Katrina Byrd's Blog

August 17, 2012

Dear Fellow Boa Flouncers,

On August 13, 2012 the Katrina Byrd Fanpage reached 1,000 likes!!

The Katrina Byrd Fanpage was created on January 21, 2010 by Katrina Byrd, writer, playwright, actress, performer and teaching artist. Though I’d learned of the many benefits of having a fanage during a workshop led by Diane de la Casa and sponsored by the Mississippi Arts Commission, the thought of starting a fanpage frightened me. I am not beautiful, rich or famous. Who would want to follow me? As I created the page I thought of the words of my friend and mentor Diane Williams. “It’s about the journey,” she once told me. So I often think of the Katrina Byrd Fanpage as a documentation of my journey as a storyteller. As I tell my stories on stage, in the classroom, on paper, through music I share it on the Katrina Fanpage. The fanpage features links to community events, pictures, promotions of other artists as well as Katrina Byrd and original posts like:

Today is about getting things done. Coffee. Done. Sitting down in favorite chair. Done. Doing work that requires me to put down my coffee mug and get out of my favorite chair....well, hey I can't do everything in one day.
Feburary 26, 2010

This morning I attempted to give my kitty cat a pill. I scooped him up and opened his big Tom Cat cheeks and poked in a pill wrapped in tuna. Tuna went down smoothly. I got the pill back. Okay, so I was finally successful but now I have more holes than Swiss cheese.
March 31, 2010

During the first year the Katrina Byrd Fanpage grew to over 300 fans. By January of 2012 the Katrina Byrd Fanpage had grown to over 600 fans. The growth of the Katrina Byrd Fanpage is due to the amazing support of friends, family, and organizations - Novel Publicity, Jackson Free Press, Writers of the South, The Indie Exchange, Book Junkies, Coffin Hop, Book Titans, Center Players Community Theatre, Fondren Theatre Workshop, ACLU of Mississippi and many others. The Katrina Byrd Fanpage which has two administrators – Dora Robertson and Katrina Byrd – reaches a diverse selection of women and men from age 13 – 65 and up. The 1,000 fans on the Katrina Byrd Fanpage represent 20 countries, 20 United State’s cities and 9 languages including French, Swedish and Arabic.

In addition to using the Katrina Byrd Fanpage to promote myself and other artists, I also find that it is an awesome way to get instant feedback on writing. As I shared in Dramatist to Dramatist, a writing workshop that I designed, making post on facebook as well as blogging and tweeting are wonderful ways to jump start your writing life. These posts my appear small but I can spend as much as 45 minutes to prepare a facebook post.

This is Katrina Byrd reporting outside of the dance studio where Chloe Bryant Campbell , the famous dancer, will be rehearsing. I am here with my camera man, Jim. –Oh, there she is! (I’m running toward her) Chloe!! Darn it! She went inside before I could get to her. I’ll try again later. (Jim) “Uh…Katrina. Uh..your hair.” (Katrina) “What’s wrong with my hair?” (Jim) “It’s on the ground.
A post promoting Chloe Campbell’s upcoming dance recital; .May 24, 2010

On my 2nd bowl of ice cream the little voice inside my head said, "Just eating ice cream for breakfast will make you sick." So on the third bowl I added chocolate and nuts.
April 12, 2011

At times we all feel that we're at a stand still. When I feel that I'm not moving forward. I turn to the chick behind me and say, "Get your FOOT off of my boa!!" And then I'm able to move forward with the poise and grace of a bull in a china shop.
August 29, 2011

One thing I can't stand is fr someone to interrupt me during my exercises. There I was in the middle of my sit downs when the phone rang. Can you believe it? I had to get up, lay my dark chocolate candy bar on the table next to my caramel latte and answer the phone. After I said hello the caller wanted to know if I was Melvin Johnson. Being the kind, sensitive person that I am I said, "Yes, this is Melvin. How can I help you?" Then there was silence. After a few brief moments of audible oral processing, which included a few expletives, the caller realize that she had the wrong number. she said, and I quote; "I got da' wrong numba'" I ended the call and returned to my chair. Well, at least I got two sit downs in this afternoon.
August 14, 2012

Since the beginning of the Katrina Byrd Fanpage I have remained dedicated to sharing my journey, promoting others, flouncin’ my boa and sharing humor.

