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Colette Paul ~ For Your Eyes Only

Updated on May 6, 2016
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I started working in the performing arts industry after attending Colgate University in 1981. My early work was as a personal manager.

Colette has worn many hats as Poet, Actress, Singer, and Dancer...
Colette has worn many hats as Poet, Actress, Singer, and Dancer...

Actress/Poet/Author/Singer, Colette Paul, has a new focus with her acting career for 2016 that will transition what she has done as a writer to acting, It is my intention to raise the love vibration through the arts, she says with a smile.

She enjoys House Music, dancing in the rain, photography, visual arts, acting, hiking, horseback riding, exercising and riding her bicycle on the Atlanta Beltline.

Born and raised in Brunswick, Georgia. Colette has been writing on and off since high school, and has had many resources to draw from in a state steeped in such pivotal history that has impacted the country on so many fronts.

Because of Atlanta's location and commercial importance during the Civil War, the city was used as a center for military operations and as a supply route by the Confederate army. Many books have been written about or set during the time period of the Civil War, but none encompasses all the aspects of the effects on society as well as Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, with Atlanta serving as the backdrop.

Of course the Civil Rights Movement during the 50s and 60s with Atlanta serving as the hub of the marches and events planned, to Atlanta being the birthplace of one of the 20th Centuries greatest moral leaders, Martin Luther King, Jr., Colette has had much to draw from growing up in a state so rich with history.

At a recent book-signing event for Colette's newest book of poetry, For Your Eyes Only, she acknowledged the influence and what it has meant to her living in the same neighborhood that brought us such prolific African American authors as Frank L. Stanton, Madge Bingham, and Joel Chandler Harris, known for his Uncle Remus Tales.

Colette has released her latest book of poetry entitled, For Your Eyes Only. Dedicated to the loving memory of her mother, Bertha Paul, and to her ancestors who paved the way for her.

Colette says her new book, For Your Eyes Only is a collection of love poems that will entice you. On every page, you will find a world of intimacy, passion, and seduction.

Her poems touches on longing, erotica, heart break, new beginnings, and the highs and lows of loving another person. Her characters are full, intriguing, and very sensual. The words flow off the page and create a hot, sweet, and spicy atmosphere full of musicality and thoughts that will move your mind and soul.

Colette is a member of the Georgia Poetry Society where she published, Reach of Song Anthology. Her poetry has also been published in local and online magazines.

She graduated from the Institute of Children’s Literature in 2011, and is a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

With her new focus in 2016 as a professional working actress, Colette is working on a contemporary one-woman show, but has followed fate with an offer from show producers, David Williams and Ricci deForest, to portray a grand historical figure in a series of planned performances around Georgia and then nationally.

"The main idea of the performances is to keep educating our young people about African-American history through monologues and songs"
, says Ricci deForest of the WERD Radio/Madam CJ Walker Beauty Museum. (http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/10/living/werd-first-black-radio-station-feat/)

Portraying Madam C.J. Walker, who was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867 where Madam Walker created specialized hair products for African-American hair and was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire, is quite an honor for Colette.

"I was astonished that the producers, offered me the opportunity to portray Madam Walker for their tours. But it was confirmation for me in my quest to raise the love vibration through the Arts", Colette says. "Madam Walker established a business in a way that lifted African American women and men to not just feel better about themselves, but that allowed them to have incomes and provide for their families. That to me was some serious raising of love vibrations."

Colette will portray Madam C.J. Walker in a series of staged performances in 2016.

Colette has a laser focus on establishing herself as an actress in 2016, and we can't wait to see more writings and performances from her.

Colette will portray Madam C.J. Walker in a series of staged performances in 2016.
Colette will portray Madam C.J. Walker in a series of staged performances in 2016.

Colette Paul is Madam C.J. Walker

On February 28, 2016, Colette did her 1st performance as Madam C.J. Walker appropriately, at the Madam Walker Beauty Museum in Atlanta, GA.
On February 28, 2016, Colette did her 1st performance as Madam C.J. Walker appropriately, at the Madam Walker Beauty Museum in Atlanta, GA.

