Watson, Beatrice : Look Here Comes the Sun!
My quest as a writer, poetic storyteller and performer seemed to always have been a vital part of who I am. I was born Beatrice Watson, in a small, mining town in Kentucky, where my father worked, a town I am sure no longer exist. We later migrated to Detroit Michigan, where my father acquired a job as an automobile factory worker, and where pen and paper along with daydreams was my constant companion. I grew up during the time when family entertainment was simple, but wholesome. Kids sitting on the floor, as Madear and daddy joined in the eating of popcorn. We listened to captivating, intriguing radio thrillers, or were entertained and enthralled with the singing and musical performances of The Hit Parade on a new and exciting medium called television. This was something the entire family looked forward to. My high school drama class gave me the opportunity to act out the fairytale fantasies, I had read about, as well as, speak out on opinions I had formed from reading and observation in the debate club. School was memorable and legends were being formed, with the likes of Martha Reeves, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, along with Diana Ross, who attended a neighboring school, all on the threshold of later becoming Motown divas. Even though my name is not a household word, like theirs, I keep in mind my mother's advice to me and nine siblings, "We all have a purpose, seek yours'. Armed with that bit of maternal wisdom, I have concentrated my efforts in developing my skills in creative writing and performing arts. My odyssey has led me into studies of improvisational theater, under Dell Close, of Second City Workshop, Radio/Television and Creative Writing at Columbia College, Urban Studies and Method Acting at Roosevelt University. In addition to television appearances on a variety of local talk shows and programs, such as a reoccurring role on the previous, Channel 11 network series, 'Bird Of The Iron Feather', and movie walk-ons, I have served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business, as well as a guest speaker for Women History Month for Clark University and affiliated, historical, black colleges in Atlanta. While traveling the globe, to various military bases, for business and family visits with my daughter, whose husband is a touring Major in the Marines, I had the opportunity to promote my family values and maternal wisdom book, 'Simply Madear, It Ain't My Business But...'. I was invited to speak at Kadena High School, in Okinawa Japan, on topics such as creative writing, motivation and self confidence. Working at Job Corps For Girls, I developed a self esteem group, called "The Young Models', this multi-ethnic,racial group of disadvantaged girls, proved that they could appreciate the natural beauty found in themselves, as well as others. Their community appearances earned public acclaim in Kup's Column, Tilman Tempo Show and the Morning Show, along with display of community pride from those in their neighborhood. My volunteer work with Chatham Business Association, Catholic Charities Unwed Mothers Program, as well as serving as a motivational speaker for Principal Of The Day Program and Workshop Facilitator for the Public School Book Club of Chicago, where I now reside. Those exciting experiences were rewarding. They broaden my prospective, and further aided me in my speaking opportunities, readings, workshops, and seminars, which covers a broad range of age, social and ethnic diversity. Being a single parent, my concerns with the problems in our urban communities, families and youth, has inspired over 30 years of community service, through the founding of CAAB, (Coalition Of African American Businesswomen), from 1997 to 2000, an organization of empowerment and networking. The development of a theater and performing arts, educational project, called Creative Entertainment Productions, later changed to JA-WA Production, in 1995, named after and honoring the memory of my late mother and father, Joe and Azella Watson. JA-WA dedicates it's efforts to cultural and positive productions that address issues and concerns of the urban plight, in an entertaining and informative manner. These original stage productions, though often low budgeted, achieve praise and popularity within the communities it serves. Over the course of it's existence, JA-WA has staged a one woman show and numerous plays, along with other positive, motivational and inspirational projects. The most recent rendering is a compelling CD/DVD, 'Look, Here Comes The Sun! a collection of inspiring, thought provoking poetry, enhanced with background music and intriguing sound effects. The feature track, 'I Knew You Baby Boy/Where Is This God?" goes straight to the heart of the growing unrest brewing through negative, hostile and dangerous behavior in our large metropolitan communities. It is a new age gospel intended to grasp the attention of youth and their families delivered with spiritual revelation, electrifying original music, poetry and soul stirring rap. "I Knew You Baby Boy/Where Is This God?', comes with a captivating, companion DVD. I look forward to bringing to the big screen soon a script which looks at the vulnerability of the pursuit of our hopes and dreams. Perhaps, with my faith, an interested sponsor might surface. My writings define me but I trust that my concerns for our innercity families and youth will be my legacy. Remember to live, love and enjoy!