Billz Blob

Billz Blob
We are all unique and amazing. With this notion bouncing around inside me I offer to the world what I have to share. The words inside my head have reached to overflowing and in an attempt to keep from exploding I have taken to writing. What follows is the result of purging my mind. If you like what you see, SUBSCRIBE at the top of the page.

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Apr 9, 2020

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Meditation #4

Apr 8, 2020

You are enough

Apr 6, 2020

Dreamcatcher BF

Be now here

Apr 6, 2020

Dreamcatcher BF


Aug 9, 2019

In 1987 I was an eager energetic young man with dreams of performing on Broadway. In the spring of that year I was coming to the end of my first year at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy.  From the beginning of our training at AMDA we were encouraged to strive for greatness. All of our instructors pushed up to learn technique to absorb choreography to find proper placement for the sounds we spoke and sang. Each of knew that we were going to take the musical theater world by storm, once we were allowed to audition. The spring of 1987 I did my first regional theater and summer stock auditions. 

The audition was a cattle call audition, where hundreds of young singers, dancers and actors were gathered together herded into a room where they were given the chance to show their stuff. To one side of the room was a long table with many people sitting behind it. The people behind the table were the directors or choreographers of the different theaters represented. The audition process sorted out the singers from the dancers and the actors so that the people auditioning could be seen in the best way. I chose to go with the dancers who could sing group. In the room we were given choreography to learn. Each of us knew this was a crucial part of the audition. The folks behind the table were checking to see who was picking up the choreography and who wasn’t. They were checking to see who asked questions and who did not. They were looking to see who hung at the back of the room and who moved up front. After we had learned the dance combination the choreographer sat to the side of the room and let us show the dance to the folks behind the table. We were rearranged around the room and told to do the combination again. We were then asked to sit along the walls as groups of three and four dancers were called to show the combination. Some dancers were given a polite “Thank you” as they were ushered to the door. I got up a few different times with new combinations of dancers and each time allowed to sit back along the wall. The day went on and more and more dancers left the room. We were given a new combinations. Our groupings were changed. When there were about a quarter of the original dancers left a man sitting behind the table said “Congratulations” you made it through day one, We are going to need you to come back tomorrow 10am and we will do some vocal work and some more dance.” What and exhilarating sensation to make it through all those cuts and to be asked back. This was the first step to having someone hire me to perform in their theater. The following day I returned to the audition hall excited and ready to knock some socks off. We were called in individually. When it was my turn, I entered the room and greeted the folks behind the table. There were not as many people behind the table as there were the previous day. I was introduced to the guy sitting at the upright piano, whose name the decades have erased from my memory. We vocalized though some scales where the folks behind the table had a chance to hear my voice, my range and whatever else they needed to hear. I sang my uptempo audition song, then was asked if I could come back for the afternoon dancer call. I replied with a big smile and a resounding “Yes”. 

At the afternoon dancer call there were only about half of the people who were asked back from the previous day. There may have been twenty of us in total. We were all called into the room where the people behind the table introduced themselves to us. They said their names and what theater they were from. I thought “wow!, I made it”. Why else would they be introducing themselves if these were not the folks I would be working with? We were given new choreography and I danced like I was on Broadway. After each time we did the combinations they would call one of us over or call out one of the dancers numbers and say “Thank you”.

When there were just three of us left one of the folks behind the table said “thank you so much, I think we have seen enough. You have all done an amazing job I wish we had spots for everyone.” This fella looked at the other people sitting behind the table and each gave wordless shake of their heads punctuating the negative. He then spoke to me directly “Next year we are planning to do Carousel and Huck Finn and I know we love to have you in the company. This year we just don’t have anything that would showcase you well.” The translation of that comment was “We don’t have any Black parts for you this year.”

I spent two days dancing my butt off and singing from my heart only to have no black roles this year. Many of my friend left that audition thrilled beyond belief. My friends had gotten gigs at theme parks, renaissance festivals, regional theaters, summer bus and truck tours. I had one Black friend who got a summer stock job performing in Dreamgirls and Little Shop of Horrors. I was pissed to say the least yet I was not going to let anyone know just how pissed I was. This is not how life is supposed to work. I worked hard to get the skills necessary to go to work. I did everything my teachers had told me to do to prepare for life in the theater and I was not prepared for this. I was prepared for rejection, I was not prepared for exclusion.

