Saturday, April 30, 2011


by: James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)

      ND God stepped out on space,
      And He looked around and said,
      "I'm lonely --
      I'll make me a world."
      And far as the eye of God could see
      Darkness covered everything,
      Blacker than a hundred midnights
      Down in a cypress swamp.
      Then God smiled,
      And the light broke,
      And the darkness rolled up on one side,
      And the light stood shining on the other,
      And God said, "That's good!"
      Then God reached out and took the light in His hands,
      And God rolled the light around in His hands
      Until He made the sun;
      And He set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
      And the light that was left from making the sun
      God gathered it up in a shining ball
      And flung it against the darkness,
      Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
      Then down between
      The darkness and the light
      He hurled the world;
      And God said, "That's good!"
      Then God himself stepped down --
      And the sun was on His right hand,
      And the moon was on His left;
      The stars were clustered about His head,
      And the earth was under His feet.
      And God walked, and where He trod
      His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
      And bulged the mountains up.
      Then He stopped and looked and saw
      That the earth was hot and barren.
      So God stepped over to the edge of the world
      And He spat out the seven seas;
      He batted His eyes, and the lightnings flashed;
      He clapped His hands, and the thunders rolled;
      And the waters above the earth came down,
      The cooling waters came down.
      Then the green grass sprouted,
      And the little red flowers blossomed,
      The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
      And the oak spread out his arms,
      The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
      And the rivers ran down to the sea;
      And God smiled again,
      And the rainbow appeared,
      And curled itself around His shoulder.
      Then God raised His arm and He waved His hand
      Over the sea and over the land,
      And He said, "Bring forth! Bring forth!"
      And quicker than God could drop His hand.
      Fishes and fowls
      And beasts and birds
      Swam the rivers and the seas,
      Roamed the forests and the woods,
      And split the air with their wings.
      And God said, "That's good!"
      Then God walked around,
      And God looked around
      On all that He had made.
      He looked at His sun,
      And He looked at His moon,
      And He looked at His little stars;
      He looked on His world
      With all its living things,
      And God said, "I'm lonely still."
      Then God sat down
      On the side of a hill where He could think;
      By a deep, wide river He sat down;
      With His head in His hands,
      God thought and thought,
      Till He thought, "I'll make me a man!"
      Up from the bed of the river
      God scooped the clay;
      And by the bank of the river
      He kneeled Him down;
      And there the great God Almighty
      Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
      Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
      Who rounded the earth in the middle of His hand;
      This Great God,
      Like a mammy bending over her baby,
      Kneeled down in the dust
      Toiling over a lump of clay
      Till He shaped it in His own image;
      Then into it He blew the breath of life,
      And man became a living soul.
      Amen. Amen.

"The Creation" is reprinted from The Book of American Negro Poetry. Ed. James Weldon Johnson. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1922.

Be blessed...

Friday, March 18, 2011


The Wiz is probably my favorite Movie Musical of ALL times.  With the powerhouse combination of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, Quincy Jones, Luther Vandross, and the reinforcement of FAITH... it was and still is a HUGE inspiration to me.  So much so that I directed, produced, choreographed, designed, and starred in my Elementary School's All-Student production of it!   One of my favorite moments is when the wicked witch, Evilene, is destroyed and those who were once bound to her are released.  Resounding and rejoicing they perform...


Everybody look around 'cause there's a reason to rejoice you see
Everybody come out and let's commence to singing  joyfully
Everybody look up and feel the hope that we've been waiting for
Everybody's glad because our silent fear and dread is gone
Freedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about; you owe it to yourself  to check it out!
Can't you feel a brand new day?

Everybody be glad because the sun is shining  just for us
Everybody wake up into the morning  into  happiness
Hello world!  It's like a different way of  living now
And thank you world!  We always knew that we'd be free somehow
In harmony and show the world that we've got liberty
It's such a change for us to live so independently
Freedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about; you owe it to yourself  to check it out!
Can't you feel a brand new day?

