February 2, 2016
By Nayah James
Award-winning Hollywood actress, dancer and singer Jasmine Guy stepped foot on Dominican University’s campus for two days. On the first day she had a meet-and-greet with the lucky students of the Black Student Union (BSU) and on the second day she starred in her musical Raisin’ Cane, featuring the Avery Sharpe Trio.
Shocked, excited and ever so lucky were the students of BSU. Not only did they get to see her up close and personal in the Martin Recital Hall, some had to chance to ask her questions.
As the students filled up the rows of the Martin, a live camera crew announced that students would be recorded for the popular television network BET. Students adjusted their clothing and texted their family members anxiously revealing that Jasmine Guy would be inches away from them.
Waiting for her to appear from behind the stage curtain, no one noticed her enter the Martin Recital Hall from the back.
Jasmine came dressed in a black turtleneck, black leggings and Ugg boots with her makeup and hair styled flawlessly. She took her place on stage with a mic in hand.
Jasmine went down her resume of legendary films, movies and TV performances and began to give the audience a look into her life.
“There has to be some kind of fluidity in what we do with our lives . . . and for me I think I didn’t have a lot of fear in the beginning,” said Guy. “I was just very focused and I went for it, but as time has gone on, I know what it’s like now not to get that dream, that part that I wanted.”
She proceeded to give more detail about her life discussing her daughter, loving your body, how struggle and trials changes you and receiving support to turn negative thinking around.
Guy, who spent her college years at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, spoke about being lonely and how now college appears to be a social experience and how responsibilities come with age.
“It’s a hard time because you know you’re finding yourself and learning so many new things in addition to wanting to explore and express yourself,” said Guy.
Jasmine asked the audience about their college experience gave her opinion on the political campaign and wanted to know how the audience felt about the portrayal of women in reality television.
The way that most students were informed about this event was through email and most didn’t know who she was. Sophomore Ashlynn Hill said, “I used to watch her in ‘A Different World’, I knew who she was before she came”.
What students liked about the meet-and-greet was Jasmine being so fascinated to hear about their lives.
“I liked the advice she gave us,” said Hill. “To love yourself, be yourself, have self-confidence and believe in yourself.”
Most students know or have seen Guy in the show ‘A Different World’ which was a spin-off of The Cosby Show in the late 80s.
At the end of her meeting, Jasmine hugged every person in the room and stood in for a few group photos.
When asked about her musical, students praised Guy’s amazing performance. Guy’s performance centered on the Harlem Renaissance period. Guy performed various poems, short stories, literature excerpts and songs by legends like Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Bennett, W.E.B DuBois and Jean Toomer.
“Raisin’ Cane was very well done,” said Hill. “I learned a lot I didn’t know. Jasmine Guy is a one-woman act. She performed Jazz, Blues, poetry and she sang and acted. She personality to the show and her funny jokes continued to connect with the audience. I was excited to be there.”
Hollywood came to Dominican and when it all ended, the audience was welcomed to take photos and get autographs from Jasmine and the Avery Sharpe Trio band.