Saturday, July 27, 2019


It’s been a long time coming, and sorry for the wait but here is Episode 4! So much has happened since my last U.K. blog post where I expanded on my trip to Paris in my first year of Graduate school. I have now finished my second and completed my program! Crazy right? My second year was mighty. It was filled with a lot of ups and a few downs. C’est la vie. Lets jump right in. 

                        To start, the biggest thing that happened in the beginning of my second year was the loss of my grandfather, Alex Wilson. I really wasn’t expecting this to happen, but I had to fly home in the middle of my course to see him off. It was quite sad to see my mom experience that, but she was strong of course. She reminded me of where I get my strength from. I was very happy to see my family and to visit Louisiana. Sharing a hotel with my mom, sister, aunt, and grandma was so cool. We bonded like never before. That feeling of love is something I will always remember. 

When I returned back to England I hustled my ass off to put together my one-man show called “A Hero’s Journey” which was a research piece inspired by the mythologist Joseph Campbell. I thought I was very behind when I came back, but I gave it my all and the turnout was quite spectacular. I received so much excellent feedback from the audience and tutors and was advised to take it on the road which I am considering strongly. My second year was much more challenging mentally than the first. I had to remind myself countless times that “I was enough” because of the subtle depressive phase I was experiencing in the winter. The winter felt very long and cold and many times I wanted to lock myself somewhere away from everything. My head was very cloudy for a while and I felt like I was walking around blind to my surroundings. In the midst of these cloudy days I had a difficult time deciphering who were my friends. I lost trust in many people and had to fake my way through days and we all know how much I hate not being one hundred with everyone around me. It felt like a knife was shoved up my back and went straight through my heart. I became distant. I was left not trusting anyone I met. One of my best friends back home did not appreciate my hiatus but we hashed it out. We are good now. Don’t know what I’d do without her. 

In December, I ventured to Amsterdam 

It was a wonderful healing. What a magical place. What a liberating place. I was on this trip solo. I thought it was really cool that the main transportation in Amsterdam were bicycles. Everywhere you looked, everywhere you turned was a bike. I learned a few Dutch words, but I have forgotten most of them. I do remember Dank je wel which means “Thank you very much!” Amsterdam was gorgeous! 

I spent a lot of time on the canal learning about the history. I experienced the famous coffee shops and was sent to another galaxy when I tried a space cake. The people of Amsterdam were very smart with selling those good ass Nutella covered waffles near the coffee shops. I feel like they put Nutella on everything out there, as well as mayonnaise. I’m not complaining though.          

I went to the sex museum which completely blew my mind and exceeded my expectations. My favourite museum/landmark was the hiding place of Anne Frank. 

I learned so much about the Holocaust in Jr. High, but being in the hideout spot was just breath-taking. It was such a still but very powerful experience. 

            I knew my mood would be low after the museum, so I made sure my space cake was ready for consumption. I went directly to a Dutch Pancake restaurant which was near the Anne Frank hideout. DUTCH PANCAKES ARE AMAZING! I was so much in love and was tempted to order another serving of them. Imagine this beautiful image melting in your mouth:

Lastly, the red-light district is probably one of the wildest things I’ve ever seen. If you don’t know what the red-light district is then I suggest you use google because I want to keep this blog PG:13. 

When I returned for my second term of uni I was very excited because in the last five weeks I knew it was time for the first production of our year, Othello by William Shakespeare. The first five weeks were spent preparing for our last skilled assessments. Within these five weeks something incredible happened at my day job. I was working and ended up unknowingly serving Post Malones tour manager. I, along with two of my work friends was invited VIP into the concert. Yes, I met Post Malone and not only did I meet him, but I kicked his ass at beer pong. It was quite fun this night. I was never a huge Post Malone fan, but it was nice to see someone who was from the same place as I, make it as a star. He was a pretty cool guy. 

The first five weeks flew by; In the midst of this whole term I was slowly but surely preparing to play one of my dream roles, The Moor, Othello.

It was a rollercoaster ride for me. It was the most vulnerable I’ve ever been on stage and I, without a doubt, had to become an emotional athlete. As soon as I appeared on the stage I knew as I sat down to tie my combat boots, there was no backing out. I am so grateful for the opportunity to lead a show like that. My mom, both sisters, fraternity brothers and friends all came from America to see the show. The fact that I have people in my life that would fly a thousand miles to see me in my element truly warms my heart. 

When Othello closed I spent a few days with my friends and sister in London. There is nothing like traveling and spending time with people you love and trust. It was one of the highlights of my time here which led into my trip to Rome, Italy with my close friend and fraternity brother. 

