That BBQ, goodness gracious…! When I heard Denyce yelling, I was both confused and concerned for her. I was not present for whatever initially set her off, didn’t know who she was on the phone with, and did not have a clue as to what the problem(s) were. I just knew she was mad-boots about something, and was hoping that she would calm down enough to safely get herself home. Denyce caught the flu shortly thereafter and was dreadfully sick – which is why she wasn’t present at drinks a couple nights later with the girls and I. I believe she would have attended had she been able to, but she had germs and didn’t want to get anyone else sick! I do believe that Eva had every right to be upset at Denyce’s behavior at her BBQ. The party was ruined, the guests were subject to an awkward experience at best, and it unfortunately just didn’t show Denyce’s best side. We all only want Denyce to win, to be happy, to be her greatest self – which is AMAZINGLY great, by the way – so the display that night was pretty disappointing.
Hearing that Denyce is thinking about giving up her career and moving back home is a surprise to me. Whatever her ultimate decision is, I will support her. Show business is incredibly tough to achieve a high level of success in – especially when you’re trying to make it as on-camera talent. Denyce has worked very hard to make it happen during the years she’s spent in Los Angeles. If the best choice is for her to move on, I will respect that.
I decided to kidnap Denyce and take her to Eva’s because several days had passed without any real conversation about the night of the BBQ. It needed to happen before people got so far into their feelings that the damage was irreparable. Denyce is difficult to gauge, and I wasn’t quite sure how well it was going to go – so I was pleased when she apologized to Eva. I think it was the appropriate thing for her to do, and felt a wave of relief that the two of them were able to hug it out! The conversation then turned to how we as a group of friends can help Denyce with managing her life. I disagree with Eva that Denyce needs a “life coach.” I was very clear in my position that I believe Denyce should seek professional medical counsel. I have not changed my mind about this. Denyce has experienced a series of seriously traumatic life experiences that absolutely can cause a person to become depressed or suffer from any number of other medically treatable illnesses. Unfortunately, issues of mental health are stigmatized in communities of color, and we fail to acknowledge that these are diseases – just like other medical conditions. I strongly suggest that Denyce get help from a medical doctor that can address her with an expertise that neither her friends, a counselor, or a “life coach” can. This wasn’t the first time Denyce had heard this from me, but it was indeed the first time it had been communicated outside of a private setting.
I was all the way worn out from the uncomfortable events and conversations that had been happening, so I was looking forward to a little Ladies Night! When Eva broke the news that the big role she was up for had been changed to a transgendered person, my initial reaction was laughter! We tease Eva about her deep, gravel-y voice all the time, so it just seemed so ironic and kind of perfect for her. Then the water-works started, and I was confused like, “Are you actually CRYING about this?!” It’s acting! You’re an actress! Sounded like a cool, fun role to me, but clearly Eva didn’t see it the same way – at least not at first. She'll be fine. She's tough!