The Year 2011 has been INTENSE.  Yes, already.  Death, destruction, chaos, confusion, sickness, and distress.  But, you know what???  One's chosen ATTITUDE determines one's OUTCOME.  So, I CHOOSE LIFE, LOVE, JOY, PEACE, RIGHTEOUSNESS, HOPE, & HEALTH!!!  I walk in an attitude of newness as I currently prepare to star as Mimi in the stunning *NEW* Gale Edwards production of La Boheme with Opera Australia.  Every thing, every one, every sight, every smell, every sensation is NEW to me again; and I welcome it ALL.  I open my eyes to this "Whole New World" with joyous expectancy.  Join me???

In celebration, I have posted my NEW headshot and a NEW interview just released in The Australian.  

Please ENJOY and continue to be ABUNDANTLY blessed...


Force of destiny

The Australian | March 19, 20111  12:00AM

Takeshe Meshe Kizart brings megawatts of glamour to the Australian opera stage.

Force of destiny: Takesha Meshe Kizart was born to sing, as Shirley Apthorp reports ahead of the glamorous soprano's next Australian performances.

THE previous time I saw Takesha Meshe Kizart she was standing amid the carnage of the French Revolution, pleading for her condemned husband's life.
Now she's sitting amid the chaos of Berlin's Tegel airport, contemplating her imminent demise from consumption in La boheme. "Oh, I love dying!" she exclaims. "I mean, hello? That's why people love opera. Drama! I love it!"
Between performances of Respighi's obscure opera Marie Victoire and a gala concert in Dusseldorf, Kizart has found time for a cup of hot water, and an interview about her second Australian visit, at the endearingly seedy Red Baron Restaurant. "Did you like [Marie Victoire]?" she asks, with take-no-prisoners directness. I wonder how to answer, but as I open my mouth to do so, she cuts in. "No, I didn't think so. Never mind!" And she dissolves into peals of laughter.
Respighi's bizarre forgotten opus was odd enough to start with, like Dialogue of the Carmelites crossed with Manon Lescaut, but the Deutsche Oper Berlin's muddled production added silliness to the general confusion. When all lay in rubble at the end, the enduring memory left was of Kizart in the title role, implausibly convincing as a French aristocrat tormented by guilt and remorse.
What does she do when she has to sing in a production she doesn't like? "For me it's not just about the production," she replies. "It's more about the portrayal of the character. There's a certain discipline in what we do, and that's the exciting thing because it also has freedom of expression and inspiration. It's about communication. If I am not communicating a soul to you, then I might as well just sit down somewhere. Really."
That would sound like standard singer rhetoric if I hadn't seen Kizart do exactly that, rising above mediocre surroundings with a passion of conviction that gripped everyone present. At the time of her first Respighi performance in Berlin, almost two years ago now, Kizart was a complete newcomer to the European opera circuit, just one year in the business. Few in the audience knew her name, even fewer knew of her august lineage. Tina Turner is the sister of Kizart's great-uncle by marriage and her maternal great-uncle was American blues figure Muddy Waters.
Even she didn't know about Turner until it came up in conversation with her grandmother, admits Kizart. At first she is evasive on the subject of both. "I don't mind talking about them," she says when I press, "but I never knew them. It's not like I have a personal relationship with them."
But isn't she proud of them? "Of course I'm proud! I'm proud of everyone in my family," she says. "Honestly. I think it makes me who I am."
Her mother was one of seven children, she explains, and all her aunts had girls as first-born children. By family tradition, all the girls were given names beginning with T and M. It was her seven-year-old cousin who dreamed up Takesha Meshe. "She loved the way it sounded. But what's so amazing is that Takesha turns out to mean highly favoured, Meshe means messiah or saviour, and Kizart means miraculous." Kizart looks pleased. "I truly believe in the force of destiny -- La Forza del Destino!" she lapses into Verdi for an instant. "All of us have a specific calling in our lives and it's up to us to figure out what it is and follow it."
