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The Blessing Of Thank Yous
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July 04, 2008

Blog Debut:
The Blessing Of Thank Yous


Hello UTC! I’m just recovering from a whirlwind past few weeks! Reporting from a slew of BET Awards events, including Debra Lee’s Pre-BET Bash, JD’s Party at Kress, The Sparkle Shimmer & Shine Spa Event, ASCAP’s “Salute to New Edition” and the “Educating Young Minds Scholarship Awards” honoring Mario, Ludacris and Bun B. Getting b-roll and celebrity interviews for a show I’m co-producing. Going to a table a read for a film I’ll be shooting soon. Helping one of my BF’s celebrate her 28th B-day. My sleep patterns are definitely off-kilter.

To top it off, I just got a call from a network I work with asking me what NFL star I could get for their upcoming Monday Night Football campaign. Of course, they want me to procure the likes of Reggie Bush or LaDainian Tomlinson and work my magic in little to no time. But, I can pull it off. Even if I have to drive down to San Diego and sneak into the Chargers locker room, I’ll get the job done by any means necessary. That’s just who I am – a girl that loves a challenge and embraces an opportunity and a blessing when they come my way.

Truth is, that’s what all these things are – blessings. So, before I started to complain about how tired I am, how stressed I am, and how hard I work, I had to stop, take a breath, and say thank-you to God for giving me these opportunities. I could be pursuing my dream of becoming an actress while being a waitress, or working at some low pay nine to five. That isn’t the case, so I have to say thank you. Thank you God, and thank you, Star Jones.

Yes, Star Jones. Fact is, right before her unceremonious exit from “The View,” I caught up with the then Mrs. Al Reynolds at the Four Seasons Hotel (I swear it seems like I live at that hotel some weeks) where she was helping AOL Black Voices unveil their new site and also promote her latest book “Shine.” Great book by the way. I have read it cover to cover and thoroughly enjoyed the chapter “Fake it Til’ You Make It.” Those are truly words I’m living by these days. But that’s another blog. Back to Ms. Jones.

Before getting my own personal one on one interview with her, she read to the crowd of journalists and some of her close friends including Shaun Robinson, Natalie Cole, stylist Elgin Charles, and Idris Elba (not sure why he was there but its always nice to see him, right?) an excerpt from a chapter in the book called “Stop and Say Thank-You.” According to Star, the entry was inspired by a conversation she was having with a girlfriend one afternoon during a time in her life when she was feeling really down and depressed. After turning to her husband Al and not getting the comfort she needed, Star says she began to vent to her girlfriend Jaci, who at the time was flipping through her “O Magazine.”

Suddenly, Jaci told Star to listen, and began reading something Oprah had written describing a moment when she was really down because people were saying really nasty things about her in the media. She decided to talk to her friend, the wonderful poet Maya Angelou, who quickly shut her up in the middle of her whining and moaning and said “Stop and say thank-you Oprah.” Confused, Oprah replied, “What do you mean, this is horrible for me.” And Angelou replied, “If you don’t stop and say thank-you, I’m not speaking to you anymore.”

At that moment, Star said that she could feel God smiling down on her and she quickly stopped and thanked God and her friend Jaci for being a blessing in her life. “Sometimes,” Star continued, “You have to just say thank-you for all the blessings God gives you even if it doesn’t make sense at the time.”

It is in that spirit that I write this blog, and want to say thank-you to Urban Thought Collective for giving me this opportunity. I hope you check in with me each week as I give you my life on both sides of the camera, going from auditions and acting classes to interviewing celebrities and attending exclusive Hollywood events. It’s truly an adventure, and I invite you to come along for the ride.

Until next time. Be Blessed. Be Black and Be Beautiful!

Jasmine Simpkins is a writer, producer and actress living in Los Angeles. She covers Hollywood from both in front of and behind the scenes. Her thoughts and experiences are chronicled exclusively for www.urbanthoughtcollective.com.

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The Blessing Of Thank Yous