Fellow boa wearers, check this. I was outside this morning cleaning out the ditch in front of my house. Now I know I was ugly. A woman just knows these things. My shirt was torn. My jeans had more holes than Swiss Cheese. I was sweaty and I did NOT smell the best. Sweatin' does that to me, you know. And we're not gonna EVEN talk about my hair. Chile, it was bawled up on my head. Anyway this dude in a truck drove by. Nice truck too. He passed the house then backed up; did you hear me? I say, the brotha backed up just to ask me for my phone numba'. Either I'm tough stuff even when I'm ugly or the dud needed a ditch cleaner for his yard.
August 10, 2012

I am so thankful for the support that everyone has shown for the Katrina Byrd Fanpage. It is with a grateful heart and a plushly feathered boa that say thanks for being on the Boa Flouncer’s Team!

Katrina Byrd
Story teller and Boa Flouncer
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Published on August 17, 2012 11:29 • 152 views

July 6, 2012

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact Person

Katrina Byrd


Katrina Byrd, teaching artist, storyteller and Jackson native, has been accepted to both the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Artist Roster and Teaching Artist Roster.

Katrina Byrd is a storyteller (playwright, writer, performer and teaching artist) who has developed several writing workshops for writers and playwrights. “I feel that it is important to share the gift of writing,” says Byrd who will be presenting her workshop The Story Recipe at the 2012 Whole Schools’ Institute.

Byrd has had several of her short plays performed by Fondren Theatre Workshop, Vicksburg Theatre Guild and her play CPR Training, directed by Jeffery Murphy, was performed by the Detectives’ Dinner Theatre at University Medical Center’s annual Martin Luther King Program in January 2012. Byrd has also written several monologues that have been performed locally by several theatre artists and two of her short stories have appeared in Black Magnolias Literary Magazine.

Byrd designed the Dramatist to Dramatist playwriting workshop while she was playwright in residence at the Center Players’ Community theatre in Madison. Dramatist to Dramatist, designed from the stand point of one artist sharing with another, is designed to help writers and playwrights enhance their skills. Since then she’s developed several workshops including The Story Recipe, Man in the Mirror and Shake Rattle and Roll.

“I am excited about being added to the Artist Roster,” says Byrd who is excited about traveling to more schools and communities to share her workshops. “There are so many people who are intimidated by writing. I want to share the joy of creating your own stories.”

Katrina Byrd, author of three books, is available to speak to schools and other organizations about her experience in motivational and fiction writing and play writing
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Published on July 06, 2012 07:31 • 170 views

March 6, 2012

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I am never more nervous than when one of my plays are read or performed in front of a audience for the first time. Next Sunday night an excerpt from my new play Portrait of a Woman will be read by a cast of great local actors at Lumpkins BBQ. Portrait of a Woman is a diverse genre piece centered on the female experience. I have been nervous since the first moment I’ve entertained the idea of writing a piece like this. It is not difficult, not a new idea – it is just new to me.

Last spring I was reading some of my writing when I realized that much of my writing is about women and issues experienced from a female point of view. So I thought it would be a great idea to put those pieces together and make them into a play in the style of the Vagina Monologues. So Portrait of a Woman consists of poetry, short fiction, short plays and even personal quotes all written by me. My next idea was to apply for an Artist Minigrant from the Mississippi Arts Commission to have a reading of this new piece. From the moment I receive the grant I find that I have been so nervous.

Every step on this journey has been great. Monique, owner of Lumpkins BBQ, graciously offered her restaurant for the reading. The script is complete, Robby, an amazing theatre artist, has agreed to direct it and a wonderfully talented group of actors have agreed to perform it. I have also managed to pull other women into the project by using local women on the poster and by designing a coloring book that features a diverse assortment of intelligent, strong, beautiful, talented women from may walks of life. And the event has been scheduled during Women’s History Month.

