Vanessa Williams: 'Feet on the Ceiling'
Apr 05, 2015
Award-winning actress Vanessa A.Williams took Claflin students on the ride of their lives, Feet on the Ceiling, performing a monologue during the annual CALA-Bash.
In this hilarious and moving coming-of-age story, Vanessa recounted tales of personal discovery and enlightenment.
"How do you know when you become a woman, when you have to make woman decisions?" Williams said.
Beginning her journey from a stoop in Bedford Stuyvesant, Williams said it took just one boy by the name of Julio for her to question the meaning of love. He was the charming Puerto Rican who all the girls wanted. To Williams' surprise, he wanted her.
Williams was the girl who guys didn't notice. Just the feeling of having Julio approach her made her feel accepted. They hung out and like most guys, he got simply what he wanted: her virginity.
From there Williams began to think that's all she was worthy of. To make matters worse, she had no one she could talk to as her mother died when she was young. Living with her grandmother who was two generations above her didn't help.
So Williams did what she thought was right by continuously having just sex with other guys. Williams began looking for sex to complete her, as a way of hiding her pain.
"I didn't know what love felt like. I thought love was sex," Williams said. It took Williams having to make a grown-woman decision to realize how much her actions were affecting her.
After making the decision to have an abortion, William said she felt transformed to be a better woman -- learning that promises are not guarantee, that being truthful takes courage.
Sex made her feel passionate and after that faded, she didn't know who she was. So Williams had to find who she was and what she wanted out of herself.
By traveling to Israel and Europe on a six-month tour of the musical HAIR, she found her uniqueness appreciated in ways she never knew possible.
This tale was about Williams as it relates to young women's quest to finding love, meaning and identity on their own terms.