Archive for the JNAB Category

Yesterday was an AMAZING day. :)

Posted in friends, happyness, JNAB, Movies, revelations, The Grape on 11/04/2009 by asante

So I tried my hand at event planning, and I have to say: A higher power reached his hand down from the heavens lol, and everything went like 10x better than I ever could have imagined! *squeal* :)

Last Wednesday, my good friend “Jobiggs” and I found ourselves with free passes to the movie “Precious” dropped in our laps, along with the opportunity to get a conversation/panel discussion going about what is definitely a VERY heavy film (I cried 3 separate times in the theater, it was intense.)

Aside: For those who may not have heard of the movie, here’s a synopsis:

“With sheer audacity and utter authenticity, director Lee Daniels tackles “Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire” and creates an unforgettable film that sets a new standard for cinema of its kind. Precious Jones (Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe) is a high-school girl with nothing working in her favor. She is pregnant with her father’s child – for the second time. She can’t read or write, and her schoolmates tease her for being fat. Her home life is a horror, ruled by a mother (Mo’Nique) who keeps her imprisoned both emotionally and physically. Precious’s instincts tell her one thing: if she’s ever going to break from the chains of ignorance, she will have to dig deeply into her own resources. Don’t be misled – “Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire” is not a film wallowing in the stillness of depression; instead, it vibrates with the kind of energy derived only from anger and hope. The entire cast are amazing; they carry out a firestorm of raw emotion. Daniels has drawn from them inimitable performances that will rivet you to your seat and leave you too shocked to breathe. If you passed Precious on the street, you probably wouldn’t notice her. But when her story is revealed, as Daniels does in this courageous film, you are left with an indelible image of a young woman who – with creativity, humor, and ferocity – finds the strength to turn her life around.”   (
Like I said, heavy.
So with 1 week of planning ahead of us, we decided to take the situation head on: Jodi coordinated the panelists, I started publicizing and handing out tickets, as well as making the basic 5th grade book-report questions they gave us sound a lil’ more College-Graduate and a lot less High School dropout, lol.
Then the roadblocks appeared lol. Not enough tickets to hand out. People who wanted tickets couldn’t DL them. Get to the theater, half our panel was nowhere to be seen. Find out that the passes don’t guarantee entry. Have to stand in line, and half of our group doesn’t get in. WE have to give our tickets up, for the sake of our panelists. Despair ensues.
Then…. A light. lol. Our panelists reveal that they qualify as press, and are admitted and given seats! (Pulled THAT one outta nowhere lol.) Then, our Lionsgate rep reveals she has INDEED saved seats for us, we just have to wait for the crazy belligerence outside the theater to die down (lol. So we missed the first 30 mins or so, but oh well.)
And then, the actual discussion. *Dun Dun DUUUNNNN*
Get to the the restaurant, and confusion abounds:
“There’s a private group with the restaurant reserved!”
“And other people still here! What do we do to get rid of them?!”
“The music is too loud!”
“Where will we seat the panelists!”
“…various frustrated grumbling….” lol.
“…The private group is us. We got this.”
And it came together. The panelists were amazingly insightful, ranging from an Emory Professor and Ph.D. candidate, to Women’s Empowerment and Motivational Speakers. The questions (which I pieced together THAT MORNING thankyouverymuch) were well recieved, well discussed, and surprisingly, all but maybe 2 attendees threw in their 2 cents. The “extras” made their exits. And to make the whole scene even better, by God the wine was fantastic.
*To Stephan, owner of the Grape, you are a KING among men, and there should be songs of praise written about you and your restaurant. If I were a better writer, I’d create them myself. lol*
Seriously, you cannot beat the deal we got: FREE use of their restaurant after closing, a complimentary cheese platter, provided we order wine? Yes PLEASE.
I still don’t know how we pulled it off, but we did, and I was BUZZED all night. And no, it wasn’t because of the wine lol. The atmosphere in there was…. electric, there were so many amazing opinions and insights and messages passing back and forth it was impossible not to be affected and engaged in the conversation; we were definitely there til like 11:30 at night, Mr. McCall leading a convo in one corner, Ms. Dupree in another. It was exactly the kind of evening I always imagined having after college.
Best way to describe it?… I don’t know. I’ll check my thesaurus and get back to you lol. But I am so proud it came together. :-D