So, if everything is going well for Portrait of a Woman, why am I nervous? Because I am human. During my journey as an artist I’ve had many comments from folks – well meaning, loving folks- who believe that this artistic journey of mine is a choice and or a way for me to show off. I find myself associating with a variety of people in many walks of life and the common thread is that they all are human. They get nervous. They have good days. They have bad days.

I had one lady to tell me once that her work was real and mine was just something I’ve made up. I found her statement upsetting and very unsettling but I did not reply. I left her with her opinion. And I made a vow to not define myself by someone else’s opinion. So, even in nervousness, I move forward with my work.

To RSVP to the Portrait of a Woman Event click the link below.
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Published on March 06, 2012 08:11 • 114 views • Tags: playwright, portrait-of-a-woman, writing

February 14, 2012

One recent, warm, sunny Wednesday morning I entered the Nelson Student Union located on the University of medical Center Campus. I was unsure of where I needed to be so I walked briskly through the building looking as important as and as sophisticated as one who wore a loud blue turtle neck, boa and fingernail polish could look. I ducked into the ladies’ room and called Jeff. Once he gave me directions I emerged from the ladies’ room in a luminous ball of blue as I rushed up the staircase with my boa draped about neck. I met Jeff at the stop of the stairs. Together we walked into the performance space where he cautioned me about electrical chords that lay on the floor. “Be careful when you fall,” he said.

In the summer of 2011 Jeff asked me write a play about religious and racial diversity for the UMC annual Martin Luther king Jr. Service. The play I wrote was titled CPR Training. The play began with five coworkers gathering for cpr training. The training is unable to continue because Trish, a vocal Christian who ends all of her sentences with hallelujahs and amens, is rumored to be taking a smoke. As the play continues, Hattie (played by me), an African American, woman with terrible indigestion, discloses that she’s Jewish. This announcement shocks Mark, the cpr facilitator, Dennis, the Atheist and Ashley, who is a bit timid minded. The characters’ beliefs about themselves and each other are tested when Hattie becomes ill and passes out. Who offers to save her? The answer to that question can be found at the end of the play!

I stood in front of the large room with my fellow cast mates who are members of The Detectives Dinner Theatre as the audience applauded our performance. This was my first time performing with The Detectives. They were amazing. Once the applause died down I went to the podium and said a few words about acts of compassion as they related to Dr. King, his service and as they related to UMC.

UMC has been a part of my life since birth. I was born with congenital cataracts and my eyes wandered. Dr. Samuel Johnson was my eye doctor until I became a young adult. About four years ago I returned to UMC for my eye care needs. This time I saw Dr. Kimberly Crowder. In the past four years I’ve seen a number of UMC doctors who, through surgeries and medicines, corrected my eyes so that my site is MUCH better than before. I’ve also sought treatment for a shoulder injury as a result of a car accident. I am pleased with everyone at UMC and on this beautiful, sunny Wednesday I had the opportunity to say thank you.
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Published on February 14, 2012 11:58 • 103 views

February 7, 2012

Tonight I had the pleasure of hearing . "Scrambled," written by Beth Kander. “Scrambled” is the winner of the 2012 Southeastern Theatre Conference Getchell award for best new play. As I listened to the actors speak the beautiful words I couldn’t help but to be thankful that I am a part of such a wonderful, talented, artistic community. Tonight’s reading, hosted by Fondren Theatre Workshop and Brents’ Drugs, is the first of many to come. As the story unfolded I learned more about the Jewish religion, relationships and the challenge of having to define oneself. The dialogue is real and believable. The characters are strong. I really enjoyed tonight and hope to continue to support Fondren Theatre Workshop’s mission of supporting playwrights, actors and directors.
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Published on February 07, 2012 20:45 • 186 views