Audience participates in ‘Love Me’ performance

kaily sanders

“Life is not unfair – it’s balanced.”

These words of wisdom were offered by Stacy Dyson during her second appearance at City College on Feb. 20. Dyson, a performance poet, playwright and a cappella vocalist, performed in the Saville Theatre in honor of Black History Month.

Dyson began the show with a jazz singing performance, in which she had the audience participate by snapping their fingers along with her. She then performed a poem about her life highlighting her childhood and life challenges. During the show she performed pieces from her fifth CD, “(Love Me) San Diego Style,” and had guest speakers Jeeni Criscenzo Del Rio and Madeleine Nee perform as well.

Dyson spoke and sang about everything from memories of growing up with her mother and father, to women living with abusive husbands who rape and control them. She touched on many life topics, sharing experiences, lessons and poems about these issues.

“My parents raised me with the sense to know myself, the sense to be myself, the sense of a necessary existence,” said Dyson. “I had the best childhood. Faith and family and books and so much music. There was always music.”

Stacy Dyson is not just a featured performer. She is also a performance coach and Educational Outreach Director for So We Say, as well as co-founder of Page to Stage, a series of workshops for women. The workshops are based on writing prompts and fun performance exercises. Page to Stage is available in San Diego as well as North County.

Madeleine Nee, a Page to Stage North County graduate and guest speaker, executed a poem about being subjected to prejudice and animosity on behalf of her appearance.

“I understand that as a man, you’ve been told you have divine right to comment on my a– and my hair and my clothes,” Nee said, starting off her poem with sarcasm that made the audience break out in laughter.

“Let me make one thing very clear: you did not cross my mind once when I got dressed this morning. I don’t care if you like this color against my skin. I’m not concerned that you think my hair makes me look like a lesbian,” she proclaimed.

At the end of the show Dyson performed one more song, but this time she actually had the entire audience stand up and sing along. After briefly teaching the audience the words to the gospel song, everyone was snapping their fingers, swaying side-to-side and singing along.

“My favorite part was the gospel song because of the participation,” said Awana Payne, a classified City College employee who attended the show. Payne also enjoyed the presentation because, “There was a variety of performances and guest speakers.”

Dyson is currently working on her sixth CD, “13 Days in Purgatory.” For more information, visit http://saintwinterraines.webs.com.