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November 16, 2011

When the Sun Gives In

Want to see more BW on the big screen? Here’s my BIG IDEA

November 5, 2010

I definitely want to see more Black Women and stories prominently featuring them on the big screen (in movie theaters) but knowing the cost and odds of getting a theatrical release for a movie I would definitely be willing to watch movies (new content) on my adequate computer screen (which I can hookup to my large flat screen television).

 

By no means does this mean that I will settle for anything; I will not be seeing For Colored Girls just because Black Women are the main characters. The types of movies I like to see are non-formulaic romantic comedies (is that an oxymoron? Think more 500 Days of Summer, less of Ghost of Girlfriends Past) and romantic dramas that are not too heavy. When I drive to the theater, search forever for a parking spot and pay $12 for a movie, I want to leave in a good mood – not depressed, disturbed, outraged or any other crazy feelings. I like to leave the theater moved, hopeful, satisfied and happy about the entire experience.

 
However, the hardest part of making a *good* movie is coming up with a *good script*. Now, I am all about solutions, being the change you want to see and action so, my BIG IDEA (DRUMROLL PLEASE) is this…

 
 Why not find good BOOKS (could be interracial romance books or not) – but books with a good solid plot and story and turn these books into movies. Obviously, I wouldn’t be able to option a book for a hefty upfront fee – but partnerships with authors can be formed on the backend. The movies would be made with a fairly low budget – but with RED cameras and all the technology at our fingertips you don’t need millions to have a quality product (JUST CHECK OUT BREAKING UPWARDS – a indie film that was shot digitally with professional actors for $15,000 and was picked up by a major distributor, IFC. The movie is visually amazing and of course it helps that the script is character based which removes the added cost of lots and lots of locations).

 

This is a viable plan to releasing 5 or more movies per year, and as I personally know I want to see more movies with Black Women (infront of and behind the camera) that are not downtrodden, abused and the like, who actually end up with a happy ending *Waiting to Exhale anyone?* – I am sure many other women feel the same way. In other words I believe there is a large market void that we can’t wait for other people to fill.

 
 I’m tired of waiting on Hollywood and other people who have clearly demonstrated their disinterest in Black Women although our dollars are powerful. We can make *GOOD* movies – for us, by us and of course anyone else who wants to enjoy it- none of the coonery and foolishness that are far too commonplace the only available option. Furthermore, we will be creating jobs to give creative Black women opportunities to show their stuff/gain experience and introduce fresh faces/talent besides the same five Black actors that are cast in everything. The authors would be able to have their stories reach more people and be able to make a living from their art.

 
 These movies would be available for an affordable price online (rent to stream/download /and live screenings) as well as offline (dvd/television licensing/ and of course the original book!) If the demand is high enough we can four wall theaters or take the film on a theatrical tour like many independent filmmakers have successfully done in the past.

 
So, this is my current project and goal as I am interested in filmmaking and am starting a production company to make this idea a reality. If you have a book (you don’t necessarily have to be the author) you would like to recommend that you would love to see be made into a movie – post it in the comments section along with a brief synopsis of the plot (no spoilers) – and your general feedback is much appreciated.

Befriend Non-Bm and Women

November 4, 2010

I have observed that Black Women tend to stay in our own lane to our own detriment.

Rarely do you see Black Women hanging out with friends that are non-Black, regardless of gender. However, it is fairly common for me to come across Black men who travel in multi-“racial” social circles.


This leads me to wonder why is this so? Are other “races” afraid of making friends (and I mean real friends – not just co-workers who may sit at the same lunch table. I’m talking about hanging out together outside of work, going to each other’s houses and inviting each other places!) or are Black Women the problem? Are we not open, approachable, uncomfortable or are we submitting some type of subliminal signals to other groups of people that proclaim loudly like the “BACK OFF!” Tazmanian Devil bumper stickers, that when it comes to the friend zone outsiders are not welcome?

Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way trying to suggest Black Women should not have Black friends, or in any way trying to insinuate non-Black friends are better than Black. I’m just saying, if we [Black Women] would come out of our box and intermingle with other people I am sure this would do a lot to clear up the stereotypes that many people have about us and don’t forget the fringe benefits that come with having a mult-racial group of friends *they can introduce you to men and Non-BM are more inclined to approach you when they know you are open and have no hang-ups about race*.