Colette as Madam C.J. Walker

America's 1st African-American millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker.
America's 1st African-American millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker.

"Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them"

~ Madam C.J. Walker

Colette has a laser focus on establishing herself as an actress in 2016.
Colette has a laser focus on establishing herself as an actress in 2016.

Q&A with Colette Paul

Q: Colette, you are a Writer/Poet, Singer, Actress. Which one of these would you say you are most passionate about, and why?

A: I enjoy when I see that I'm a better writer from studying the craft. Now, that I am portraying a character in an upcoming event, I enjoy researching, so that I can be as true to the character as possible by telling an authentic story. I also enjoy the same as a singer. I love practicing, and getting ready for the show. I love seeing it all coming together. If I have to make a choice, it will have to be acting. Yet, tomorrow, I will say singing! (she says with a wry smile).

Q: You have a new book of poetry out, what is the title and theme?

A: For Your Eyes Only. The theme is about love with a hint of erotica.

Q: Now, this is your second book of poetry? What has been your biggest challenge as an author, and getting sales of your books?

A: I need to build my brand, I need a bigger platform, more exposure, so that more people will support my work. One can have great work, beautiful stanzas, but if no one hears the work of the author, than all of it goes unnoticed. I want to help others through my works, and experiences, if someone can learn something and take it with them to make them a better person or heal through my words, than my life, and hard work hasn't been in vain.

Q: What has been your biggest joy with writing your poetry?

A: I have a few. Once a woman heard my poem, from my love poetry and prose book, For Your Eyes Only; the poem was, The Recipe, and she said, “as I listened to the poem, I looked deeply into my husband's eyes and realized that I haven't done that in years."

Another woman mentioned to me after reading my poetry and prose book, "Butterflies Dancing in the Rain” that it helped her with her healing process.

That meant so much to me! Another reader said that she could see herself in my poem. She was able to connect. These readers helped me to realize that I was doing the right thing by pushing forward to get these books self-published. This process has been very challenging, but with readers being able to take something from my words and use it in their lives, it can't get any better than that.

My goal is to raise the love vibration through the Arts. I consider myself a light worker. A light worker is anyone who devotes his/her life to being a bright light in the world. He/she understands that his/her actions have the potential to raise the vibration of the planet.

Q: You said to the audience about one of your poems you read that those words came to you after a very heartfelt break-up. Do you find you write best when you are feeling particularly emotional about something, like when you are angry, or heartbroken?

A: Yes, I would say, I write when I'm depressed, frustrated, or feeling lustful, (Smile).

Q: Someone asked you at your last book-signing event about how living in Atlanta's historic West End (at one time) has influenced you as a writer, living in the same neighborhood of such famous authors as Frank L. Stanton, Madge Bingham, and Joel Chandler Harris, known for his Uncle Remus Tales. Who
are some of your author influences growing up in Georgia?

A: There are many but to name a few Fiona Zedde, a writing friend that I have watch grow over the years, Natasha Trethewey, U. S. Poet Laureate, Nikky Finney, Nikki Giovanni, Saul Williams, Sonya Sanchez, A poet that's a friend, Theresa Davis, Jessica Care Moore. I also write children's literature and was inspired by Children's Book Author, Sharon Draper, Jacqueline Woodson, Judy Blume, and Natasha Anastasia Tarpley.

Q: I understand that you are portraying a very special historical figure in a planned tour called, The Chitlin Circuit? Who is the person you are portraying, and what does this mean for you personally, and as an actress?

A: Yes, Madam C. J. Walker! When I first was told about the role. I wasn't sure because I’m a huge believer in having natural hair, and I remember the story of Madam Walker using the straighten comb and I felt it had a huge influence on women applying relaxers in their hair which has been linked to pre-mature puberty in young girls, and fibroids in women. Also, hair extensions (weaves) which I feel some women may only feel beautiful with long straight hair. I felt young girls would feel they are not beautiful with hair God has blessed them with, so I hesitated when I got home about this role after I got the part.

But, after thinking about it, and the more I researched this incredible women’s story, the more I wanted to tell her story. Also, my late mother made her living making women beautiful as she worked as a cosmetologist. I knew because of Madam C. J. Walker, my mother mastered a skill that made it possible for her to be a business woman when back then most black women were working as housekeepers.

