#shakespeare #theater #bicycletouring #fear #brooklyn #adventure
Thursday, July 24th, 8pm. Cloud City, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. $5.

Went from Savannah, Tampa, Arizona to San Fran, Chicago, Michigan, Maryland with no kickstand

went from Savannah, Tampa, Arizona to San Fran, Chicago, Michigan, Maryland I’m a bad man

Typically it’s the hunger, hunger that comes from under,

kind that come from the guts, that turns you into a hunter,

encourages that level performance from jennifer lawrence,

makes you climb pedastule that high and never come off it,

they say its remarkable, oh how they applaud it,

and you resent them, they don’t know how bad you want it,

how bad you need it, made it this far on intravenus,

call your hunger a game and have the nerve to believe it,

they didn’t see you were cold, riding that road alone,

dead battery. can’t see two inches in front your nose,

dogs follow your scents vultures hope for your bones,

you feel God knows what coming awfuly close,

how much you kno bout dat bruh, wanna gimmie dap bruh,

wanna sit my lap bruh, hear bout where I been at bruh,

jolted out of sleep had to cry myself back bruh

that ain’t what you asked for, you just want the laughter,

you just want me to sang all about the fun and games,

you just like hunger games, please skip the hunger pains,

skip past the aches the lonliness, doubt and shame,

just tell me bout new orleans, don’t tell me bout hurricanes,

boy you just struck a vain, girl you just hit a nerve,

God made me climb for my grade, graded me on dangerous curves,

fed me out of his hand, put me to rest on the curb,

all you see is broad shoulders dont care how they was earned

dunno what none of this meant, what none of it means,

you wanted to hear, I’m just tellin you what I seen,

sometimes my chest burns, bubbles, and boils,

guess that makes me an artist, sometimes I gotta make noise,

dunno rhyme or reason, I just know how to rhyme,

no, I dunno why I did it, I just knew I had to ride,

got an hour and stomach for it I’ll tell you about my year

hell yeah I was scared but what should be the fear

(wrote to this beat)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvIW6TA9Cbo

When I look back at this time.in my life in my Seventies, in my Eighties, I want to know that I gave it all I got. That I gave myself a shot. I want to see this moment anticipating having perspective on it later. I’m so scared, because I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. But for the first time in my life I’m getting palpitations and nausea from anxiety, and I’m PRAYING that I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing.

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.

Watch Actor-writer-director Ethan Hawke on PBS. See more from Tavis Smiley.

My walk around shoes by the end of my tour. Mind you, these weren’t my riding shoes.

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.