Travel by way of Internet Dating

October 30, 2010

Ok, so this one is a little unorthodoxwhen it comes to ways Black Women can travel the world … but I was reading another BWE blog (Sara’s) and there was a woman named Nita who posted about a dilemma she was encountering and needed some advice/help. She had met a man online who lived in Germany and after a few months of talking to him (and some of his relatives) via video chat he propositioned her to come and pay him a visit in his home country.

She told her family that she planned to go and they were very unsupportive and negative from what I gathered. As a woman travelling to a foreign country alone there was just reason for concern – I remember wanting to go abroad by my self (since none of my other friends had the means to come with me) and my mother, who is usually very encouraging about everything I do, being adamantly against me travelling alone.

One of her siblings apparently had a connection to someone in Germany and quickly filled this poster’s head with ideas of kidnapping/being sold into the sex trade and how Germans in the particular area she wanted to visit were known for being racist.

Of course, the poor girl was terrified if she was going to be making a huge mistake and was considering cancelling her trip due to the fearful/frightful ideas her “friends” and family had put in her head. She was feeling really down about it because the guy had taken three weeks off from work in anticipation of her visit and now she was dreading having to tell him she would no longer be coming. Some of the other posters on the blog told her not to cancel her trip, and instead recommended taking safety precautions that would still enable her to go. So, she ignored the naysayers, gave her parents the internet address and some details about her friend and forged ahead.

I was so happy to read her update after she came back from Germany *I’ve been there and the men are pretty gorg!*. Her trip was a huge success! She said she was treated incredibly well by her host. His family was accommodating and hospitable and she got to experience Germany in a way she never would have had she not known this guy. At the end of the trip he made a romantic comment about already feeling empty that she was leaving. She is currently making plans to see him again in the Spring, but this time in Italy *the Country of LOVE and ROMANCE*. I love it! She will be travelling the world with her new friend – and to think, she could have headed everyone’s warning and missed out big time.

Another blogger [MySoCalledLifeinFrance] who now lives in France originally met her husband online and initially travelled to see him by her lonesome as well. She says they decided to get married so they would stop travelling back and forth. The internet opens the world up and if you are not particularly looking for a romantic connection you can certainly make same gender friends online who live in exotic places! Then, you can go and visit them and vice versa.

PROS:
* You’ll have a native host who speaks the language to be your personal tour guide and show you places you probably would never discover if you were just a ‘normal’ tourist
* Cheap or free accommodations
* Finding a boyfriend/mate
* If your new friend is in Europe it is possible to go to nearby countries with him since traveling within Europe can be fairly inexpensive.

CONS:
* Can be dangerous (so make sure you take safety precautions and follow your gut instincts if things seem amiss
* You may end up not liking the person in real life and feel “stuck there”
* Not speaking the language
* If you become really attached to the person you are dating, it could really suck as you will now be in a long distance relationship (especially sucky if neither of you plan on moving)

P.S. Nita, if you are reading this I would love to publish your story in your own words on the blog (in the post) and/or interview you for others to read the outcome. I think it would be helpful to other women who are facing a decision like the one you faced and it would also be beneficial to those who are interested in meeting guys this way to know how you did it safely. Please write me in the comments section!

Travel with Like Minded People

October 7, 2010

If you want to travel but none of your friends and family are game and you don’t want to go by yourself – no worries, there are tons of ways to find link minded people to accompany you around the world.

Http://www.blackgirltravel.com 

Black Girl Travel is a group that caters to Black women traveling to Europe. They schedule regular trips and have a large following, so you should definitely be able to make a friend or two on your journey. Also, they have schedules for sight seeing which means you will be able to experience all the major attractions the country has to offer.

You can also search for meetup groups Http://www.meetup.com with a focus on travel. I am the member of a meetup group that is planning a trip to iceland! However, if you can’t find a meetup group, you are always free to start your own! The best part about starting your own group is that you have the power to choose where your group will go.