It was a very specific call that summoned Kizart to her Australian debut 14 months ago on her mobile phone. She was busy at the time in Mississippi. "I was actually in a Christmas parade. On a float. Dressed as an angel," she remembers. "They said, 'How soon can you get here?' And I was, like, 'I can leave tomorrow! Australia for Christmas? I mean, really, it's the middle of summer. I can do that.' "
Kizart had been required urgently to perform, in the title role, in Opera Australia's new production of Tosca, originally directed by Christopher Alden for Opera North in Leeds with Kizart. Australian soprano Cheryl Barker had been scheduled to sing but found the production not to her taste and OA agreed to release her. Fortunately Kizart was available and less than a week after getting the call was rehearsing in Sydney. Her performances at the Sydney Opera House were a triumph. Audiences didn't much like the updated production but they sure loved Kizart, and OA was quick to lock her in for more appearances, including the Mimi she will sing in La boheme in Melbourne and Sydney soon. The company is also talking to her about projects in 2012 and 2013, artistic director Lyndon Terracini says. "She is an extremely special talent," he says. "She has a unique ability to be able to sing every performance differently; every time she does something that surprises you. It's so fabulous to see. She is literally being in the moment."
Chicago-born Kizart was singing gospel songs at age two and never looked back. A school choir teacher spotted her talent and by the time she was 14 she had sung solos in a performance of Handel's Messiah. Studies at Philadelphia's prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts were crowned with competition wins and by 2008 Kizart was well on her way, with every sign of knowing just where she was going. But a reference in a recent American article to her "European strategy" sends Kizart into further guffaws.
"I don't have a European strategy! I have roles that I sing. And there are people who hire me to sing those roles. I would love to sing in America more often, but unfortunately, for the repertoire that I sing, they usually use older artists over there." She'll get older, I observe drily, perhaps a knee-jerk reaction to Kizart's impossibly burnished, supermodel looks and her effortless sense of style. "I hope to God I get older," she says with a laugh, "because if I don't, I'll be dead!" She likes dying, but not that much.
But for all her disclaimers about strategy, Kizart does have a firm sense of direction and frequently turns down offers of roles she feels are not right for her. She is well aware of the risk of fizzle. "People don't have time. We're flying all over, from here to there. I make it a point to always try to arrive where I'm going very early. I request as much rehearsal as I can and really become immersed in the role. That's my goal. Nobody else will care. It's my responsibility to care. That's why I make a point of spreading out my schedule in a certain way. You have to make sure there's a balance."
After Dusseldorf, Kizart was to return to Berlin for just a little more French Revolution before catching a plane to Australia for her Melbourne debut as Puccini's consumptive Mimi. Careful though she is, the travelling has become normal. When Kizart last left the US she packed for two years. I boggle. Not home once? In two years? "I'm not kidding! At all! So it was very difficult figuring out what to pack."
Kizart wears a lot of black and dresses in layers. "I have a couple of gowns in there," she says, patting a dense black suitcase, "and a couple of pairs of shoes. Accessories and things like that. If I get tired of wearing something for a while, it's time to throw it away. It's so interesting because we actually require very little. And when you're put into a position where that is brought into focus, your entire life just makes more sense.
