Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Exhibit K: Kenan Thompson Said What?


     1998: I've just finished a show at The Tamarind Theater on Franklin Avenue in Los Angeles (now the theater for Uprights Citizens Brigade) and my godparents came to the show. Both theater producers, they surprised me with dinner in Beverly Hills at an Industry eatery with late hours. We got seated, me looking at the photos of celebrities and iconic one-sheets lining the walls. We have a nice table and it's all good since I've still got on stage makeup and a wall of screaming bleached hair. The table next to us is empty until Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell are seated next to us.


      They're both 17 years at the time and have a couple of young lady friends with them. They're working teenagers with a TV series and, for the moment, like any giddy high-school age teens, except with more money. I clandestinely asked if my table could be moved. Not for any other reason than my table was talking pretty blue and it's awkward partying next to...teenagers! I'm 27 years old at this point and it's just odd, nothing personal. I'm sure they're cool but they're goofy and young and with our tables thisclose it feels like being at the kiddie table. There's no free tables so I sit next to them, silently happy for their success. They're Nickelodeon stars...and Black!...and God knows when I was of Nickelodeon age there was only like one Black kid on the whole thing, inYou Can't Do That On Television, so Keenan and Kel must be rock stars -and there's two of them in one cast. Wow! As an actor, casting is never as blind as thought, so there's progress.

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