I hid the only way I knew how. I hopped onto my bicycle and rode far and fast. Every day I would hid my disappointment in my workout. Riding a bicycle through NYC traffic tends to narrow ones focus. If I was not riding my bicycle I was running or swimming or taking Afro-Brazilian dance classes. Essentially I was trying to run away from the theater with each workout and yet the theater was where I felt the most alive. That summer I did run away. I was hired by the National Park Service to be an ocean front lifeguard. I chose to be stationed at Great Kills National Recreation Area in  Staten Island, NY. Technically I would still be in NYC, Staten Island is one of the boroughs, so not fully running away. I continued to take dance classes in the city when I could. I was working as a lifeguard because the US. Department of the Interior had an initiative to give minorities access into the National Park System and I was running from the theater where being a minority excluded me from the bulk of the work available. Getting the park service job took the same tact of preparation that the performing did. To prepare for the lifeguard job I ran, swam and worked out in the gym to make my body ready for what would be needed. I went to multiple tryouts over two years before I exceeded the requirements necessary to be hired.  I applied the same logic to my theater training, I measured my training growth and progress off of me and did not compare my performance to anyone else. As I watched show after show on Broadway I began to see the shows differently. I did not look at the shows and think I wish I were in this show. I looked at the shows and noticed how many people of color were in the performance. I constantly looked at each performer and wondered if that character could be me? Rarely could I see me on the stage. I love musical theater and thoroughly enjoy great performances on the theatrical stage yet died a little with each performance seeing stereotypical performances by people of color….


Before you judge me, what do you know about me? (air)

Jun 17, 2019

As a child I feared that I would die by drowning. It is somewhat funny that I did not have a fear of water. Remnants of the fear continued into adulthood but the fear was not debilitating. As an adult the fear would come in snippets at the fringe of sleep. In those snippets I would flash to another existence and I was drowning. I could feel the water fill my lungs. I could feel my lungs leaden and starving for air they could not get because they were already full. Throughout childhood I was quite familiar with my lungs straining for air. I am an asthmatic. All too often my lungs would betray me and stop working fully. The asthmatic response seemed to be so random. I could run and play for hours and then bam I could not breathe. I could enter a house and become short of breath. I could eat or drink something and then be starving for air. I did not make sense. Sometimes the asthma attack would last a few minutes and sometimes it would last days. There were nights that I gently cried myself to sleep. I had to cry gently so that the crying would not take away any more of my air. My cries were not for how laborious it was to breathe, the cries were because I was not sure if I would continue to breathe once I fell asleep. When I was twelve years old I was playing a game of tag with my brother and some friends at the Hammonton Lake. The local town lake had a floating dock. Two sides of the dock had shallow water and two sides of the dock had deep water. While trying to avoid being tagged I ran and jumped off the dock into the deep water. I jumped as far as I could to evade the tagger and mid stride I realized I was jumping into deep water. I did not panic. I can remember telling myself “sink to the bottom then push off toward the dock”. I took a big gulp of air and hit the water and willed myself to sink fast so I could jump back to the dock. I was sinking but there was no bottom. And still no bottom. I could not feel the bottom so I started reaching for the top flailing. Maybe just maybe if I flailed my arms for the top of the water I would start swimming. But I did not start swimming, I did start running out of air. The more I flailed the more I wanted air. I was twelve and I did not have a strong conviction and I was about to give up my struggle for air by trying to breathe water. Someone grabbed me. Whoever grabbed me was shoving hard. I did not have enough time to wonder who it was because the next thing I know I was touching the dock. I grabbed ahold of the ladder and climbed atop of the dock followed almost immediately by my big brother. I was gasping for air and my brother flopped down beside me also gasping for air. Although he did have enough air to say “Don’t jump into the deep end again. Next time I’m not saving you”. The following year I taught myself how to swim. By the age of fifteen I was a lifeguard. At sixteen I became a Water Safety Instructor where I was teaching others to swim and training lifeguards. I became comfortable and confident in and around water. I now have my advanced Open Water SCUBA certification. I have taken deep dives on the Cayman Trench in Jamaica and on the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia. My comfort level in and around the water remains and yet deep within the recesses of my mind surfacing irregularly is the fear that I will die by drowning. My adult brain reasons that my struggle with air as a young asthmatic is why I fear dying by asphyxiation. Will it be drowning in water? Or will I drown on land as the asthmatic? Last year my mother died in a drowning accident at a spa. For a brief period after her death waves of panic would overtake me as I lingered on the edge of sleep. As I would fall asleep I would sink below the water and starve for air straining to breathe only to snatch awake chewing on fresh air. I am not sure these are premonitions of my own death. I do believe this is the fear of life being taken away before it has been fully lived.

Dreamcatcher BF
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