the audience about African American lives throughout history. Taylor juxtaposes contemporary lived experiences as a way for his audiences to consider a longitudinal perspective on Black lives and how they matter in America in a world in which much experience is as Amiri Baraka said, “The Changing Same.”

Shea Coleman, Paul Wm. Taylor Jr., Scottie Nic, Heleena Mosley

Shea Coleman also enjoys working in community at San Diego’s Community Actor’s Theater. Although her list of acting credits include many venues, she notes that being back on CAT’s local stage helps her stay balanced.

 San Diego actress Shea Coleman

A panel discussion followed “He Was A Slave.” Paul Wm. Taylor Jr, Gloria Verdon, Heleena Mosley and I examined ways in which America’s systemic racism and slavery impact today’s society. Our discussion embraced lively audience commentary/dialogue and lasted for over an hour.

 
Heleena Mosley, Paul Wm. Taylor Jr., Delores Fisher, Gloria Verdon

 

If you have a chance, catch one of Paul Wm. Taylor Jr.s’ plays. Sit back, watch, listen closely, and enjoy.

 

Musewoman,

Delores Fisher

Happy Black History Month 2017-A Poem

Delores Fisher Poet/Blogger

Delores Fisher Poet/Blogger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s February and Black history month is celebrated across the United States. On this site, we celebrate African American and African diasporic contributions to our nation and the world every day of the year. We celebrate accomplishments as well as engage in critical discussion of ongoing concerns.

So in light of that perspective, I am posting one of my performance poems included in my newest book of poetry to be published later this year. Imagine a rural, wooden “church house” from built mid-1880s, still in use today by people from surrounding homes. The poem takes place in present day rural Georgia, at an old time revival meeting.

Visions: New Millennium Marketing

by   Delores Fisher (2012)

The lively devotion service eases into mourner’s bench moan
On this unseasonably cold April Georgia night:

UMMMMMM, UM-HUUM UUHM HUMMMMMMMMMM

Yas Lord, Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!

Old folks grow silent,
Close eyes, bow heads
Young ones shudder,
Search for groaning chill winds not there.

The old, blind teacher woman
Born ‘bout 1918 stands,
Lifts parchment yellow eyes to heaven.

She whispers:
The Hollow ones be dancing again
‘mongst Red , Brown, Yellow, Black, and White.
Slashes of incandescent Internet computer blues
Inscribes ancient runes on flailing arms and kicking legs
Rituals orgiastic wash—internecine flashes, bonfire lights.

She groans:
I sees pyres, crackling ash logs yield
Fuel to unsheathed flames
That tongue moonless, starless sky mouth.
On they prance, dance and howl
Wolfen blood-claws slash air
Dancing, dancing, they be dancin’…
Again stabbing the fabric of our lives.

AAAaaaaaWOOoooooooooooooooooooooooough!!!!
Rips night’s full moon tissue
Slobbers on soft sacrifice,
Pierces fleshy bloated body electric
In Fetishistic bonfire glow-screams,
Gnashing, gnashing teeth brings blood,
Sealing ravenous pact’s vacuity,
Caressing rue-less cruel heart urbanity

They dance and howl . . . . . . . .
Ekwensu is singing.
Sweet voice trickster’s lullaby-wolfen sanguine rune
Engulfs their souls as each swoons
Hollow-dance-killing-life with a tune.

She moans:
Look, LOOK!
I sees . . . . .
Ruptured souls in predatory glee:
All of King’s horses and keepers of others
Cain’t birth brother Martin’s dream
Into daybreak of a bloodless rising sun,
No new day begun
No one dreaming dreams no more . . . . . .

Deferring dreams on crystal cloud-inhaling stairs
Leeching out lives in rhythmic ostinato gasps
Of chimerical, quick-silver green sand smoke.

She wails:
The Hollow ones is in groove, on Internet move
Adding critical mass in arithmetic proportion
As we, zombies, glut on axis mundi spoils,
Consume ourselves to sleep.

The old blind teacher woman shivers,
Lowers yellow parchment bloodshot eyes
Onto Georgia country congregation, old and young.

She whispers:
Like my mammy, my gran’mammy, and the OLD folks sayed—–
Watching strange fruit of once virile futures
Hanging from ever present deep rooted, leaf-sick ash tree,
Its hallowed leaves mourning skyward—–
I cain’t keep my peace.

She stare-screams at the young people in the congregation:
The dream killers, they’s dancing again, chillun’
This time amongst you–Brown, Yellow, Black, Red, White

Wake up!! Wake Up!!. . . I just cain’t keep my peace. . .WAKE UP!!!

She swallows centuries, softly weeping
Help Jesus! Jus’. . . cain’t. . . keep. . . my. . . peace!

Delores Fisher