This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
creativityspotlight Spirit Awakening


An Interview with Akuyoe Graham by Kaitlynn Stupak


A


kuyoe Graham, author, playwright and actor, works with at-risk youth, helping them to realize their spiri- tual nature through self-expression. She will grace


Bucks County with her powerful presence this September to lead workshops with youth and perform her one-woman play, Spirit Awakening.


What about you and your background led you to where you are today? I was born in Ghana,West Africa, moved to England,


then to NewYork, and I now live in Los Angeles. In my mid- to late 20’s, I felt a gnawing feeling inside that I needed to be doing something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. When I met Sandy Meisner, an acting teacher whose methodology involved knowing oneself on a deep level, I decided to get to the root of my feelings of unworthiness by going deep.


I’ve always found


writing to be cathartic and I love the spoken word, so I created and performed a monologue that was a compilation of others’ works. StevieWonder happened to be in the audi- ence and said to me, “But who are you?” This prompted the writing of my play, Spirit Awakening, in 1989, as a way to express my journey of self-discovery.


How did you come to integrate your work with at-risk youth? Everything just fell into place, like a fairy tale or domino


effect. I found a job with a company teaching poetry to incar- cerated teens. Many of these youth struggled with the same issues I had overcome, and they were able to gain greater self-acceptance through the writing process. I also learned a lot from them. I eventually developed a nonprofit, Spirit Awakening Foundation, that had a similar aim but was more spiritually oriented.


What responses or notable differences are there with children as a result of your work with them? The presence you bring is important, because kids are


incredibly intuitive and know authenticity. Being myself sets the tone. The success rate has been humbling. Their reading has


improved, and there has been measurable improvement in voice and diction. Children are inclined to better express their authentic selves.


What message do you like to leave audiences with? Spirit Awakening is a truly deep experiential journey that


helps audiences to know themselves better. They release and accept, are inspired and feel lifted. The time is now for us to release what doesn’t serve


us as a society and embrace a new way of being. America would do well to listen to the voice of its own children.


Greenshire Arts Consortium will be hosting Akuyoe Graham’s visit. For more information, visit GreenshireArts.org. For more information about Akuyoe, visit Akuyoe.com.


20 BuxMont Edition www.naofbc.com


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32
Produced with Yudu - www.yudu.com