Sharee and I met Betty Jean Nobles through previous What Is My Passion interviewee Jauntia Frederick. Here is Betty Jean Nobles in her own words. Enjoy and leave us a comment below.
I was born to write and perform. After raising 3 children and 34 years of teaching, I am ready to fully embrace my dreams. My life has taken lots of twists and turns. I was born in Augusta, Georgia, during the time of blatant segregation. “Jim Crow Laws” ruled the south. Black folks stayed in their own area of town, creating their own style of entertainment. Everyday, my Mom sang spirituals and the blues from the bottom of her soul, as she braided my hair. Most evenings, after dinner, my Dad, gathered us young ones up, and told great stories about our ancestors, and humorous riddles about life. When Daddy wasn’t telling stories, he challenged us to compete against each other as storytellers. I was one happy child. Nobody at home ever told me “that little chocolate girls were not supposed to feel smart and beautiful, and Dream Big…!”
When I came to Philadelphia, I was a child filled with big dreams. My parents showed me love, mostly Southern Black Baptist style. I began performing in front of large audiences around age seven. A short time later, I began perfecting my writing. During 7th grade, a 9th grade boy from my neighborhood, asked me to help him write a letter, so that he could make up with his girlfriend. Well, I smiled at what he had scribbled on his paper. Then, I decided to write what I thought a girl would want to hear. The next morning, I gave him a letter. During lunch, he ran up to me, gave me a big bear hug, and a dollar. I turned around still shocked from that big hug, and there were at least a dozen boys waving dollar bills, demanding letters. At that moment, I knew I was a writer. I became sort of a celebrity at school. For several more years, I continued writing for various teenagers, and singing with an adult gospel group. Those were my “Wonder Years!”
There came a time when I hit a curve. I stopped writing and performing. During that time, I learned the meaning of poverty, and having no voice. Education, activism and reading lots of good books created candid discussions about the impact of history, culture, and literature upon society. In the midst of one of those discussions, I felt a sense of affirmation. My soul got happy. I knew I had to return to my roots. This time I embraced my gifts. I started with the local free library, seeking out local writers’ groups, poetry sessions, jam sessions and open- mike nights. Finally, I owned my passion.
Don’t be Afraid to “Take A Leap!” There is a great deal of support out there for writers and actors in the writing and theater community, especially among the younger writers and aspiring actors and filmmakers. I was pleasantly surprised on the set of an upcoming movie at the kindness I received from the director, younger actors and a spectacular veteran actor.
Writing requires time and solitude. Maintaining relationships, especially intimate relationships can be extremely challenging. Some people close to you may not understand that writing is as much a part of you, as breathing. Sometimes, they misinterpret your absence. You might not get the support you expect from them. It’s not that they don’t love you. They just don’t understand. Communication, respect and patience are crucial. You have to be compassionate, and work at any kind of relationship, no matter what your passion is. I refuse to let my dreams dry up just because I am growing older. Writing and performing is my purpose, my healing, my voice!
Find out more about Betty Jean Nobles:
Visit website: http://kandlelightproductions.org/
Check out My book, “A SMALL CANDLELIGHT,” -available online at BBOTW.com, barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com, and on Kindle.
“A SMALL CANDLELIGHT,” is a riveting story about a mother trying to cope with her son’s incarceration and her own feelings of guilt. This is a work of fiction, but it is based on my life.
Facebook, Linkedin Google: Betty Jean Thompson Nobles
Please Like my Page on Facebook- “A Small Candlelight”
Background role in this powerful upcoming movie- Check out Trailer -“THE NORTH STAR,”
The movie stars: Clifton Powell, John Diehl, Lynn Whitfield, Keith David, Thomas C. Bartley Jr., and Jeremiah Trotter.