February was a busy month for me. I traveled to Los Angeles to perform at the California African American Museum on Feb. 2nd.
I enjoyed being back in the city I spent many years in, and I had not seen the museum since it had been built. So, that was a special treat for me.
It was Superbowl Sunday, and I missed being with my wife, Jeannine, watching our Broncos play. We had watched almost every game together this season, so it was a little disappointing that these two events were on the same day. As it turned out, we would have only been consoling each other! Next year Broncos!
On Feb. 15th, I did a book signing and performance at Barnes and Noble bookstore in Boulder.
It was a special opportunity to share the wisdom and power of faith, love and joy and its ability to form and transform lives. I shared the process of writing the book and getting it published, and performed for an hour before signing the books attendees had bought.
It was so wonderful and deeply moving to see just how many people showed up, especially those I knew personally. A special treat was the presence of my daughter, Danea. I am indebted to Jeannine for helping me identify and plan a flow of what I would talk about and present. She was a teacher for years, making lesson plans, etc., and really helped me put together a good program which was equal parts performance/inspiration/education. I enjoyed being able to share from the heart in such an intimate setting and present as performance pieces some of the stories, poems, songs and life lessons that are in the book. I think I surprised Barnes and Noble with how many people turned out for this.
They told me it was one of their most successful book signings. They have even invited me to come back in a couple of months! So, stayed tuned for what will be part two!
Serendipity has played a role in some of the events that have transpired because of the book signing. My publicist contacted Colorado Public Radio regarding the book signing event, hoping to get it on the arts calendar, or perhaps an interview. The Arts Director for CPR, Chloe Veltman, noticed that I am a tap dancer. It turns out she is starting a new weekly arts project called Radio Dances, premiering March 7th. This is a project where they actually put dance performances on the radio! They were looking for people to put together 30 second to 1 minute performances designed specifically for the radio. Jeannine and I did one, and they loved it. We are now on their website, www.cpr.org. The dance is called, “Heaven and Earth”. You can read about us, the idea for the dance, listen to the audio, and watch the video.
It turns out that they liked what we did so much that they invited us to come to the actual broadcast center to videotape the dance before a live audience. We did this on Feb. 25th. This will also be on the website.
THEN! They liked our video shoot so much that we have been invited to participate in the opening live event of this project. The event will be on March 4th. Jeannine and I are excited and honored to participate, along with a few select performers and dance groups, for a specially invited audience. I know that one of the performing groups we are on program with is… The Colorado Ballet! The performances will be interesting. They will ask the audience to close their eyes and listen to the dance. Then, they will invite the audience to open their eyes and watch the dancers as they do their routines for a second time. The idea is to see how their imaginations matched up to the actual choreography. They are hoping to take this idea national, and our dance has been presented to and commented on by Ira Glass, National Public Radio host of the show This American Life. This will also be included in the on-air production premiering March 7th at 10:30 am and 7:30 pm.
Here is how the CPR website put it: With the help of “This American Life” host Ira Glass and dancer-choreographers Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass, we will present a selection of pieces from our Radio Dances project during the inaugural episode of CPR’s new arts show on Friday March 7 at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Here are some great examples of Radio Dances we’ve received:
“The Most of It” by Wonderbound
“Hello, Blue Soul” by Erika Randall
“Heaven and Earth” by David Sharp and Jeannine Goode-Allen
Because we are one of the first to accept this challenge and create a dance, it turns out we are actually one of the first radio dancers of the 21st century! In a media world ruled by television, movies and computers, we are now post-modern radio pioneers! So, like the movie of the same name, you could say Jeannine and I are going “Back to the Future.”
Whatever you are up to… I hope that your world is rockin’…and that you are giving life a run for its money no matter what it throws your way.
Wishing you Power for Life Now!