Exclusive Photo Feature

A Two-Show Day With Saycon Sengbloh of Fela!

First show of the day. I just got my wig on for the matinee now its time to paint my face! I gotta make my circles and dots to wear for the opening number! Once my dots are done, I do the opening number and come back to the dressing room to wipe my face and simplify my makeup for my next scene. Back to my dressing room, which I like to call the "Presidential Suite."  Note the tiny photo of President Obama above my name! Mindy my dresser is mending Patti LaBelle's "Gele," also known as headwrap! She will wear this in the second act. OMG Patti! Mary from Sound has come to "blow my microphone" with her pressurized can of air! Is that my cowery-shell bra hanging on the chair? Before I go out onstage Mary's gotta blow the microphone piece nice and clear! I try to do some sit-ups and crunches before my big entrance, "Lover." Dear God, can I have a six-pack when I grow up? All alone in the dressing room, everyone's onstage except me! This dressing room is the best, with all the bright lights.  I come to pay Oneika Phillips a visit. During the second act, Oneika and I marvel over Patti LaBelle's photo. We love Patti! Patti! Patti! Patti! Our doorman Dimitri greets me before I venture out to find food and do some Christmas shopping before our evening performance. He says, "No Saycon, you did not get a package." I'm hungry after that matinee but I've gotta start my holiday shopping. I think I may just eat this Christmas tree! Before the second show, I grab a festive holiday-flavored coffee drink with sprinkles and whipped cream and the evening paper. I like to read in between scenes! Abena Koomson's got the right idea, ordering food delivery to the stage door. Talu prepares his drum for the stage. Tightening the strings to make sure its just right! I decided to pay Patti LaBelle a visit before the evening show begins. Patti always smells nice! She sprays her fragrance several times a day! Air kisses, honey! "Diva" to "mini-diva" style! Time for show No. 2! Most of our show is performed barefoot, so foot care is imperative.  Some of us tape our feet or wear gear to protect the feet from the floor. Justin Prescott and Hettie Vyrine Barnhill are getting ready! Shaneeka Harrell's got her makeup dots on, too, and tons of bracelets  so she's ready to go. Our costumes are pretty bare and it's cold in the theatre.  We're wearing our robes to keep our bodies warm before the show. The production stage manager Linda Marvel stops for a moment at intermission to pose for the camera! We gotta get to "places" on time for the second act. Hettie, one of Fela's "Queens," sneaks in a five-minute power nap on the floor next to the bandstand. Shhh  do not disturb! After the second show, we're ready to get out into the night air! Elasea Douglas and I take a moment under the <i>Fela!</i> marquee! Were jumping for joy, because we love our show and we have a day off tomorrow! I met my sweetheart, Danny, after the show. Danny decides to recreate the back bend on the poster outside the theatre. Danny gazes deeply into my eyes and says, "Honey, which train should we take tonight, the A or the Q?" Jeffrey Page has just arrived at our favorite post-show hang out spot. We all go there after a long day to unwind. Nicole Chantal de Weever and Talu Green say "Yeah, Yeah!" in the restaurant next door after our Sunday night show. I'm gonna have a chat with the guys from our band! There's nothing like an ice cold drink after the last show of the week. Hey, its Kevin Mambo!  He's Fela! You'll see him on stage non-stop, but he stops by to have a bite to eat. The end of a long week.  Danny and I try to catch a nap on the subway train home to Brooklyn.
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