Theatre

 The Answer is Love
≡ELLA LACEY≡
 
 

Who is Ella Lacey?

 Ella Lacey is a woman trying to keep a promise she made to her 12-year-old self.

 I remember getting in trouble at school (I forget for what) and going to the bathroom for solace. As I dramatically wiped my tears (because, as a rule, I did everything dramatically), I promised myself that I wouldn’t allow myself to become an adult that didn’t pursue my dreams. I promised myself that no matter how hard it got and no matter who didn’t believe in me, I would never give up. Somehow, at 12, I knew that a lot of the adults around me were unhappy because they were unsatisfied with the lives they had settled for. My rationale was, you can settle and be unhappy or you can struggle & fight for your dreams and be unhappy. At least in the latter scenario, there’s a greater chance for happiness.

 I’m a woman that lives in my head and leads with my heart. I’m a dreamer who’s always had a problem with the word “realistic”. I am also a woman that has borrowed, begged & struggled for a dream that isn’t always so kind to me. I’m a woman that sometimes wonders if it’s wise to keep promises made to myself before I knew what “credit” was.

 Ultimately, I’m a woman with stories that I must tell. That’s what it’s always been about for me, from the first time I directed my dolls in a scene from my favorite book at the time to my last performance on stage, waiting in the wings with an overwhelming feeling of joy at how everything had come together.

Talk about the play “The Answer is Love”

 The Answer is Love is a lot of things. Technically & creatively, it’s an opportunity for me to realize a “crazy idea” I had several months ago. I spent a large part of my life in theater and I never felt satisfied. I spent the last five years of my life working in film & video and still didn’t feel fulfilled. I missed theater. This past November, in a conversation with my cousin, I expressed a desire to combine the two and I have been able to experiment with telling the story by mixing the two distinct mediums.

 Artistically, The Answer is Love is a story that points the finger at everyone involved when something doesn’t work. As men and women, we tend to have a laundry list of why the opposite sex makes it difficult for relationships to prosper but we never take an honest & in-depth look at ourselves. The Answer is Love attempts to do that. It attempts to start a conversation about what everyone could’ve and should’ve done differently. The answer to that question is love. Love is selfless; it is freedom, respect, an innumerable collection of nouns & verbs. And, at the end of the day, the people in this story didn’t love one another very well.

 Give some insight on some of the characters.

 The Answer is Love tells the story of Julian & Camille, a young couple trying to figure “it” out and Julian’s parents, James & Missy, an older couple that may or may not have figured “it” out. They are all people that anyone has, at one time or another in their lives, known or been. Camille is relentless in her quest to achieve the things she wants. I probably feel the most sympathy for Julian: he’s the obvious villain due to some of his choices but he really is a person with good intentions that got caught in the tornado of someone else’s desires.

 What kind of writer/director do you consider yourself?

 I’m a natural born director that knows good writing because of my love of books growing up and knows good acting because of my time performing. My priority is always the emotional integrity of the story being told and I have a preference for realism.

 I’m technically adept and hope that all my work, whether on the stage, screen, both or any other way I am able to tell stories in the future is viewed as complete.

What is the goal with Ella Lacey Productions?

 The goal for Ella Lacey can be summed up in my two personal slogans: “create without fear” & “love, peace, art”.

 I recently started a theater company, The Martha Grace Theater Company, and will be opening a production/entertainment company before the end of the year. It really comes down to me loving all forms of art & expression and wanting to ensure that I have an outlet as well as being able to provide an outlet for other people committed to doing the same thing: expressing themselves through art, creative & innovation.

What are the best and worst parts about building a production company?

 Beginning with the worst: In real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. Well, in entrepreneurship, it’s all about capital, capital, capital!! Acquiring and managing capital has been very difficult, though the managing has only been difficult because the acquiring is never enough.

Leadership is another daunting task, but you can’t ask people to travel on your ship and not be a captain for them.

Ending with the best: As I said before, it’s been important to have and provide an outlet for creative expression so that was an expected positive. The unexpected virtues have been the relationships I’ve been able to form and develop as well as what I have learned about myself throughout the process.

