On Saturday, December 3, 2022, Brave Soul Collective (BSC), led by Founder, Monte J. Wolfe, held a celebration of their 16th (!) Anniversary.
That's a big deal -- almost two decades of artistry, Industry, social justice activism, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment education, and commitment to a wide range of projects in support of the LGBTQ+ -- as well as the arts and larger communities-- by this talented tribe of young creatives. By any measure, a record of commitment and service as long as it is varied.
I hadn't been as involved as I usually am as a charter BSC member -- due to a number other pressing commitments and personal challenges over the past few weeks. While I did write and direct one of the plays on the program, everything else was going to be new to me. I hadn't even seen any of the other rehearsals, so, I was especially excited to enjoy what else my uber-talented BSC family had cooked up to celebrate this milestone anniversary.
I was actually running late, rushing from the memorial service for a beloved artist and long-time friend, then METRO was doing the usual stunts and shows, causing several delays that had me frantic about missing any of the festivities. But fortunately, I managed to arrive at the theater just as the house was opening, and was able to settle into my seat, scrambling to get my still and video cameras situated, just as the house lights dimmed.
Monte was the first one on stage, followed by Wilma Lynn Horton, and imagine my surprise -- no, SHOCK -- when they announced that, in characteristically gracious, generous and empathetic BSC fashion, their way of celebrating this Sixteenth Anniversary milestone, was to dedicate the entire evening to a program in honor of ME.
I lowered my camera in disbelief and my mouth dropped open, as Monte, pointed at me from onstage and cackled, "Gotcha!" as everyone present gave me a standing ovation. The next two hours were filled with performances of some of my plays, testimonials from those present, video tributes from friends far and wide, wonderful gifts, gorgeous flowers, a beautiful reception and a whole lot of loving on me.
Unfortunately, y'all will have to take my word that I'm not Just making all of this up -- my shocked daze meant that I took almost no photos or video...I was crying and hugging and thanking folks all evening. LOL