Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Canadian Experience (When Brothers Speak)

Being from Michigan, going over the border to Canada was nothing new to me. Well, aside from the changes being made when with what you need to have to cross the border and all, but Windsor and Toronto Ontario Canada were places I had seen before and sorta liked.

So I finally get a message I had been waiting for, "Future, we have the budget to bring you to Toronto and Ottawa for shows!" YES, I thought as I wondered what it would be like to perform for our northern neighbors.

November 13Th 2009:

I leave Flint early thinking I'm going to be EARLY for check in at the hotel in Toronto, but upon reaching the boarder I was stopped (as always). I guess once again I fit the description, so I was sent to immigration to be searched and questioned. This cop or Mountie or whatever leans into my window telling me to get out, so I step out and walk to the front of my car like I'm told. Next thing I know, this lady comes out with a search dog, the officers start pulling all of my belongings out of my car and patting me down asking me if I'm smuggling anything. So they send me inside where this lady ask for my passport and license, then she tells me I'm not me! She asked where I was born and I tell her, then she says, "yeah, well we'll see about that!" So after a 2 hour sitting and arguing period they let me go and I was on my way to Toronto at last!

Upon arriving at the show there was food backstage (which was GREAT!), all the poets performing in the show were relaxing and eating. We get the line up of the show and we are off!

I step out onto the stage, and the crowd goes wild. "That's the guy from YouTube," says someone close enough to hear in the theater. Instantly I felt that this would be one of the best shows I have been a part of. I started the set by sharing my story about being held up at the border, after they laughed themselves to tears we got into some poetry.

I never knew that art and poetry were/could be appreciated like the way it was at When Brothers Speak. These people paid $35 to $45 dollars to get into the show, then purchased EVERY album I had! I had never been apart of anything like it!

Night two was even better than the first night! After the audience screamed themselves hoarse, the CD selling frenzy began! I had to run back to my hotel to grab my whole box of albums! When the people leaving the venue saw me running back with my box, they ALL ran back in and cleaned me out! That's a GREAT way to make a brother feel GOOD! The show in Ottawa was no different. I actually took more pictures after the Ottawa show than both night in Toronto, although I did get to hang out with a few Zombies in T dot!

Out of the country love, you have to get some

Saturday, November 14, 2009

An Honor

Recently I performed at the University of Toledo. I was invited by a young lady who (while in high school) learned about my work from her African Studies teacher. Not only was this the first class of its kind at her school, but I was the first Spoken Word artist she had heard of.

Its always an honor when someone approaches you after a performance or even in the street to let you know that you are hot, dope, bloody brilliant or anything else that lets you know they appreciate your work. Whats even better, is when you find out that your work has been studied and used for lessons in creative writing as a part of an instructors course work!

When I first received the phone call about the show I didn't really know how to feel. What do you say to a person that holds you in such high esteem? What do you say when someone tells you that you have helped them get through tough times in their life? Thank you doesn't seem to be enough.

It ceases to amaze me when I'm told that my work did something for someone. I always think, "wow, you're really listening to me?" For some reason I always feel like I'm just Ed, just a brother, just a friend, cousin, son, writer. I have always believed in putting my best foot forward in all that I do. I have always believed that I should be responsible for what I say to people, whether on stage or in regular conversation I am mindful of I you say because I never know how it may affect a person.

Years later, my phone rings, 4 weeks after that, she is standing on stage introducing me to her classmates, telling them how she never thought she would ever meet me, much less bring me to her school to perform. WOW