Also, I felt my late mother made it possible for me to get the role of portraying Madam C. J. Walker. She was smiling down on me and spoke to Ricci, and David's heart as they watched me audition. The more I studied, getting ready for the role of Madam C. J. Walker, I saw she was more than a self-made millionaire, she made women feel beautiful when back then Black women didn't know about self-esteem. She helped so many women become independent in that era like my mother did years later. My mother didn't have to become a house keeper, because of Madam C. J. Walker's earlier works.

My late mother was able to go to beauty school, and start her business, which allowed my brother and me to be the first in our family to go to college. Madam C. J. Walker did more than sell her products, she was a voice in changing the anti-lynching law. Madam Walker attempted to go to a movie theater, after a racial encounter, she build her own, which had other businesses for Black people in the building as well.

A barber shop for men, law offices, banks, to name a few, she was also a philanthropist, and died working for her people to make a better day for them. I'm glad that the spirit of Madam C. J. Walker chose me to tell her story.

Q: You have a special person you are getting some advice from on portraying Madam C.J. Walker, how do you think that will help you in your portrayal?

A: Yes, this is truly amazing! A'Lelia's great, great granddaughter. It’s funny as well, my grandmother's name was Lelia. To get a chance to talk to A'Lelia, I will be able to be as authentic as possible by talking to someone who has family history. This is truly an honor. From my understanding, there is so much inaccurate information out there about Madam C.J. Walker, and as a writer, I know how important it is to live in truth, so I know, I will have the correct information to portray such a great woman of history. I am truly grateful.

Q: How did the opportunity to portray Madam C.J. Walker come about?

A: I literally walked into Madam C. J. Walker's Museum on the day of Dr. Martin Luther King's celebration of his birthday. There was a parade, I heard a man talk about the museum. I remember going there years ago. I walked back to my car and spotted the museum, it was like it was shining. It was so beautiful! I couldn’t go home without going inside. It was lovelier than I remembered. I talked to Ricci (the owner of the museum) and told him about my poetry and prose book, and he told me about an author’s corner event being held there. He said I would get a call. I thought we would discuss my poetry and prose book, and I would recite a poem, yet the following day, I was asked to audition and got the part. Something told me before arriving to the audition to practice a song, and listen to it on my recorder on my phone while I drove to the museum. I’m glad I followed my intuition. That was God, the Great Spirit working on my behalf. I've been taking acting classes since 2009 and I know how important preparation is. I'm so excited about this opportunity.

Q: So tell us some of your other career pursuits Colette?

A: God has blessed me with so many talents: In the summer, I will be in a play: a tribute to Billie Holiday, I’m working with my acting and voice coach, Dr. Philip Rogers now. I will continue to promote my two poetry and prose book, "Butterflies Dance in the Rain" and my love poetry and poetry book, "For Your Eyes Only", I'm in the market for more acting roles, and would love to be in a musical. Also, I'm working on a middle-grades children's story, a memoir, and a one-woman show about my life.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now as an actress and writer?

A: Acting, and writing more positive roles. Telling "our" stories. I will speak at universities, and other places, talking about passion, and the importance of knowing our life purpose, enjoying the fruits of my labor. And traveling to other countries telling my story. Continuing to raise the love vibration, being a light worker.

Q:
You are a mom, with a son in college, and you work in Corporate America to hold things down while you pursue your passion for the Arts. If you were speaking to a group of young women who are thinking about embarking on a career in the Arts, what would be your message to them?

A: I advise to young girls to always put God first, He will direct her path, to recognize what she loves to do, that is her passion. To cultivate it. Focus, study, get a mentor and follow the steps of the greats in the field of choice. Do not allow anyone to distract her, and never, never give up! Never forget where she comes from, reach back and help other young girls. That is what greatness is, to serve others. To shine her light and raise the love vibration.

Thank You Colette V. Paul. We are looking forward to more poetry and visual portrayals from you.