"It's like, you know, I don't need that. I don't need this. And I really don't feel like carrying that. I love not paying rent somewhere. Can I just say that? Because it would really annoy me to never see the place and still be paying money."
Kizart swears by her laptop and iPhone. She has downloaded a Bible app on to the latter and says she does most of her reading online. She uses the internet to keep up with friends and family, and feels at home wherever she can make music and access a wireless connection. "What's interesting about this career is that everywhere I go feels like home, even though I don't have a home. For me home has taken on a whole new meaning. It's more about the people and less about the things that we have."
She loved Sydney ("the New Year's was truly the best I've ever seen") and is sure she'll love Melbourne. Berlin feels like home now and Gale Edwards's production of La boheme will be set in 1930s Berlin, so it will be home away from home. "I have to tell you, I'm pretty excited about this boheme. There are supposed to be flame-throwers and all sorts of things. I've already seen my wig and I can't wait to see the costumes."
Edwards will work with the same production team that made Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, a fact that strikes a chord with Kizart. Though she loved Alden's gritty Tosca, she hankers for glamour. "The next production I do with him is Norma. And I told him already, 'Christopher, I have to be beautiful! I mean, please.' "
So who will her Melbourne Mimi be? A consumptive in sequins?
"You know, you'll have to ask me later. Because she is going to be based upon not only what we have been given by Puccini and the librettist but how we choose to portray her in this particular production. We bring a certain amount of inspiration when we perform, but everything has to be within a certain frame. If it's not in that frame, everything falls apart.
"You have a hundred people trying to do this thing together. And that's the great part. Because those people out in the audience might only focus on the one or two people who are singing, but without everything else it won't happen."
Does she get tired of particular roles? "No, actually, because there's always more to learn." She likes to keep her score with her throughout rehearsals, which she says often makes production teams nervous, as they mistakenly assume she doesn't know her part by heart.
"We should all use our scores. We have to constantly remind ourselves what's being said, what was written. Especially with Puccini, if you sing it the way it's written in the score, even if you try to be simple with your interpretation of the character, the music is overwhelming. It's the epitome of melodrama. It's so over the top. You could just stand there and it would still be drama."
Kizart learns quickly. She picks up languages easily, was a "human jukebox" as a child and learned the knotty contemporary part of the Duchess of Argyll (of "go to bed early and often" fame) in Thomas Ades's Powder Her Face in a record four days.
"It's a blessing. But for me it's not just learning a piece. It's making sure that the piece becomes part of your musculature, part of your psyche, part of your whole being. We don't just sing music. No matter what the genre, there's a character related to that. There's storytelling. It's the most profound kind of storytelling there could be. We have to pass along that tradition, and it has to make sense."
Kizart cites her mother, an interior designer with no previous interest in opera, as an example of the fact anyone who is willing to make the effort of a little background reading can enjoy opera. The art form is for everyone, she insists, and ought to be a part of basic school education.
"I come from a very musical family," she says, with endearing understatement, "and I believe that this world is a better place because of music."
La boheme, Melbourne, April 12-May 13 (Takesha Meshe Kizart sings the role of Mimi until April 21); Sydney, July 12-October 24 (Kizart appears until August 9).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