Travel by Teaching Abroad

September 8, 2010

Currently I am busy preparing to leave the country for a couple of weeks (SEE – I practice what I preach) but I promise I’ll still find time to allay your travelling fears and enlighten you to all the many ways and array of opportunities to get out of your comfort zone, or just your city.

First up, one of my favorite blogs showcases an awesome way to travel the world – all the while getting getting paid to do so!

Http://www.oneika-the-traveller.blogspot.com

 

I love this blog because Nikitta travels extensively and blogs regularly! A teacher currently living in Hong Kong by way of Canada, Nikitta has lived in France and Mexico teaching and has picked up other languages along the way *She’s currently learning German with a lot of help from her native tongue speaking beau*

Advantages:

* Long vacations equal more time to explore your new home and nearby (or faraway) places

* No taxes: Or should I say a tax-free salary. Depending on where you go, your housing, utilities, insurance and air tickets can be covered by your institution and you aren’t charged income tax. That leaves more money to save and/or spend on travel, play, and just good LIVING!
** Your buying power goes up when your expenses go down**

* Good Pay: Salary depends on where you teach, however your pay will probably stretch further and allow for a pretty comfortable lifestyle. Those with more advanced qualifications can reasonably be expected to be paid on the higher end.

* Opportunity to learn a new language: What better way to learn a new language by being submerged in a totally different culture for a year or more. To speed up the process you can take classes, hire a tutor, befriend locals and practice on them, or even exchange English lessons for [insert cool and exotic language here] lessons

* Barrier to entry: If you want to teach English and can read my blog posts you automatically meet half of the qualifications for this job, but English isn’t the only sought after subject: Math, Social Studies, English, ESL, administrative positions, Library, Coordinators, Music, Art, PE, etc. Normally though you will have to take classes, past tests and get TESOL/TEFL/CELTA certifications as well as have a degree to seriously compete against the other applicants and widen your options.

* The men: This will be a point in every travelling blog post – just a heads up! As a black woman teaching abroad it is not unlikely for you to be in the minority. That means you’ll probably stick out and get loads of attention. But you’ll be able to use this to your advantage and catch the eye of a hottie and hopefully new language buddy/partner.

 

How to do it:

International recruitment fairs, online job sites like http://joyjobs.com, visit online forums and messageboards and ask others how they were able to find their jobs, google “ESL jobs,” “jobs overseas,” or “jobs teaching abroad” and sites that will help you polish your CV to vamp up your appeal.

If you have ever taught abroad or want to add to the conversation with benefits, and ways **tips/tricks** to go about doing so, please feel free to share!

OTHER RESOURCES:

Teaching English Abroad: Teach Your Way Around the World! (Teaching English Abroad, 5th ed)

Tefl: Learn How You Can Teach English as a Foreign Language, Live Abroad & Save 2,000+ a Year!: How to teach Esl abroad, get that Efl job, find out … Tesl & teaching English as a Second Language2,000+ a Year!: How to teach Esl abroad, get that Efl job, find out … Tesl & teaching English as a Second Language

How to Teach Abroad: A Guide to Opportunities Worldwide

BW and Travel

August 27, 2010

When was the last time you left the country?

If  the answer to that question is NEVER or when you were knee high, you are LONG OVERDUE, and luckily for you I’ve got the remedy. No, I’m not offering free plane tickets, but when I’m done with you hopefully you’ll overcome whatever hang-ups you have about travelling!

For the month of September we will focus on black women and travel.

So many Black Women do not travel, whether it be due to monetary reasons or simply fear of leaving their comfort zone.

It’s good to explore the world! Doing so is proven to raise the level of  acceptance and understanding for different cultures  and also  helps people relate to others better.

On the flip side Black Women venturing out into all corners of the Earth exposes  people/cultures, who otherwise base their ideas on Black women solely on the images from Hollywood, to how wonderful Black Women truly are!

There are Black women traveling and living very well abroad. Not all of them are “rich”, they just took advantage of opportunities that existed and didn’t let fear hold them back.

We will highlight the women and blogs with a slant on black women traveling and the different routes they took to get then where they are, which will hopefully inspire you to do the same.

If you are the host of one of these types of blogs or you would like to share your story please feel free to do so.