FLINT, Michigan—Alexis Harvey, 25, is a conductress, whether she’s arranging tours as the Visitor Experience Specialist at Applewood or traveling across Genesee County as a substitute teacher. She emits star power, airing her talents from stages, the director’s chair, and Spotify.
“If you were to ask me like three years ago what my ultimate career goal (was) I would say… ‘I would like a Shonda Rhimes, Ava Duvernay drama. I want to be Kerry Washington.”
And in a way, she is.
She’s a theater fixer, pulling together parts of the city together as a poet, actress, director, and host of her own podcast All Black Errthaang, for the sake of Flint-based independent creativity. Her ultimate dream is to one day repurpose the Flint Central High School building for theater classes and performances.
Having directed her first play, Passing Strange, winter of 2019, she’s now preparing for the debut of her one-woman-show (with friends) Cartoon Cabaret on Friday, Feb. 7 at Flint Local 432.
This means quickly scribbled brainstorms between day jobs for her evening podcast, scheduling rehearsals, finding the next best lunch spot, and keeping her ears open for local shows, comedy performances, and even karaoke nights for inspiration and promotion.
She is always on the prowl for the local theater scene, a venue to stage a play, and a place to celebrate after a long day’s work. This Friday, she plans on kicking her day off with a colorful breakfast, fitting for the day of her cabaret debut.
9 a.m. Homemade Cereal
It’s not often that Harvey ever eats breakfast, but when she does she goes for something simple. “I’ll probably have some Fruit Loops,” said Harvey. “Because (Friday) is going to be a big day and I need my favorite breakfast.”
10 a.m. Flint Local 432
After a bowl of cereal, Harvey plans to spend all day at Flint Local 432 all-ages music venue spot on 124 West 1st St downtown where she’ll be doing setups and quick rehearsals throughout the day. Her cabaret will be made up of 24 songs that she plans to sing herself and with close friends for a night of childhood “nostalgia.”
“You can have any genre in there,” said Harvey. “I’ve been to hip-hop shows, soul shows, poetry. I think I might have been the first-ever play in there..I’ve been going since 2012 since I found out about them.”
Harvey frequents Hoffman Deli downtown to order her favorite, the Chicken Waldorf sandwich.
12 p.m. RJ’s Fried Thangs, Spectacular Spuds, and Hoffman’s
Harvey frequents Hoffman Deli to order her favorite Chicken Waldorf sandwich. But some days, Harvey just wants something fried. Chicken, fish tacos, or fried salmon from RJ’s Fried Thangs Delux on 915 S Dort Hwy is the place that scratches the itch. They also offer an array fo surf and turf, waffles, and classic combos like steak and eggs.
But when a sandwich or fried salmon doesn’t quite fit the bill, for Harvey nothing beats a good old potato from Spectacular Spudz at the Flint Farmers Market. “Because I love anything involving a potato,” said Harvey. “You mean to tell me I can have an alfredo potato? Just because I can? Yes, ma’am. Yes. ma’am. Give me an alfredo potato.”
2 p.m. University of Michigan Flint Theater
As a UM-Flint alumnus, Harvey graduated as a Theater and French double major and likes to return back to her early performance beginnings in their French Hall. Depending on the schedule, the university offers plays that are open to the public from the early afternoon into the evening on Kearsley Street. Harvey recently saw their performance of the adapted play Antigone and enjoyed the diversity on the stage.
8 p.m. Four-Cheese at Applebees
With the Carton Cabaret behind her for the night, Harvey wants to make sure she gets a hearty dinner on Court Street before she settles down to record her Friday podcast, All Black Errthaang. “I’m always a fan of the Applebees,” Harvey grins. “Which probably isn’t the most Flint forward but they got the four-cheese mac and cheese that I like.”
9 p.m.-10 p.m. A Night of Comedy and Karaoke
There’s a new comedy spot that Harvey has been curious about for a while called the Urban Cafe on 1113 N. Chevrolet Ave.
“I’m trying to go to more black-owned places...more locally-owned rather than conglomerate-owned places,” said Harvey. The Urban Cafe is known for hosting everything from comedy sets to yoga, to smoothie socials.
Though Harvey has yet to enjoy a show there, she can speak to the experience of performing her own karaoke performance at JW’s Karaoke Bar on Dort Highway.
“I like karaoke places with a big stage,” said Harvey. “And they have a big stage for a Karaoke place.” Other places simply just don’t compare said Harvey. It’s a place to soak up a stage, have some drinks, and sing your heart out with your friends.