It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? I’ve been on lockdown like the rest of you, leaving little wiggle room for extracurricular activities. I thought I would’ve at least written a few more blogs with the stay-at-home orders in effect, but I’ve been busy creating art through life.
On the real, Instagram is my most updated social media platform. I love to take pictures. Instagram makes it easy for me to capture and share the moments in between these deep, meticulous blog posts. This blog is where I come when I feel the need to share my thoughts with everyone, and update you on the progress of an emerging writer. It’s tough these days to share anything without sanitizing it first.
Pandemia 2020 blessed me with the most interactive time with my sons since they’ve been in my life. It’s difficult getting on here without acknowledging the happiness and joy they bring me, by giving me the privilege to be their dad. They give me hope that there’s a chance my words will have a positive influence on whomever reads them.
I know the power of words can cause uplifting or dreadful changes in a person. I notice the difference in how I talk to my sons and how my dad talked to me. My grandpa could see the lack of fatherly guidance I missed when I stayed with him the summer of ’92, the summer after the Rodney King riots. I learned a lot about life and what it takes to be a man in the world from my grandpa. Years later, I understood that my father did the best that he could with what he knew, and I thanked God for the opportunity to be able to get that wisdom from my grandpa.
Now here I am, blessed with two young men growing up in turbulent times. The way I look back at 2020 is that things have been happening in the world for a long time: Ice Age, Pompeii, Nixon; environmental events, natural disasters and crooked presidents… we’ve been through this shit before. We still here. So for all of y’all who think this was a bad year and 2021 is going to be better, just wait and see. I know that I have a book to publish and some mouths to feed, and I know there are a lot of people waiting to read this memoir. Every week, new memories are refreshed that open up passageways to my younger days. It’s a trip! Meanwhile, I watch my sons grow and struggle with some of the same things I struggled with in my youth, and I’m glad to share the words and wisdom I learned and lived.
Happy New Year
By Loupy D
Lawrence Evan Dotson was born in Los Angeles, California. He decided early in life that he wanted to tell stories. He was a character who could entertain his two older sisters by staging his own version of a church radio broadcast that they would listen to on Sunday nights. His desire to perform followed him through grade school, and in his senior year of high school, a UCLA professor scouted and urged Lawrence to major in theater. Lawrence felt convicted to follow in the footsteps of his father, so instead of declaring Theater Arts as a freshman, he went in undeclared to sit out for a spot in the highly competitive Engineering Department. It only took one calculus class to convince Lawrence that Theater Arts was his calling and that he was going to achieve his goal of being recognized for his talents. While attending UCLA, he combined his interests in art and music and was one of the founders of the UCLA Jazz and Reggae Festival. He was on the Student Committee for the Arts, which put on the Jazz at the Wadsworth Series in conjunction with KKGO FM.
Lawrence became more aware of social justice issues affecting the African American community on campus and became active in organizations that promoted positive change. He collaborated with students from other majors and formed the African Theater Collective, which promoted and produced plays from the African Diaspora. That action inspired a performance protest demanding the hiring of more black professors in the Theater Department, and tenure for longtime Professor, Dr. Beverly J. Robinson. The performance was based upon the subject matter that Dr. Robinson taught: the procession of the Black Theater experience in America as depicted through the development of the African slave from the plantations, to the pulpit, to the stage.
Blessed with a wealth of knowledge and a rich experience from the University, Lawrence graduated and landed a job as an actor with University Express, an outreach program managed by a former student of Dr. Robinson. The troupe performed plays at Middle and High Schools that stressed the importance of continuing education. The job allowed him enough time to go on auditions, but after a year Lawrence burnt out on the acting treadmill. He met an editor for an underground Hip Hop magazine called No Sellout in 1991. Lawrence had his first article published in the second issue, an interview with L.A. DJ Michael Mixxin Moor. Lawrence began writing under “Loupy D”, coined from a childhood nickname. He wrote articles, reviews and commentary, and conducted interviews with some of Hip Hop’s top entertainers like The Notorious BIG, Wu Tang Clan, Erykah Badu and many others until 2003.
In 2015, he earned an MFA in Creative Writing, after submitting a draft of a memoir based on his experiences growing up in post-Civil Rights Era Los Angeles. He's published an academic article, “Persona in Progression: A Look At Creative Nonfiction Literature In Civil Rights and Rap,” in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. He also served a brief stint as the music editor for the online writing journal Drunk Monkeys.
In between writing stints, Lawrence has and continues to be an avid amateur photographer and independent film professional. He will be releasing books and videos of his work over time, just as soon as he figures out how to balance work life with the life of single parenting two sons.
View all of Loupy D's posts.