Creativity consists of 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration, folks say. But sometimes its 100 percent faithful attention.
S. Kristi Douglas listened when an inner voice told her to write Daughter of the King, a 2009 song that reminds all women theyre children of God. But as she circulated it, comforting some people and changing the preconceptions of others, that voice wasnt stilled.
God didnt want a lifeboat, musically speaking; he wanted an ark with gospel and jazz, Latino tunes and R&B and a string-laden, classically-styled number.
So Douglas built one herself, book and music and lyrics. A full-scale Daughter of the King sets sail this weekend in Pease Auditorium at Central Piedmont Community College.
In 2009, I was having a challenging time, praying and soul-searching, and I felt the song was a message from God: If you understood how much I value you, you would think about (your situation) differently.
I got invited to speak to womens groups, women in crisis in particular, and fell in love with the ladies at Doves Nest. (That womens arm of Charlotte Rescue Mission will get a portion of box office proceeds.)
Douglas, whos 42, doesnt specify what happened. It was something I did not ever really see the end of, she says. Some things you need to learn to manage forever. Part of it was decisions Id made, part of it was what life threw me, but I had to redefine myself.
I was angry and hurt and disappointed. Ive been a woman of faith all my adult life, but it shook me. You have to ask, IS God really good? Is he powerful? Why didnt he fix it? The key to enduring was to get a new sense of God and myself.
The three sisters in her play are searching, too, as they gather for a hometown church revival weekend.
Matriarchal Renee (Diatricia Willis) helped raise but also coddled her siblings. Ophelia (Cassandra ONeal) is a history professor whose overachieving nature hides a secret; Deanna (Jessica Macks) has marital issues after discovering her husbands love affair.
Douglas found director Vickie Evans, who has done social-issue plays in Charlotte, through Facebook. People kept turning up who could help: vocal director Dawn Anthony; choreographer Brittany Caldwell, musical arranger Darek Dowgielewicz (whom she has worked with since 2009).
The whole journey has been unusually smooth. Douglas, who has a cameo role in her play, says the 13 songs came in response to different emotions I had. It was almost like journaling.
After that, the story almost told itself. It felt like a calling: I had to do this. If I dropped dead after the final performance, I would be at peace. Besides my kids, this is what I was born to do.