Colette was influenced by Maya Angelou's writings growing up.
Colette was influenced by Maya Angelou's writings growing up.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

— Maya Angelou

Colette's Invite to her book-signing ~ 'For Your Eyes Only'

Acting is the passion that writing brought out of Colette.
Acting is the passion that writing brought out of Colette.
Colette setting up for a book signing event.
Colette setting up for a book signing event.

This Poet has the Antidote to Hatred ~ Love

For Your Eyes Only

"The rhythm, the beat, the melody captures and intoxicates me

Lifting and pulling my body, around and around, and up and down

Gratifying my hips, arching my back, spreading my legs

Raising my arms above my head for your eyes only.

The rhythm, the beat, the melody and I are moving as one for you

Grooving for you, passionately for you

Dancing until beads of perspiration appear on my temple.

Come closer

Move with me as we push and pull

Start and stop and start again

Groove with me as we rock, roll, and swing and sway

Cruise with me as we drive and ride

And lead and follow.

Connect with me as we explore each other

Touching and caressing

Coasting and floating

As we travel to Jupiter and Mercury

And back to earth again

Unwinding, releasing, freely."

~ Colette Paul

Book Cover ~ 'For Your Eyes Only'

 For Your Eyes Only: Love Poems is a rarity—a beautiful collection of poetry by a newer writer who is almost fully formed.
For Your Eyes Only: Love Poems is a rarity—a beautiful collection of poetry by a newer writer who is almost fully formed. | Source

Testimony for Colette's "For Your Eyes Only"

Paul's For Your Eyes Only is a slow burn in the heart. Slow yet satisfying; a pot of pleasure at the end of the rainbow, right down to the last poem, "The Recipe," in which volcanic eruptions explode red, hot, spicy sweet, wet and wild. This collection is truly "a perfect blend, a delightful sin," as the poet writes, calling us to open to passion, intrigue, heartbreak, new love, old love and the charge to fearlessly and simply love and be loved-Claudia Moss, author of SOFT TSUNAMI: poetry and IF YOU LOVE ME, COME: a novel.

For Your Eyes Only: Love Poems is a rarity—a beautiful collection of poetry by a newer writer who is almost fully formed. There are no clunkers or space-fillers. Each poem serves its purpose and leads seamlessly to the next. This collection is a beautiful introduction to what one can only hope will be many, many more years of writing.

~ Windy Goodloe-editor


Award-winning Poet Colette V.Paul tells you the truth about yourself.

Colette's 1st Book of Poetry & Prose

Butterflies Dance in the Rain is a moving testimony of life, covering many topics such as love, tragedy, self-discovery, single parenting, racism and hate, history, as well as corporate disdain. Colette V. Paul gives you the gift of sight to see the past and present experiences of others through her vision, and she allows you to enter into her own world to view her innermost thoughts and experiences. Ms. Paul's words and imagery will allow you to be present as these experiences are taking place or possibly, you will become so absorbed by the similarities of your own journey that you may become the central character in the poem recollecting what has happened to you. This collection of poetry, by Ms. Paul, will take you through every aspect of life, past and present, in relationship to the journey of others, Colette's, and your very own.


Testimony about Colette's "Butterflies Dance in the Rain"

In this collection, the writer showcases her forte for confessional poetry. With each poem, Paul takes an aspect of her life and sets it to verse. She is adept at taking a moment and turning it into a beautifully charged image. The poem “I’m Doing Just Fine” is a masterpiece for this reason. In the poem, we learn about a turbulent love affair. In the telling, Paul chooses her words carefully. Each word is charged with emotion and feeling.

~ Windy Goodloe, Editor.


Colette weaves the power of love had and lost, and the curiosity of what lies around the next corner of what we know life to be on this plane. Transcendent and sublime in a whispering tone, Butterflies in the Rain is a ruby among rubble as we the reader stumble through life with rested assurance that we are not alone. --Damon Waring, Editor, Acting Coach, Theater Instructor.


 In this collection, the writer showcases her forte for confessional poetry.
In this collection, the writer showcases her forte for confessional poetry.
Colette is uniquely aware that the limits of my language means the limits of my world.
Colette is uniquely aware that the limits of my language means the limits of my world.

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