FAME VS SUCCESS

I remember back in 04 when I started to really get into poetry I had these dreams of making it big. Break into Hollywood. Act in movies. Take poetry as far as I can take it. Turn my Def Poetry & college touring into bigger things. Trust me, I tried too. But hustle as I might, it just wasn’t written that way.

And in a way, thank God for that. Because you see & hear all these stories now of the dark underbelly of fame. From Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey to Louis CK and all the other celebrities who have lights suddenly shining on their darkest secrets. I think of the victims they've hurt and the environment in which these things are considered "normal." I wonder sometimes how it would have turned out for me had I gotten famous and had to deal with that environment. I wonder how much of my own integrity would be sacrificed.

Many of us ask for God to mold us. To protect us. And yet we get angry when He’s doing exactly that. When what He plans doesn’t line up with what we planned for ourselves, we ask why He makes us suffer. 

Over the years maturity has taught me that what I’m meant to do & my significance has nothing to do with fame & fortune. It’s about doing good work. It’s about mastering your craft. It’s about moving the people that need to be moved even if it’s a small few. And here’s the CRAZY thing..it wasn’t 15 minutes of fame. We are, to this day, still going steadily and consistently in this career that has now spanned 12 yrs. In this business, that’s pretty impressive. And there are no tabloids about me. My integrity is still in tact. My art form remains my own. I still enjoy what I do and I feel myself learning and getting better with each new poem and with each new show.

At the end of it all, that’s the kind of success I want.