Monday, August 8, 2011


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mama I Want to Sing: Writing on the Movie and on Talent; An Extended View

Each person is born with a unique talent. Ephesians 4:1 says that "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." A calling is a direct link between you and God. Our duty is to uncover that gift. That means that we are to follow our dreams with all its risks because our dreams are our very own.

There are millions of movies out there with swarms of talented individuals taking on a role that can make a difference in the mind of the viewer. There are also movies with a message embedded in it that can help a person to thrust forward in something that they can relate to in their own life; especially in holding on to faith and pursuing dreams. That was the message in the movie "Mama I Want to Sing," a movie adapted from a 1986 off-Broadway play written by Talisa Jackson. It spoke to me because I sing, write songs and other things and also produce music and do acting jobs.  It was a movie all about setting your doubts and fears aside to follow the dreams. I used to have fear so much that when I would get on stage to sing a song, I would shake like I had Parkinson’s disease or something; used to be the weirdest thing. It was about believing in yourself even when others you would like to don't. I have had doubt come at me more than softballs hit at me standing at third base ready to out a person ready to run to base to claim a point. But I had to overcome them because singing is my first love. The movie was about using those God-given talents as wings to soar like Eagles. It was about thrusting into the limelight and remembering not to forget where the blessings came from. The movie had a nice storyline and a great message behind it that truly spoke to me.

The entertainer, Ciara is the star of the movie. She plays the role of Doris Winters, a young singer who rises to become a pop superstar. Her father Pastor Kenneth Winters (Marvin Winans) is a preacher at their Harlem-based church where he preaches the good news and instills wisdom to all those who are blessed enough to be in his midst. During one of his Sunday morning sermon's, he falls to his death and leaves behind his wife Lillian Winter (Lynn Whitfield) and his two children Doris and Luke (Kevin Phillips).

Before his passing, Doris' father told her that her dreams are to be pursued if they are worth it; as long as where she came from is never forgotten. And so, her musical career began. She is picked up by her manager Dillan (Billy Zane) who pushes her up the ladder of success. She used the name Amara as her stage name. Her mother is not very happy with her decision. Lynn Whitfield plays the role of a mother always worried about her children. She is worried that Doris will get lost in the limelight of stardom, though she herself has become the star of her own ministerial show preaching the Gospel on a national level. She is also afraid for her son Luke who decides to use his photographical skills to become a photo journalist in Baghdad where he could use his camera as a weapon against war.

Luke is used to wars in his own household. While peace should be the centerpiece of family, sometimes it is the goals of a person that drive families apart. In the movie, "Mama I Want to Sing," Lillian never supported or accepted Doris's musical career and it drove a wedge between them; always arguing and never seeing eye-to-eye. Instead, their relationship was out of control.

Oftentimes, families do not realize the importance of supporting the dreams of their loved ones. But it is important to not neglect your anointing. It was poured into your life for a reason. If your son or daughter decides that they have a dream of doing something, don't nag them because it is not what you want for them. Instead, give them a word of encouragement. What God has for one person may not be what he has for someone else. Just try to be there for them because your children still need you even if they do not agree with you. If your loved one decides they want to pursue something that you feel they will not be great at, do not joke about or downplay their goals. That can cause friction in your relationship which is not a good thing at all. Instead, give them your blessing and send up a prayer for them because that might be the kind of support they need. It is not always about what we want for a person that is important; that person might have their own sets of wants and needs that are important to them. Remember, it is always better to send up a positive force as opposed to negativity.

I know a young girl who wanted to go to college so bad that even though she knew that her parents could not afford to send her, she knew that she would find the way and the means of getting there. She applied for every scholarship and grant that she could. Her friends would look at her as if she was crazy to think that someone was going to just hand her a free pass in. Her sister made her feel as if she was not smart enough to succeed in her ultimate goal. Little did they know that God was working through her as she penned all the essays she had to, to find a way to fulfill her dreams. Then one day, she received a letter in the mail. She won two scholarships that would cover all four years, room and board and her books. If she had listened to her friends, she would have given up, but she knew her own strength and let God lead the way. People may not always have your book or might even hate you for trying to climb higher heights, but it is important to remember that God has the final say. Use the negativity as a stepping stool to rise above it. You have all that it takes to make your dreams come true.

Talent is meant to be used and shared. God says that you have faith as small as a mustard seed, that you will conquer your dreams. If you dance, dance as if you are on a stage in front of millions of people even if nobody is there. If you are a singer, sing with all the voice you got without fear or worry about what anyone has to say. If you are a writer, write. Whatever your dreams are, pray on them because they are your’s and nobody else’s.  It is about exercising your talent and using it because you love it. In the movie "Mama I Want to Sing," Luke was the perfect example of using his talents regardless of consequence. With all he had in him, he packed up his photo equipment and went to Baghdad to pursue his calling because that was what he was born to do. Life is all about staying focused and being patient with God through it all. You can do all things through Christ. Just believe and he will do the rest.

Here are Some Sites To consider For Supporting The Dreams of Your Children:
Dreams Do Come True For Your Children!

Teens and Parents in Conflict

Mama I Want to Sing, the Soundtrack

Collosians 3:21

10 Prayers for Strength

The Dream Giver: Following Your God-given Destiny

Make It Happen