POST: 'Motherstruck' - We both came from struggle.
What's it about?
Motherstruck is a one-woman play directed by Cynthia Nixon and performed and written by Staceyann Chin. It is Staceyann herself, telling her life experience of being a lesbian single mother in NYC. She speaks fire and sometimes her words come off poetic.
What'd I experience?
12 hours of work on 2 hours of sleep. I have no idea how I am alive. My teacher training was literally a five minute walk from the Lynn Redgrave theatre where Motherstruck was being shown at. I walked in, got my ticket and sat down. The entrance was made out of brass instruments, interesting.
I felt a little uneasy knowing this was my 3rd event of the day, I was scared I was gonna fall on my face. But my mind was excited for what this fiery woman had to say. I remember it being about a lesbian feminist activist. There were lesbian couples all around me and I could have not have felt more alone. Everyone was boo'd up and there I was on my phone, alone, but texting my boo about my long day at work.
I complimented a girl next to me on her sweater and we chatted for a bit. What appeared to be her girlfriend gave me a dirty look. Lol, I wasn't even trynga hit on her yo. Then I thought of how it would look if I walked up to a guy and complimented him when he was with a girl - it might have been considered flirty. But that wasn't even running in my head. Note to self, include everyone in conversation next time.
The stage consisted of a black circular risen platform and an orange lounge chair with no backing. The lights darkened and a fiery woman with tattoos down her back and a red vibrant mohawk appeared on stage. Her mohawk was fro'y and her cleavage was popping out. It was great. She had a Jamaican accent and later exclaimed she was born there. Wagwan budday. She was very relatable especially being that she had a unique hair style in the performing arts business.
She spoke about the stigma of homosexuals in her country and how she loved Jamaica so much but never wanted to go back there because of that. It got me thinking like damn, how can someone disown their heritage basically because of the way other people make them feel. That was heartbreaking. Living in a community full of black people, I know the struggle it is to be homosexual and Caribbean. They will beat you on the streets.
She explained how she returned to Jamaica and she saw two homosexuals flamboyantly walking down the aisle of a grocery store and she clutched her daughter for her life because she knew the violence that was about to happen. Then she was surprised because no one did anything, a few eye rolls but nothing happened. Jamaica was changing. It made me happy to know that she now felt comfortable in her own skin because she felt even her own place could accept her for who she was.
Yo and she always repped Brooklyn (we go hard, we go hard). I was born and raised in the stuy (Bedford-Stuyvesant) so I know the exact struggle and was the only one clapping and cheering when she proclaimed Brooklyn as the best place in the world. And when she spoke about Jay Z and the Barclay's center, it reminded me of my middle school, where Jay Z went. StaceyAnn and I were very similar I think. We both came from struggle. I mean, I’m still in struggle but I’m getting out.
I felt empathy when she spoke on the gentrification of Brooklyn and all the white people moving in kicking out her own people. Rent stabilization. She did admit a funny truth of mine, she said something along the lines of, “these fucking white people raising our rents, kicking our people out. But they bring Sushi.” LMAOOOOO I was crying because it’s deadass true. They bring their little overpriced Vietnamese food and boutiques and don’t forget Starbucks now in the hood.
Her drive to become fertile and obtain a child reminded me of my passion for acting. She spent thousands of dollars to have her tubes cleared. It reminded me of spending money on classes, headshots, etc. She had a New York dream to raise a warrior feminist child. Empire State of Mine. I have the New York dream to be a working actor. I was a little confused as to why she didn’t adopt it, omg, like do you know the pain of childbirth. She experienced it and was like fuck this, I’m never doing it again. I knowwwww, lies. I don’t know but I can just imagine how painful it is to birth a baby. tbh im scared for my life, might just adopt. SHE WAS IN LABOR FOR LIKE 2O HOURS!! When she finally gave birth to the baby, she held her in her arms and said, “What the fuck do I do now? What the fuck do I do now? What the fuck do I do now? I think I need an intermission.” and walked off the stage. It was truly hilarious.
At the last few sentences of the show she exclaimed how all she wanted was for her daughter to basically be a strong warrior and for herself to be the best mother she can be. It reminded me of my mom in the hospital. My mom who isn’t able to talk to me on the phone because it hurts to talk. My mom, the one who’s on morphine so she doesn’t make sense when and if she texts me back. But also my mom, who made a facebook post about me saying she was proud of me. I know it hurts her to move her fingers yet she still loves me enough to write a sentence about me. This play made me realize the struggles she has done for me to give me life.
I sympathized soooo much with StaceyAnn. My mom went through hell and back to give birth to me. StaceyAnn explaining how the doctors said, “There’s nothing we can do. It’s 14 weeks. The Fetus is not viable.” It reminded me of the doctors telling my mom to abort me. And all the bedrest StaceyAnn had to take reminded me of how much medication my mom was on and how much she loved me, enough to continue her pregnancy. Tbh StaceyAnn and my mom are pretty crazy, I would’ve aborted my ass. You going through 9 months of hell with only an 8% chance of me being able to live. lol. Thanks mom. Thanks StaceyAnn for being a voice to encourage the LGBTQ community, activists, and everyday people to do what they want in life and not stop till they get it.
I walked out the theatre relieved my day was over but also pondering the fire message that was just brought to my eyes and ears. No service, already down in the train station, regardless I needed to send my mom a reminder, “Hey ma, I love you <3”