• DeAara Lewis

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Where I’ve Been (New Show/New Blog)…

Hey there everyone!  I know it has been a LOOOONG time since I’ve posted to this blog.  I just want you guys to know that I am still out there, still grinding and I have a new website that I am developing and will be moving many of post of over there.  “One Chick Army”.  “One Chick Army” is a blog based on a show I am hosting on Youtube. I discuss many of the things I talk about in this blog, but with added video!

So go to “One Chick Army” and register so that we can stay connected.  Chat later!


Now That George Zimmerman Has Been Acquitted, What Will Black Mothers Tell Their Sons?

Now that George Zimmerman has been acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin, what will black”mothers tell their sons? Much has been written about how the verdict and how racial profiling affects young African-American men, but little has been written about how it affects fearful African-American mothers struggling to cope with the verdict.

Watch the video, post your thoughts and share.

“The Forgotten Ones” a Film that Questions Freedom of Religion and Freedom From It, Debuts Online!

The Forgotten Ones poster

The Forgotten Ones was the very first film I produced independently. It was originally entitled, Suicide Queens but that sounded a bit cliché. One day while on my break at work, I was sitting in the kitchen trying to figure out what I wanted my first project to be. I had just wrapped up a play and had made many friends in it, friends I would call on when it became time to produce the film. An idea then came to me – what if a woman is visited by two women from her past, still connected to her in some mysterious way and they threaten to destroy her entire life and career with a dark secret? That idea got me very excited for many reasons.


As I developed the story, I decided to work in much of what I had learned about interpersonal emotional work. I learned about the concept of psychological shadows and the works of Carl Jung from my father and an organization he co-founded called Inward Journey. It was there that I also got the opportunity to train in psychodrama, a process that uses elements of dramatization to help people gain insight and resolution into the parts of their lives that cause them distress.

I wondered what that could look like brought to life in film and that’s when I started to develop the idea.

I wanted power-house performances coupled with a strong story, not knowing that I was developing what would become my trademark style in my filmmaking. I wrote the story and immediately called on a college buddy named Eric Yang. Eric was an exceptionally talented filmmaker and cinematographer (he has two master degrees in film and won a Student Academy Award). Our friendship was cemented in one of our evening film classes when it was very late and he still was working on his production for finals. Eric, being the perfectionist that he is, ran over time and many of the students left. The assignment was due the next day and he didn’t have the option of postponing it. So I amongst a hand full of other students, chose to stay for the remainder of the night to help him finish. From then on, our friendship grew. We both knew it was this underlying loyalty that we both shared to the craft of filmmaking.

My cast and crew ended up being a combination of college, high school and acting mates I met throughout the years. Once I had everything in place, we hit the ground running, but not without adversity. My grandfather died when I first began writing the story and two months shy of my graduating college – something he had really tried to “hold out” for. The film was originally supposed to be shot at my home, but my home caught fire and was completely destroyed taking most of my personal belongings with it.

From that point, I stayed between my grandmother and a friend while my mother agreed to let me shoot at her house. The last thing I needed was a camera and spent my entire paycheck coupled with my tax refund on my very first professional camera. To say I was broke was an understatement. However, I was fortunate enough to be working in my field right out of college and was able to borrow the remainder of the equipment from my job.

Production had its ups and downs. I mostly edited at my job during my time off, but I had to share the computer with students and didn’t have the luxury of installing other types of software. I bought an external hard drive to store my footage, but quickly learned that external did not mean portable and lost three months worth of editing when my drive crashed one day due to it being moved around so often. That was one of the saddest days of my lives.

I then picked up a second job as a waitress and then as a camera operator at a news station to save money to build my own editing station. It would take me close to two years to edit the film due to the numerous setbacks. However, it was all worth it when it debuted to a sold out audience. The response was overwhelming. The Forgotten Ones went on to play at quite a few festivals, including one in New York City where it won an honorable mention.

The organization, Inward Journey, uses it as a training tool and the University of Denver added the film to their psychology department materials. Personally, I have had numerous people come up to me and tell me how deeply the film touched them and helped them to have courage to face their deepest fears.

The Forgotten Ones is a story which reminds us that just because we choose to forget about our past, does not mean our past forgets about us. Visit www.theforgottenonesmovie.com to watch the film.

How I got over being teased, needing “closure” and hating myself…

My sister and I watched the movie “You Again” this weekend.  I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and believe it was perfect timing because of some residual feelings I had been wrestling with following a very emotional week due to a serious health scare.   The film talks about closure, forgiveness and acceptance.  Themes that are often discussed, but not always interpreted in the most effective way.

