This week’s EP
Name: Valarie H
Place of Birth: Tyler, Texas
Occupation: Well, a bit of a gypsy..
I’ve, uh, done different things, and, uh, I
would consider what I do now to be within
the larger framework of being a teacher or
educator, uh, and uh, building on my background
in performance, initially as a modern dancer
and then as an actor, but I do, I did go to, I have a
Master’s degree in education with an
emphasis on Dance. Both my parents were
educators so, I consider, like teaching part
of our family tradition, if that answers your question?
Nice, Nice, that’s a perfect answer as a matter of fact
Ok, Valarie, what kind of kid were you?
Umm, probably the same as I am now! (laughs)
They love to tell stories about how I would just,
like, even in my crib just like, shake the, you know
the bars and I would squeeze through and run into
the, where the adults were and laugh, or I would
crawl over and fall down and get up and go
into where everybody was and laugh, uh,
always active, um, most of the pictures you
see of me, when I’m like under the age of
9 or 10 are fuzzy because I’m in motion.
My hair with it, you know, just all out there, so
uh, active, outgoing….
Cool, if you were to win 1 million dollars in the lottery
Tomorrow, what would you do with it?
Um, I’d probably initially consult with my
brother, who has a background in finance, and, to
see if there’s a way I could set up a foundation, and
um, there’s some charities that I’ve supported over
the years in my own modest way, but I would
love to live a life where most of what I did was
decide where money should go. I don’t have
huge needs…nice bottle of wine here and there,
but, uh, yeah, that’s what I would do. No question.
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Um, you mean other than my mom having given birth? (laughs)
To me? (laughs) Ummm, oh gosh it makes me cry cause
I’m here and I’m getting ready to leave and its….(teary)
Just, being loved in so many different ways…
Well, you very much are you have to know that
and you’ve given us, so, so, much, so we’ll move on…
Who is the funniest person you’ve ever known?
Ooh, um… one of my exes, not my ex husband
but, an ex-boyfriend, who had a keen sense of
the…ironic. He did not think of himself as funny,
but, you give him a situation where people
are like, not seeing the irony….slide. So, of
course, me being you know, a little more
controlled in terms of, everything I think
I don’t say..he would be whispering things
in my ear, and I’m like “don’t say that!”
“ssshhhhh”, “don’t say that out loud!”
you know, um, very bright, very capable,
uh, and, but just, unfailing in his observation
of people and their hypocrisies, shall we say
or their lack of self-realization. I myself
was not spared.
(laughing) OK, you were a victim as well?
I remember once he said to me, “You call yourself
an actress and you go out on auditions once a week…”
He says “I play basketball once a week on the weekend,
And I don’t call myself a professional basketball player!”
Wow! Um, I can see why you’re not with him anymore!
(laughs) That’s what most people say..but, just, without fail..
Ok, so who’s the funniest person you’ve ever seen?
Hmmm, who makes me laugh…I would have to say, uh,
present company excepted, of course, (laughs) cause
you’re incredibly funny yourself,
umm, is Steve Harvey. I saw him live in Atlanta and
he was soo funny, and he was talking about the
struggle to keep it all clean you know, marriages
behind, you know, and he says so much with his face
without saying anything, you just have to look at
him and crack up. He had us rolling.
Ok, Val if you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow,
Where is that place and why?
(breath) Hmmm, well, you know…if I know
my mom’s taken care of, that she’s ok, um, I
would probably be, in France, touring the major
wine regions, because when I lived there, I wasn’t
studying it, I was just..there, so, you know, Burgundy
was lost on me, I drank the wine, it’s a pretty place,
“where we going next?” you know? But I would go
back in a really focused way, to, the different major
Nice, I look forward to your getting to do that…
Ok, you’re going to live the rest of your life on a
deserted island but you can only take one of each?
Candy Bar? Ooh, which candy bar? Guilty pleasures…
probably Pay Day cause its got the nuts, the chocolate,
got a little salt…it’s old school..
Type of Food? You know, I don’t tell my
French friends this, but, I love Italian food.
Italian seafood dishes…you can’t beat it.
Just don’t tell your French friends!
Album or CD? Ooh, gosh, album or CD?
It would have to be something by Stevie Wonder,
who is my all-time favorite. And, um, probably the
one…its not Talking Book, I think it’s Fulfillingness
First Finale, um, it’s got a number of tunes on it…
I mean, you could pick any, but, that’s one of the one’s
Book? (pause) you know I love The Prophet only cause
for me, it’s like a condensed version of how you see life.
Um, the Bible, of course has so much wisdom in it..
It’s a tossup..
For Conversation purposes, you can take one person,
living or dead? Just to have a conversation with?
Just to have conversation with, yes..
(long pause) you know, it would probably be, um, (pause)
someone from a different era..and I’m trying to, his name
escapes me..but he, uh, was an actor and singer and he went
to, I think it was Rutgers….big voice…
Paul Robeson! Because he was really amazing and he
stepped out politically, was very brave, you know,
he had intellect, he had talent, he had athleticism,
and he stepped out into the world and said, “This is me!”
and paid a very heavy price for it.
Agreed, a good one…Ok for romantic purposes,
you can take one person living or dead?
I’m about to cry cause he taken…
Not for you! On the island, everything is idyllic!
Well then, Idris Elba!
OK last question. What would you like for other people to say about you?
Oh gosh, I once posed that question to Judith Jameson, the director
of the Alvin Ailey Dance company, I had a chance to interview her, and,
what she said struck me…she said “I would like for people to know that
I celebrated each individual and their individuality.” And I would say
I feel something similar, who celebrated people for who they
were, and for their individuality.