Italy was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. It’s so crazy that people live in such a beautiful place. When we first arrived and sat to eat at a restaurant we experienced a bit of racism. There was some lunatic looking at me and my brother and shaking his head with disgust while we were minding our business ordering food. He was doing this constantly and made sure we saw him. We didn’t care though; the wine was too good! The food was exquisite. I ate so much pasta I feel like I picked up weight after the trip. When we got to old Rome, the history and architect that surrounded us was mesmerising. Old Rome was pretty much made up of old, weathered stone. 

Although a lot of things were destroyed and in pieces, you could tell what had been there and how massive it was. There was still so much still there! The Colosseum is even more massive in person. I wanted to somehow sneak to the middle of it but there was no way that was going to happen. I also was very much blown away by the Pantheon and the other cathedrals we saw. On the last night our plans to see the Trevi Fountain was cut short because of my unexpected food poisoning. I was so upset but it was nothing I could do. The trip was amazing. 

The icing on the cake was flying to Birmingham the next morning and heading to the Assassination Vacation Drake concert later that night. There is nothing like seeing your favourite artist. Drizzy put on a show! Shout out to my brother for buying me a ticket. Our traveling in March ended with us going to London and eating at Duck & Waffle for his birthday. Duck & Waffle was on (I think) the 40thfloor in a London skyscraper. I highly recommend it. The view is gorgeous. The best part of Rome and the concert was being in such good company. 

When returning for my last term of Grad school, me and my cohort had two final productions ahead of us. The productions were Mary Stuart and Harper Regan. These were two shows that I quite enjoyed learning from. I was directed by the famous Lynn Farleigh in Mary Stuart. Harper Regan was like a trip back home because how much of an ensemble piece it was. It was directed by Katy Weir. 

I played a boy named Tobias Rich, who was on the spectrum of Autism. I'm so happy to have experienced this because until then I've been very ignorant to the knowledge of autism symptoms and what people who have it go through. It was a hell of a challenge but I did my research, watched a brilliant show called "Atypical" and made him my own. Playing Tobias taught me a lot. 
When Harper Regan closed it was time for graduation! My mom and sister came out again and we had a blast exploring London and spending quality time. I really enjoyed it. Although my sister was faster than me in Karting by a millisecond. I taught her everything she knows though uh ha ha! I graduated July 23rd with distinction. I worked my ass off for two years so I expected nothing less. Working hard is only part of the reason though. I feel like I fully committed myself one hundred percent to everything I had done. Challenging myself to rise to the tasks given to me. Nothing was ever perfect, but I grew tremendously in many ways. For actors out there looking for good training, I highly recommend The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. The tutors are top notch. 

I have made many friends here and great memories that I will never forget. My undergrad was done at a historically black college university and coming here to a predominantly white country was a huge 360. Before I graduated from PVAMU one of my professors told me “You know how to do the black stuff, now go learn everything else.” My industry is still predominately white, so I knew exactly why he said that. It wasn’t that I had to, but to fly in this industry I got to know how to do it all. I’m still learning but I’m now more fluent on both sides. It was a challenge in which I conquered. 

Over these two years I really learned what it meant to protect my energy. You have to find your happiness and keep your goals close to your heart. People will try to discourage you, try to tear you down, might break your heart... but keep God first, remind yourself what you’re doing it for, keep your head up and guard your heart. 

“When people show you who they are, believe it the first time.” – Maya Angelou. 

I’ve never really been a patient person, but I learned a lot of patience here in the United Kingdom. Timing is also everything. If something doesn’t feel right then don’t do it until it does, if it ever does. Let nobody tell you how to control your time, not your family, not your friends. We can’t get it back. Don’t waste time on people that are not there for you. Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed. I’m always so amazed when people show their true colours. Especially when I thought they were my friends. Everything is a learning experience, even when we get hurt. I have no regrets. "I will wear my heart on my sleeve for daws to peck at."

I have found a fresh version of myself here. I will miss all of my friends and teachers. I will be moving to New York City very soon. I'm very anxious about it but I am so READY for this career and to shine bright. (I'm also accepting Grad donations!) Always remember not to compare your journey with anyone else’s because your journey is your own. It’s unique to you. You are enough and you can do anything your heart strive's for. GO OUT AND GET IT. As for me, center stage is where I belong. I couldn’t have gotten where I am now in growth without loved one’s support. I am in deep gratitude to you all. The journey was rigorous, but I wouldn’t have it any other way; 

No Way But This. 

Until next time!

(PS: I’m writing a fictional book. Stay tuned.)

 To stay up to date with CJ, please visit his website at

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