Saturday, March 1, 2014

C.G. Thomas New Directions: Actor, Writer, Director

            Delores Fisher and Barnes Bar-B Que owner Dante (2013)


Yes, he warned me several months ago that he was leaving the business, and was waiting patiently for closure in his life before he closed Barnes Bar b Que. We talked at length and I think he is happy now with his decision before he closed shop last weekend. So officially------Goodbye Tay...your down home Southern Restaurent ambiance, your delicious food and especially your friendly southern gentleman conversations will be missed.

 Last post on Barnes Bar B Que.

Barnes Bar B Que at 7820 Broadway Ave in Lemon Grove, CA  is one of my favorite local soul food  eateries. I enjoy just chillin', eating greens, and hanging out When I'm up in LA, I prefer Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. But, this is San Diego.

As a blogger, the more casual atmosphere at Barnes reminds me of the small mom and pop soul food places my parents took us to as a children. It's got that sixties groove with a Southern flavah. It's wall memorabilia is historic and topical.  I've had interviews with musicians from back in the day, talked politics and music, and even a photo shoot at  Barnes Bar B Que with young photographer Nyle Webster:

 I enjoy casual conversations with patrons about the arts, politics, and my new community outreach volunteer assignment with San Diego's Mainly Mozart

Recently I remembered an unpublished interview with C.G. Thomas. As winter rain falls on usually Sunny San Diego, it's a good time to reflect . . . . .

One afternoon I stopped in for my favorite smothered pork and a piece of fried chicken at Barnes Bar B Que; I had been talking about the restaurant being an ideal location for a movie set for a couple of years now. Dante, the owner mentioned a few days earlier that local actor and producer C.G. Thomas now uses his restaurant as a set for an Internet Web series. That afternoon, I sat down to eat and overheard a conversation that made my ears perk up. It was C.G. himself eating lunch with new show cast member, actress Suki Pelestor. C.G. graciously gave me an on the spot impromptu interview:

(NOTE: For those who follow me on Twitter:‎   you know that sadly, before I wrote this post, Jim Kelly passed away. It was also announced on the 2013 BET Awards when they gave tribute to deceased elders whose work  in the entertainment industry impacted the world.)

DF:  What is the series that you are filming?

CG:  Thomas: It's an action series that revolves around a male main character.

DF:  Sort of like a private eye or something?

CG:  Thomas: Not quite. The series protagonist returns home after a few years of being away. His   neighborhood is over run with crime, drugs, violence, people are fearful to walk at night.The protagonist gradually becomes a vigilante. He physically intervenes when people's lives are in immediate danger.

DF: That sounds like quite a few previous shows. What's the difference?

CG: Thomas: The protagonist is an African American highly trained in martial arts. His character is built on characters such as Black Caesar, Fred Williamson Black Cobra, and Jim Kelly: Black belt Jones.

DF:  I remember those dudes. Almost every young sistah who liked the '60s and 70's conscious "brother-man look" wanted a  tall handsome dude who had an afro like Jim Kelly (We all laugh out loud in   agreement. To be a young African American, watching Jim Kelly on screen during that era doing martial arts during that that time, was inspirational and exciting!)

C.G.Thomas: You know, actually, I've worked with Jim Kelly. He is really quite a man, sincere, dedicated to positivity. He invited me to be in his film that he's working on in Europe; it's similar to his Black belt Jones films, a 2013 updated version. It'll be scheduled for release in the US.

D.F.:  Congratulations., man!

C.G.: Thomas: Thank you. Yea, I'm real excited. It's an honor to work with him. Information about the the C.G. Thomas Blacklisted can be assessed on:

We ended the interview with a photo session.

          Suki Pelestor/actress and C.G. Thomas, director/actor

            Suki Pelestor, C.G. Thomas, and Delores Fisher

I recently saw C.G. in La Mesa. In town for a short stop, he was on his way to back up to Los Angeles. Still saddened by Jim Kelly's death, he stated that he would continue filming his show. One of his goals is to honor the Jim Kelly legacy.  Always busy acting, writing, or filming in the now, C. G. Thomas is an inspired young artist who looks back to the elders while moving forward into the entertainment world of the future.

The world is our stage,
Delores  Fisher

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