Where do you get inspiration?

I get a lot of my inspiration from athletes. My younger brothers & cousins play baseball, have since they were kids and, no matter what’s going on, they have to play on game days and win. And they have to win against a team that also has to win.

Athletes are in the rare position of having to do their jobs in front of a public that is convinced they 1.) Know everything you did wrong, 2.) Can do it better than you and 3.) Are justified in expressing their love and/or hate as loudly and vehemently as possible, particularly while you’re in the midst of doing said job.

I look to athletes because their job, like artists, while it comes with a lot of pressure, it’s not as pivotal to the future as careers in education or public service. I am also inspired by the passion and intensity with which they do their jobs. It is something I understand, admire & respect.

When I look at in the context of being born just 6 months before LeBron James, about a month and a half before Jose Barea and only a couple of weeks before Nate Robinson & Carmelo Anthony, it gives me a strange sense of perspective

What motivates you?

My primary source of motivation comes from the younger people in my family. I want to inspire my younger brothers and sisters to pursue their dreams and success speaks much louder than motivational speeches.

They need to see me win.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Visit my site regularly, follow me on twitter, friend me on facebook, buy tickets to my shows & tell your friends about me!

 Now.

VI IV MMXI


≡”THE TRAMAINE EXPERIENCE”≡
 
Who is Tramaine Montell Ford?
I am a performance artist from Chicago, IL. An actor, singer, dancer, model, rapper, choreographer, writer, and comedian.
 
Where do you get inspiration from?
My inspiration continues to come from many different sources; Mainly television, my favorite artists, and life experiences. It also often comes from any and everyone I meet.
 
There are times when work is coming, money is flowing and supporters aren’t always there…how have you gotten through those rough patches in your career?
I’ve gotten through those rough patches by recognizing the blessing of doing what I love. Even when money and support is low, I can always rely on the enjoyment and fulfillment I get from doing my art. It’s fun for me!
 
What’s your ultimate ambition for your career?
My ultimate ambition is simply to be able to make a consistent living off of all the things I love to do. I would like to brand myself as a versatile artist that is able to create and collaborate in various entertainment platforms. Then ultimately, be apart of projects that have positive messages, stimulate growth, and/or improves lives.
 
Tell us about “TheTramaineExprience”.
TheTramaineExperience is my One Man Show that I wrote a little while ago with the encouragement of some close friends. Once the inspiration came, I wrote the show in a week, rehearsed it in two weeks, and put up a workshop showing. Utilizing feedback from that, I re-wrote and re-worked the piece until I felt like I had something significantly closer to what I wanted to express and artistically stronger to re-workshop. The outcome is my wacky yet heartfelt dramatic comedy about The Cabrini Green Projects where I grew up as a kid. I am having a great time working on the piece and am so excited to be having my first time performing it in my hometown of Chicago where the story takes place.
 
 
“The Tramaine Experience”
Saturday January 15th
and New Music by Tramaine
Monday January 31st
Details At
www.tramainemontellford.com
 
What are some of the highlights of your career?
I have been so blessed to have had some wonderful highlights that include performing live on The Oprah Winfrey Show, dancing for Lady Gaga for a live performance of her very first single, being featured on NBC News, and spending months throughout China and Inner Mongolia, to name a few.
 
What keeps you going?
What honestly keeps me going is the sincere and heartfelt pride and encouragement of people from where I grew up in the Cabrini Green Projects. Also, my mom, sister, brother, and my young son, Ty. They are the most important people to me and I want to set an example to them that you can live the life of my dreams with a decision and work.
 
Anything else you like to add?
Being an artist in not always easy but doing something that makes you happy even if it is not easy is, in my opinion, a worthy life goal. I hope to instill fuel that inspires people to that while entertaining. I have some new developing projects that I am excited about including a music EP. I am so happy and honored to do this feature for EgotisticalMe,. Thank you for having me. www.tramainemontellford.com twitter: @tramainemontell

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