"He Lives In Me" from Disney's The Lion King has truly been a ministry to my soul lately...
Last week was the most amazing week of my life coupled with the most devastating news anyone could ever receive.  Thanks to a cousin's Facebook status posting, I was made aware of the DEATH of MY FATHER..........

DUCCANER KIZART (August 6, 1950 - February 9, 2011) was no king.  But, for whatever he was or wasn't, HE WAS MINE... and the only earthly father I will ever know.  I THANK GOD FOR HIM.  I see his face in mine... My reflection calls out to him... These high cheek bones, the dimple in my chin, my once crooked teeth (Thanks Dr. Jeff), my once impaired vision (Thanks Dr. Niksarli), and my once unattractive walk (Thanks Barbizon, Pageants, & "LIFE" :)  are/were ALL him LOL :)

My Mother fondly shares this story often...
They once had argument, and to get back at him, she spewed, "...and that's why Takesha isn't even yours!"  My Father retorted, "She may not be YOURS, but she CERTAINLY is MINE!!!"  HAHAHAHA :)  That was MY DADDY :)  Up until about the 4th Grade, He was a pretty great Dad...  an active parent, a protector, a disciplinarian, a good cook, a comedian!!!!!!! :)

I have been performing since the age of 2 and my father only attended one performance... NOW, he is there for each and every moment because HE LIVES IN ME....  "Wait!  There's no mountain too great... hear these words and HAVE FAITH!!!"  My faith is strong in God, for I know HE HOLDS MY FUTRE... and I claim ALL of the blessings God has in store!!! :)

THANK YOU, JoAnn Morganfield-Kizart-Williams, MY BEAUTIFUL & HIGHLY BLESSED MOTHER.  God knew just what He was doing when He blessed me with YOU.  I have NEVER had to question your love for me, and for that I am ETERNALLY THANKFUL.  ...and thanks for balancing out that "Duccaner" with "JoAnn".  These wide eyes and joy of life are ALL YOU :)

TO MY FAMILY (yes, that includes you too, Ezell :), YOU MORGANFIELD'S ROCK!!!!!!!!!!   ...and to My Love, Nicholas Ryan Few, you are a God-send.  I LOVE YOU ALL... I see you, hear you, feel you, and KNOW THAT I AM LOVED.  

Thanks to EVERYONE for the encouragement, prayers, and support!!!

To my siblings, Shannon, Duccaner II, and Duccaner III...
let us adopt Our Father's "good", learn from his "bad", and never forget that we are loved.

For me, I have NO regrets...
I savored the precious moments I had with him.  I last saw him during Thanksgiving, spoke to him shortly before he passed, and sent him a bit of money which he cashed 2 days before his death.  He knew I loved him, and He made sure I knew he loved me.  But, more importantly, he died knowing that GOD LOVED HIM!!!


Be blessed...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

BE The Miracle

My Mother, JoAnn, received this emailed newsletter and passed it on to me.  It was simply too wonderful to not share with YOU :)  I was struck most by "Instead of always looking for a miracle, BE a miracle."  It also brought to mind one of my favorite songs: "I'm looking for a miracle" by The Clark Sisters.  Can you imagine if we not only began to expect "impossibilities" for ourselves but availed ourselves as vessels in providing what may be impossible for others?  What a wonderful world that would be...

Be blessed...


I'm looking for a miracle
I expect the impossible 
I feel the intangible
I see the invisible
The sky is a limit to what I can have
Just believe and receive it
God will perform it today
I expect a miracle everyday
God will make a way out of no way

Turn Your Disappointments into a Miracle by Cliff Young
(first published on December 21, 2010)

As I contemplate and prepare myself for another Christmas, I wonder what this season will bring for me, my friends and family, and for those around me.  It's not surprising to find many of us facing continued hardships of a struggling economy, waning health and difficult (or non-existent) relationships, besides the typical "unknowns."  Just this week I received a couple of prayer requests, one from a mother battling multiple sclerosis (who may not survive until Christmas) and two others who have recently been diagnosed with cancer. 
Isn't this the time of year when everyone is "supposed" to be happy, where wishes "come true," and everything turns out perfect (just like on the Hallmark and Lifetime channels)?  Maybe that's why so many families head to Disneyland for the holidays, where it claims to be the "Happiest Place on Earth."  In many ways, this time of year seems to accentuate our sadness and disappointments more than it heals them.  Maybe we just expect too much from the season.

Disappointment defines disappointment as "the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations to manifest" and The Encarta World English Dictionary defines expectation as "a confident belief or strong hope that a particular event will happen."
What I find interesting is how similar the "secular" definition of expectation is to the "biblical" definition of faith.  
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).  From the world's point of view, expectations are something we believe and hope will happen while from God's perspective, faith is being sure of what we hope for.  To expand a little further, expectations seem to be what we hope "we" (ourselves or others) can do (or have control in doing); while faith is believing what God is going to do.  If our disappointment comes from the failure of somebody we believed in or put our trust in (including ourselves), maybe our expectations are placed more on "mankind" than on our faith in God.  This isn't to say we shouldn't have expectations for ourselves (or for others) or by having faith in God alone we won't ever be disappointed.  
There are many situations in life (and in death) where we may never understand the reason "why" things happen even with a strong faith, like the loss of a family member, a marriage breakup or a horrendous crime.  However, faith is having the hope of being certain God is in control, believing he knows and loves us even in the worst of times and knowing his way is perfect (Psalm 18:30).

