Stephanie Hancock's Blog

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A “Colored Girl’s” thoughts July 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — steviehanc @ 6:22 am

StephanieNtozake Shange, writer of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf”, has given me and countless other actresses across the country the opportunity to give personality to her poetry. There is nothing like being in a live performance of this powerful work. I was first exposed to “Colored Girls” in college back in the early 80’s. Frankly my first impression was that this woman is really angry and bitter. Even harder still was reading the broken English and the way the poems were arranged on the page. I just couldn’t connect.

It wasn’t until some 20 years later that I experienced this work in its most intimate form. I put myself, and life experience into the work. No, I hadn’t experienced everything, but I knew some sister-friend who had. I certainly was no stranger to pain, loss, heartache and betrayal. I became “every woman”. I allowed myself to
feel through each poem, its rhythmic heartbeat. Sometimes exuberant, sometimes heavy, so many more emotions than I can possible express here.

Being a part of this production, bringing the choreo-poems to life with 6 of the most beautiful women I have had the pleasure to know, has been a blessing. One of which happens to be my daughter. She joined the cast when one of the actresses became ill. As a cast, we have bonded, shared, cried, laughed and danced. We connected on a spiritual level because we were open to it. We are in a safe place to be real and heal. In turn, the people, men and women alike who come to see the play have been touched in a powerful way.

We are part of a unique sisterhood that I will hold in my heart for the rest of my life. What became apparent to me is the “motherly” nature of my being. I realize I am moving into a different role as “elder” and nurturer. I am grateful, its a good place.

I believe God is always at work around us. He can use what ever He wants to speak to us, not always under steeples. He takes the simple things, like plays, to reveal His message, plans and ways to us. Its what we listen to, that can make great changes in our lives.

We have “talk-backs” after each performance. They generate a lot of good discussion, healing, awareness and draws women closer. They discover that Love was there all along, sometimes just under the scabs of old hurt and pain, just waiting to be scraped away and seen. Women discover what they share in common, that they are still standing, still fighting, still believing. And like the last line in the play exclaims, “I found God in myself and I love her fiercely!”. God is Love. Love doesn’t hurt!

Learn to be open, be loved, be fearless, be healed, be free. You are not alone.

From one “Colored Girl” to another




Art & Ministry July 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — steviehanc @ 6:51 am

StephanieI was invited to be on air at KLDC, a local Christian radio station today, I was delighted and excited. The show host called me to come on the program and share my thoughts about Art in the secular and Christian community. As an artist and a newly Ordained Minister in the office of Evangelism, I was eager to share how I sense God moving in the Arts. As believers, who work in the arts we must recognize that faith and art are not separate as we walk this life out.

God is the Ultimate Artist, creator, musician, painter, dancer, gardener, sculptor and poet, etc. He gives gifts to artists freely without repentance and it is our reasonable service to give it back to Him with all the joy and passion we can.

When Lucifer was cast out of heaven, he kept his creative gifts. He has corrupted them and used them to deceive, manipulate and destroy mankind. You don’t have to look far to see his handiwork.

It is our mission as believers to, through God take back what the enemy has stolen and show God’s power and love through creative expression. “Art from the Heart of God” He is the influence and driving force in our creative expression.

God can use whatever and whomever He wants to make his message known. He can use you, if you let Him. Art has such a powerful influence on the mind, heart and spirit. I can hear a song and it changes my mood, or see a painting and I am transported into the scene and feel what the artist is saying. Hasn’t the same thing happened to you?

So many times we experience positive or negative energy from the art around us. Knowing this, we can shape and influence our environment with the art we use to surround ourselves. Every artistic expression has influence. It is not always innocuous.

I will continue to share thoughts on artistic expression and working as an actor and musician in the secular community in the coming weeks. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Blessings, Stephanie


Be A “Titus” Woman July 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — steviehanc @ 1:04 am

StephanieDear Sisters,
“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God.” Titus 2:3-5

A Dear Sister-friend called me a “Titus” woman yesterday. I felt a warmth come over me because I knew she meant it sincerely. So I went to the scripture and read the above passage. Wow was my first though. I was deeply moved at the idea that another woman thought of me that way.
I was reading an article on-line about the disconnect between younger and older women today. That doesn’t always mean age. It also means experience. Particularly as it relates to marriage and family relationships. I suspect it is because so many families are in distress and successful married relationships aren’t being modeled today. I find that a lot of women have the “Don’t tell me how to live my life, raise my children, or be a wife” attitude. I have said myself, “You raised yours, now let me raise mine” but then when things got hard, I realized I didn’t know it all, and I asked the elder woman, for advice.
I see young women today so concerned about the superficial things and their hearts are broken, they are wounded and so insecure. They are desperately trying to get their needs met in self-destructive ways with no direction and no sister friend to show them the way.
As older women, we need to be open about the pitfalls and mistakes we made. Don’t be afraid to say, “I didn’t know what I was doing and “Yes, I made the same mistake” Young women, there is no shame in asking for help, and older women, be loving and gentle when giving help and advice. Don’t wait until there is a crisis. It’s the simple things that build the bonds of sisterhood that we share uniquely, no matter what race, economic status or language.
We all at some time will be the teacher or student. Allow yourself to be open when you ask, and allow yourself to loving when you give. Both of you will grow.
I have found the most fulfilling times in my life have been when I have shared myself with another sister-friend and she has used the help and then shared with another sister-friend.
That is what it is all about. It’s like the little song we learned as children “when we all pull together, what an army we’ll be” An army of love, comfort security raising a generation of secure, loving and confident women.
So my dear sister-friend, are you a Titus Woman? If not, start today. If you see a sister struggling, gently take her hand and share, show and be a shoulder. Don’t judge, be loving and always prayerful. Be the light you want the world to see.