I don’t know if I told this story or not, but months ago in Tallahassee, FL, early in my tour, when I was staying with my sisters, I performed at my middle sister Dara’s college, FAMU. It was a fairly public performance, in front of thr student cafeteria, and there was a sizable crowd. At the end of my performance Dara handed me a $2 bill and told me someone in the audience gave it to her to give to me, “for good luck.”

I don’t believe in luck, but I was touched by the gesture, and the $2 bill did indeed travel with me in my wallet everywhere I went. Being.completely broke time and time again on the tour I was often tempted to spend it, but never did, and I had the bill in my wallet until about an hr ago.

As most of you might know, the North East has just been pummelled by Hurricane Sandy, crippling many arteries of the city, including transportation. I walked for miles today trying to get to the city, which somehow turned into a 3 mile detour to a Brooklyn church reportedly holding a blood-drive and desperately seeking donors. In the end, none of these excursions on foot (because if you hadn’t heard, my bikes been stolen) worked out, and by the end I was famished. Either I could score a small (hopefully free) meal somehow, or I’d have to turn back and walk back to my friend Jeremiah’s where I’m staying and eat something there, which I would probably do anyway.

As I was walking trying to get my bearings, and figure out how to eat, an old homeless man put out his hand asking for change. I have no money, so I walk on by.

By now I’m so hungry I’m grumpy and light headed, and I don’t feel like hoofing it back Bedstuy on an empty stomach. I remembered the $2 bill. I would forget about it sometimes because it wasn’t in the part of my wallet I normally kept my money in, that one’s been empty for a while. I kept it in another compartment in my wallet, where I felt it was more protected, and wouldn’t be accidentally spent. I figured, it’s Brooklyn, $2 will go a long way.

So I walked into a litte Mexican eatery I knew that sold real cheap, tasty, little empanadas and things and pulled out my wallet. Again, I don’t believe in luck, and was looking for an appropriate way to spend the $2 bill, now that my tour was over. As I pulled the bill out, eyeing the crispy, golden empanadas, the lady behind the counter approached to take my order. This didn’t feel right. I looked out the window.

“What can I get you?”

He was still standing there with his hand out, and most people, scurrying to reassemble their thoroughly weather-beaten day to day normalcy, were even less receptive to pan-handlers today.

“Nevermind,” I said to her. “Dammit,” I thought to myself approaching the homeless man.

Walking back toward Jeremiah’s, I had to admit, this was more appropriate. Besides, spending a $2 bill is weird anyway.

I was inside the SoHo Apple store for about 2 hrs, trying to catch up on some blogging last Tues (which I do because I don’t own a computer besides my phone, and it can’t really do the whole job..), and when I emerged Old Grace (the bike), which I’d locked to a tree in front of the store early afternoon, in broad day, was gone. Suffice to say the bike tour is over.

That doesn’t mean the project is over. I plan to spend the next few weeks booking shows in NYC and in the Tri State area at schools, in after school programs, theaters (if you have any ideas or leads for me, please shoot me a mesg), and possibly just traveling around the city and performing via train, and Jolie and I are gearing up to begin working the one man show.

This project of hopping on my bike with Shakespeare on my back, barreling full speed ahead towards my fears has been one of the greatest things I’ve done with my life, and I’m not ready to be done yet.

1st day back in NY. Supposed to be resting today… Instead the Speare Bearer is performing at the DUMBO Arts Fest.

I like my welcome home parties with Karaoke

#KingsOfKaraoke

You know, I was thinking, Ralf, God must really be with you.

My long term goal is to build a theater in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, that hosts: a free Shakespeare festival every year with many of the best actors in Brooklyn and the world, a free, year-round classical film series, it’s own ensemble(s) of actors, writers and directors, including an improv/sketch comedy/clown troupe, and have a small shoppe inside that is a Tea Room/West Indian Roti Shop. BROOKLYN NIGGA!

And I want it to be called The La Grazia, or The Old Grace.