Monday, January 8, 2018

Four Things I Learned at Date Night with Yvonne Orji


This past weekend, HEB and I had our first date night of the year by checking out Yvonne Orji (best known as "Molly" in the HBO series Insecure) at Carolines on Broadway.

Y'all.

She is so funny and we had such a good laugh and a great time!


And, in true Mommy Delicious fashion, I walked away with a few gems from the night. In no particular order, here are four things I learned from Yvonne Orji's stand-up act:

Have fun.
HEB and I had fun because she was having fun. Homegirl (can I call her that now?) came onto the stage dancing, she ended her act dancing, and she just starting dancing in the middle of her jokes. She laughed at her own jokes, and laughed with -- and at -- the folks in the audience. She was up there, all in her element, living her best life, and having fun while doing it. Definitely something to aspire to.

Own it. 
Yvonne was born in Nigeria and she owns her roots like it's nobody's business. During her act, she gave several shout-outs to the Nigerians in the room and rightfully so! She switched seamlessly from her American accent and her Nigerian accent in the middle of her jokes and it made them even funnier. She knows that her Nigerian heritage is what makes her who she is and she owns it. Confidently. Unapologetically.


Connections matter. 
Yvonne not only gave shout-outs to the Nigerians in the room, but also folks from all over the continent of Africa. She also gave shout-outs to the other Black women in the room (because: #blackgirlmagic). She told jokes, but also created moments where the audience was all like, "Yes, girl! I know what you mean!" She created so many moments like these throughout the show -- so many "me too" moments -- that the audience felt connected to her, connected to her stories, and invested in the entire show. Bottom line: connections matter. And telling your story matters. Which brings me to my next point...

Speak your truth. 
During her stand-up act, Yvonne spoke candidly about the fact that she only recently became able to enroll in auto-pay and reminded folks that auto-pay is not for convenience, but for the gainfully employed. (Word!) I remember reading an article in the Times a couple months ago about how she'll find a 2 Bros Pizza whenever she's in NYC to have a slice of pizza because there was a time in her career where she couldn't even afford that same $2 slice of pizza. She's not afraid to open up, speak her truth, and show people who she really is.

This is something that I try to do over and over again in this space because "highlight reels" don't get people through tough times. Only sharing the "good stuff" doesn't help other folks figure out how to make it through. Transparency is so important. It's like Mother O said, "What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have."

Word.

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