About a year ago an independent film called The Cronies held a casting call in St. Louis. They were looking for actors and they were looking for music. I submitted some of my music and it was selected for the film! And guess who is one of the producers of this film? Spike Lee. Not only that, the film will be a part of the Sundance Film Festival. #LookAtGod. When I found out, I went crazy for about an hour. I called some of my people and had celebratory conversations. I ran around the house like a crazy woman. I was so excited. It was such an honor. The director of the film is Michael Larnell. I met with him over the summer. He is a cool guy. He came to one of my performances. It was a sing off. I totally rocked the crowd that night. I almost won the competition. You win some, you lose some. Check out the interview of Spike Lee “talking up” the film. Also, check out this article that briefly mentions me and a few other artists who have music in the film.
After receiving that great news, I attended my girl’s bridal shower. It was beautiful. The room was decorated with pink, white, gold, and pearls. Everything was glamourous. There were different centerpieces on each table. Some of the tables were decorated with pearls, some with long stemmed candles, and others with flowers. It was so amazing being there with my friend. She looked beautiful.
We played games and we ate some delicious food from Bella Malanos. The best part of the ceremony was when my friend began opening her gifts. Everyone moved toward where she was sitting. She began reading cards and opening gifts. While she read the cards, she began wiggling her toes. She wiggled her toes the entire time. I know that is a weird thing to notice but I took it as she was really, really happy. I was happy that I could be there to share that moment with her.
Next, my girls and I went to a comedy show at Voce. Initially, we planned to go to BBs Jazz for a comedy show that they were having, but there wasn’t anywhere to sit. This was my first time going to Voce. It was a nice venue. They were a tad bit under-staffed that night but they made some money. The place was packed. We were able to find seats at Voce but they weren’t our ideal seats. We got stuck sitting behind the speakers. I had to hold my head at an angle to see. Although our seats sucked, the comedians were funny. The crowd was laughing and having a good time. St. Louis can be a tough crowd, especially for comedians. I’ve seen comedians get booed before--not a pretty sight. But, we had a great time. We always have a great time.
In the midst of all this, I have been back and forth to the hospital to check on my aunt. My aunt has been one of the most influential people in my life. My aunt helped raise us. My mother had some issues with drugs when my siblings and I were kids. My aunts and grandmother stepped up to the plate more than a few times. My aunt used to take us to places like the St. Louis Art Museum, the Science Center, Forest Park, the Fox, and Powell Symphony Hall. She introduced us to culture. She would read us books and recite poetry. She taught us our history as Blacks/African Americans. She always encouraged me to do theatre. When she was younger, she was taught by and danced for the legendary Katherine Dunham. I said all that to say this—she is a big part of the reason that I am who I am. I was devastated to find out that we almost lost her. So many great things were going on around me and my aunt was fighting for her life. My emotions have been all over the place. My aunt is a fighter and she has made a complete turnaround. Thank God. She teared up when I told her that my music would be in a film co-produced by Spike Lee. She loves his work. We don’t always see eye to eye but that’s okay. My aunt is one of the strongest women that I have ever met. I had faith that she would pull through.
Life can be a roller coaster ride. It has its ups and downs. I intend to ride it until the carnival closes if you catch my drift. I am so thankful for my blessing and opportunities. I know the path that I’m walking has been paved by a higher power. I pray for strength, courage, great health, and humility as I continue on this voyage. Again, my name is Raye Cole. This is my life as an Indie Artist in St. Louis. Check out my website Rayecolemusic.com or my Reverbnation page.