Tag Archives: hope

Author Leslie Gray Streeter on the resilience of the human spirit, Sat Dec 28 @ 5pm PST

By France-Luce Benson

No, you are not experiencing Déjà vu. Our guest this week on Saturday Matinees is actually the identical twin sister of our guest a few weeks ago, and an extraordinary talent in her own right. On Saturday, Leslie Gray Streeter will share an excerpt from her book, which bestselling author James Patterson calls “a wonderfully touching love story that will make you laugh and cry, sometimes on the same page.”  Streeter’s memoir Black Widow: A Sad-Funny Journey Through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books With Words like ‘Journey’ In the Title, written after the sudden death of her beloved husband, is a celebration of life and the resilience of the human spirit.

FLB: I love the title of your book. Do you really avoid books with “journey” in the title?

STREETER: I do kinda side-eye them. It’s become such a cliché word that doesn’t mean what it’s supposed to mean. I know that it’s meaningful to a lot of people, but I wanted readers to know that my book wasn’t offering some candy-colored look at grief that was some standard they were supposed to live up to. There is no template.

FLB: Who is this book for?

STREETER: Everyone who ever lost someone or loves someone who did and wants to know how to talk to them. Also humans who like words J And Shelia E. references.

FLB: Are you working on a follow up book?

STREETER: Yes! One chapter down. So many to go.

FLB: What are you most looking forward to in the coming year?

STREETER: Turning 50 and starting the next part of my life in the city I love (Baltimore). Also the vaccine. So I can go sit on an island somewhere safely and dream. Also? A less-sucky world.

FLB: What has been keeping you sane?

STREETER: Yoga. My faith. My funny kid and family. Walking past beautiful old buildings and wondering who lived there. Fried tofu.

FLB: What gives you hope?

STREETER: That humanity can learn. We have to. We can do hard stuff.

Saturday Matinee, Nov 28 @ 5pm PST

Watch this woman dance in the face of catastrophe. You will be inspired. I was.

by Stephen Sachs

Last Saturday, I was taking a walk with my wife and son around the Hollywood Reservoir. Daily walks have become our morning routine to break out of our home isolation. We normally stroll through our neighborhood or stride the perimeter of a nearby park. Saturday, to break the monotony, we chose to walk the 3.3 miles around the Hollywood Reservoir. There, we encountered an unforgettable woman.

I spotted her as we circled Lake Hollywood. Her zeal caught my eye. She strode ahead of us, a spring in her step. Despite the surrounding catastrophe, the loneliness of physical distancing, she walked with a kind of energized elan. Spirit in her step.

Suddenly – she burst into dance. A spontaneous, improvised ballet. Right there. On the public path. She leaped into the air, arms twirling, legs flicking, an impulsive pirouette. She sashayed down the street, spinning, bounding silently to graceful music only she could hear.

I grabbed my iPhone and taped her. You can see my video above.

This stranger, this Lake Hollywood dancer, inspires me. She is the power of art. Like a flower pushing its way through cement, she is the Fountain Theatre, the Los Angeles theatre community, finding a way, against the odds, to urge itself upward toward the sun, to bloom once again.

In the midst of emergency, we keep dancing. Not to be trivial or irresponsible.  Not to fiddle like Nero as Rome burned. To dance in the face of catastrophe as an act of defiance, of rebellion. Driving forward the Life force. A refusal to be defeated. Despair will not win. Art finds a way.

Stephen Sachs is the Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre

Video: Actor Leith Burke finds hope in powerful world premiere ‘Runaway Home’

Runaway Home Now playing to Nov 5th More Info/Get Tickets