God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect (Hebrews 11:40).
If we continue to place all of our hope and expectations only in ourselves, naturally we will be disappointed.  None of us are perfect nor can we expect to be.  However, if we place our hope in God, "together" it will be made perfect.
Peter often had solid unwavering faith, hope and insight, while he was with Jesus.
 Yet, many of us are quite aware of the time he wasn't.
Peter was more steadfast when he was with the Lord than when he was apart from him. 
As singles, we can sometimes feel as if life is an uphill, "us" against "the world," struggle.   Although there are difficult situations to face specific to singles, we don't have to face our struggles alone.  We have been offered a relationship with Jesus and a guide in the Holy Spirit, to live each day together with the Lord instead of on our own.
Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory.  We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to endure.  And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.  And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Romans 5:1-5).
Even still, many of still seem to be at the end of our rope "hoping" for a miracle.

We need to remind ourselves that God is in every moment of our lives because He has a plan for us.  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).  Oftentimes when a trial arises, we immediately question "Why?" instead of "What?"  We should be asking ourselves, "What is God doing through this bump in the road, struggle or heartbreak?" and "What do I need to learn, grow, change or do to be a part of it?"
Sheila Walsh, author and speaker, recently shared a story about being delayed at an airport causing her to miss her connecting flight.  As she was in line waiting to be rebooked, a distraught woman ahead was silently pleading for God to show her he still knew who she was.  When the woman turned around, she recognized Sheila from the Women of Faith Conferences and burst into tears explaining how much Sheila had ministered to her over the years.  That was her sign from God.  Sheila could have looked at her trouble and thought, "Why me God?"  Instead she made herself available to whatever he was doing and (together with him) ended up being used as a God-given sign for that woman.
I recently heard someone say, "Instead of always looking for a miracle, BE a miracle."  What I perceive the person to mean was instead of always seeking for something to happen for you, go out and be that (miracle) for someone else.   We often think we know what is best for our lives and put pressure on ourselves to "make it happen," and when our expectations fall short we become disappointed.  However, if we look beyond our own struggles and allow ourselves to be used by God, we may be surprised at the miracles we may see.  God doesn't need us for his plans, but if we join together with him maybe we can be a part of something that is made perfect.
Don't miss what he is trying to do through you this season.

Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in's Singles Channel.  An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback?  Send your comments and questions to

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Just The Beginning...

I will never understand why we have this need to wait until the beginning of a year to "start" something.  Each heartbeat is a beginning and the only assured ending is that of death.   We don't need a new dawn, new day, or new life to feel good and start anew.  We must realize that each millisecond is an opportunity to simply START.  Start to Think Better, Do Better, and the BE Better than ever before... NOW.  This coupled with CONSISTENCY accomplishes much.  For me, this very moment is the beginning of a brand new start.  January 1, 2011 will always have a special place in my heart, for this is the exciting day that I have chosen to begin to share my life's journey with the world...  
The Official TAKESHA MESHÉ KIZART Website Launches Today!!!  

I thank you for joining me here and now as I strive to accomplish My Brand of "SUCCESS".  The following will give you a better picture of what I believe to be the perfect formula...
"Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to OBSERVE TO DO according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you.  Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have GOOD SUCCESS wherever you go."  (Joshua 1:7)
"Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both USEFUL and PLEASANT, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it WELL.  Then Youth will be Delightful, Old Age will bring Few Regrets, and LIFE will become a BEAUTIFUL SUCCESS."  (Louisa May Alcott)

Good and Beautiful Success is my goal of a lifetime, and know that this is Just The Beginning... :)  May YOUR 2011 be JUST The Beginning of Abundant Living and Abundantly Blessing Other Lives!!!

Be blessed...