I underestimated the power of closure, the power that simply saying, “I’m sorry,”  “I was wrong,” can really have on someone else’s life.    I liked that the film really showed how we are treated in our early and high schools years can dictate damn near the rest of our lives if we are not able to see it.   One line I love that Jamie Lee Curtis’ character says in the film is, “None of us make it out of high school unscathed.”  And she is right.  Although high school for me was quite adventurous, I still dealt with bouts of insecurity.  I was sophomore, junior and senior class president, voted most school spirit, most talented, and best all around.   I had big dreams, wanted to change the world, wanted to move to Hollywood right when I graduated and “make it.”   Yet, I also had massive insecurity which worked for and against me.   It made me super independent because I hated asking people for things for fear that I would be rejected, but it made it harder for me to reach out and maintain connections that could really benefit me because I was afraid I would do something or say something to make someone not like me.  As a result,  I became standoffish and protective.  Being very outgoing and ambitious creates admirers, but it also creates enemies in the form of leeches, groupies, and haters.  And for some reason, I drew more of these people to my inner circle than the former and couldn’t understand why.

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The Truth About Being Single…

I was reading an article the other day about being “Successfully Single.”   The article was describing all the things that singles should and could do to live their lives to the fullest during this “transition.”   To tell you the truth, the article made single hood more alluring than couple hood.   I’m a risk taker at heart, always have been.   I will try almost anything once just to have the experience.    So many of the things that were being suggested to do while One is single was quite attractive – sky diving,  hang gliding, traveling the world,  swimming with wild dolphins  (I’m a dolphin fanatic) and pursuing your passion to the fullest all while making new friends to experience these ventures with or going solo if that’s your choice.

After reading the article, it got me to thinking, “Why does all this have to stop when One enters into a relationship?”    Of course, most articles will suggest that this new found attitude continue well into your new relationship, but most folks know that it will slowly simmer down to the monotonous life that many had before they got involved.    The reason why, it seems, is because many people only start “living” in order to prepare themselves for a relationship.     It’s like, their life is on hold, all the fun, the spontaneity, the waking up daily high on life doesn’t really count because they are single.   It only counts when they are in a relationship – at least that’s how much of society dictates it to be.

I then read another article from a Singles Website that stated:

The goal of being alone should not be to prepare us for couple hood. Rather, the goal of being single should be to learn to fulfill ourselves, to meet our needs, and to develop as a human being regardless of whether or not we choose to enter into a relationship. By learning to love and care for ourselves, we diminish the risk of starving for someone else to fill the void within our souls; a void that only we can truly fill.

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“It’s Too Hard To Be Your Friend!” Why “Cutting People Off” Can Actually Backfire…

Of all of the manipulative tactics some folks try to use to control other people, cutting someone off, severing ties or holding grudges with someone has to be one of the most extreme and immature.  This is a tactic I know very well, I grew up around it, saw it demonstrated on a regular basis and before I came became conscious, used it myself.

The thing about cutting someone off that you consider close is, you have to really, really know their vulnerable parts or it won’t work.  I have a cousin who has made a living out of cutting people off when they do not do what it is she thinks that they should do or if they say something contrary to what she believes.   As a result, many people started to tip toe around her or naturally pull away from her themselves.  The result?  She lives a very secluded life, probably has to think about who she can and cannot call because she doesn’t remember who she is not speaking to.

And as I stated earlier, I have used that same tactic as well.  And over the years what I have discovered is, only save that for people who you really mean to cut off and really plan to unplug from, make sure there is a real violation where completely disconnecting is the best choice for you, otherwise, it is a method of control and rarely do you get what you want out of it.  And even though you have so-called disengaged from someone, they may be actually controlling you.  You have to think about what family functions or friend get togethers that you can and cannot go to because you don’t want to run into that person.  And if you do run into that family member or friend, you have to engage in extra concentration so you can appear to not be concerned with that other person.  Folks, from experience, that’s a miserable existence to live with egos grandly inflated.

One technique I use on people when they start hollering about, “I am cutting XYZ off!” is by asking them what is that they really want from that person.  Usually they just want to be heard, acknowledged, or an apology for something that was done.  However, sometimes even when they get this, they still do not reconnect because now they are ashamed or either feeding their fragile, insecure egos off of the fact that the other family member or friend is reaching out to them wanting to reconcile.

