Welcome to Jovelyns world of storytelling :
Performance Artist/Teacher/Film Director/Coach/Radio Host
Each breath is prayer
live life as a poem that others want to recite
What does it mean to become human? Telling the best narratives of our individual and collective lives
There are spiritual gems everyday in our physical life that takes us on a journey towards our souls dream.
Think of tomorrow as being the place you arrive with the gifts you are gathering today.
So, today be present .
My name is Jovelyn Diana, I am a storyteller on stage, the world of literature, radio, and film. I grew up near a library it was one of the only places my mother gave me permission to travel alone lucky me! (I was one of eight siblings) Side bar: Which is why I probably became a solo performance artist.
My Grandmother and Mother are avid readers. Mother sent me at least once a week to get bring her books home. Both my grandmother and mother believed holding books are equally as important as holding hands and reading teaches us ways to hold the hands of diversity. The librarian expected my presences and knew my face well. What she did not know is that I took out books from the adult section pretending they were all for mother but really at least one or two books were for me. I read the adult themed books secretly in my bedroom closet. There were no princesses on the pages waiting to be rescued or knights in armor, princes to wed, or wolves instead there was a truth I connected too. I was eight years old reading, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Maya Angelou, and Willard Motley. I flung myself into the love of literature with passion and my imagination was on fire. My heart broke with the narratives of “others lives”! After those literary encounters the reading material in my classroom became one long boring session until… 8th grade. I was 13 years old and our teacher read out loud Emily Jane Bronte’s novel, Wuthering Heights. I wept openly yet silently in class, tears streaming down my face.
The other place I was able to go alone was to my grandparents. My grandparents owned a grocery store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin named Patterson’s Grocery Store. One of the few black owned businesses in the community. My grandparents lived behind the store in an attached apartment. The costumer’s that came to the store door were as vibrant, poetic lovely, and sometimes as desperate as the characters in the books I read. They were people of all colors, shapes, sizes, and accents. The people that shopped at my grandparents store had no boundaries to their stories or how to present them. They sometimes came in shouting, screaming, whispering, crying, or solemn with hunger begging to be put on the books until money became available. My grandparents store was a safe haven for the community of black people, spanish speaking families, Italians and gays (as was the term then). It was in many ways a confessional booth. Most of the community went to the Catholic churches in the area. I wonder decades later how many held the true confessions for Patterson’s grocery store. The people were gathered into a sort of wedding bouquet of various accents and skin colors in the struggle of daily survival and dreams among the can goods, boxes and meats. Patterson Grocery store was moving picture of emotions. I knew I would become a storyteller in every and anyway possible. I do this as a filmmaker, comedian, literacy instructor, novelist, performance artist and musician. I enjoy engaging my audiences, students, and friends in conversations of how and why it is essential to be present and realise the stories in our life, to examine the narrative of our collect lives. And lastly… how to be the author and the various voices of your life stories.
Jovelyn D, Richards