Now if you do finally accept their apology and you guys kiss and make up, more than likely that person is going to be on eggshells; uncomfortable to confront you about anything or to make a mistake.   Some people may think this is okay until you realize that people are no longer authentic with you,  they avoid you just as much as you avoid them because they don’t want the drama.  Suddenly, you are no longer invited to  family gatherings, outings or anything because no one really wants to deal with a controlling, sensitive, manipulative grouch.  And what happens?  You end up alone and isolated.  The only type of people you can attract are just as toxic and lost as you are.  There is no longer a person in your life strong enough to say, “Man, that was fucked up what you did.” and hold you accountable.

Relationships are the most important thing on this planet.  That’s really all life is about.  So be careful when you cut someone off, if you have to, make sure you have exhausted all other possible solutions first.    Because if not, it could backfire, you may find the person you cut off is not as emotionally plugged into you as you thought or hoped; OR they are aware and conscious enough to not want to deal with that type of destructive behavior and decide to cut you off as well.  In other words, sometimes some people may conclude that it may be too difficult to be your friend.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Women…

This is a special post for the ladies who have been in emotionally draining and painful relationships.

It is no secret that I have been in recovery for the last three and half months following a very shocking and painful breakup with my long-term mate.  One moment I felt like I was on cloud nine and the next, I was caught up in fear and a world of confusion.   I often asked myself  “How could this happen to me?”,  I was a good girl, very devoted, never lied, never deceived but still was treated very terribly by someone whom at one time was my best friend.  Betrayal is something I don’t handle very well, I am a lot like Janet Jackson in that area.  Once you’ve betrayed me, it’s very hard if not impossible to get back in my circle.  And I was so hurt, I told the story many, many times until a very close friend said something I will always keep with me.  “If you continue to deal with trash, it will eventually get in your eye.”  Now she wasn’t calling my former mate trash, but she saw how the hurt, bitterness and anger had almost consumed me and those words reminded me to step back in Self.  My former mate and I had allowed so much poison to be injected in between us that I almost got caught up in meaningless bullshit.

I had to deal with a very unconscious woman harassing me because in her mind, she had taken my place and now saw me as a threat.  She attempted to attack me without having all of the data.  She assumed that once I learned of her existence, that I had tried to woo my former mate back to me, however, she did not know that my former mate had never disclosed who she was until after he attempted to reconcile with me and I declined.  Not only that, he was not honest about the nature of their relationship, he simply told me he had a friend.

And what’s even sadder is that she sees herself as the victim, even though she knew of my existence long before I knew of hers.  She even once told me that my former mate should have told me everything about them and all I could remember thinking was, “No, he should have told YOU everything about us.”    She had no idea of the emotional and financial sacrifices I made to keep my former mate alive when he almost died, she had no idea how many times he wanted to reconcile, after he had already formed a relationship with her, but I declined because he wouldn’t get help.

There is no telling what he told her or had her believing about me or what really happened between us. All I knew is that if I had to choose, I would rather be in my situation dealing with this, than his.  He never allowed himself anytime to heal from what happened with us, he just immediately attempted to connect with someone else to numb the pain.  And this poor girl, so lonely, so afraid of raising her children alone, so wanting to be loved, just accepted it.  She didn’t have enough confidence in herself to say to him, “I play second to no woman.”   And now, she is insecure.  Constantly going through his things, wondering are we still communicating, wondering if he is going to be faithful to her and all I can remember thinking is – you wanted him so bad, you got him and all the shit that comes with him.  And I can only imagine what it must be like to be dating a man, planning a life with him while knowing that the only reason he is with you is because the other woman would not take him back, despite anything else he may have said.

What she also didn’t realize is, I play second to no woman.  And I don’t date men that are in current relationships, I don’t attempt to get pregnant to make sure they don’t leave me, I don’t let them move in with me after they have just moved out of another woman’s house and I don’t try to trap or manipulate them in hopes of them not leaving me.  Ladies, it is a miserable existence to live like that.

After this experience, I have decided to make this one of my platforms.  I want to help women build their self-confidence up to know that they do not need validation through a man.  There are so many of us out there that just accept whatever circumstance so we don’t have to be alone.    That is not a pleasant existence to live.  Loyalty should first be to yourself and if you put up with  and accept certain things from your mate simply because you don’t want to be alone, you still don’t end up with what you want in the end.  All you do is waste time and possibly lose years of your life.

I am not ashamed to talk about my experience or to admit that I am still healing from the pain.  I have just accepted that shit happens, sometimes to really good people, but life goes on so get the trash out of your eyes and start living it.

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