The Things that #HellaBlack's Dwayne P. Mitchell Can't Perform Without

by Christopher Ehlers

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday February 28, 2023

Dwayne P. Mitchell
Dwayne P. Mitchell  

Although Dwayne P. Mitchell is currently touring the country in the hit musical "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations," he's found the time to curate a new edition of "#HellaBlack Live Mixtape Vol 5: Soul" which plays the Boston Center for the Arts on Thursday, Mar. 2 at 7:30 PM.

"When we consider the word 'soul' and the many intersections of this term," said Mitchell, "its iterations are rooted in tradition, artistry, and feelings that celebrate the very essence of Blackness in spaces for Black people by Black people."

This year, Kadahj Bennett will serve as MC, and the program will also feature poet, artist, & educator Amanda Shea; actor, director, playwright, and teaching artist Charmaine Santiago Galdón; award-winning poet Leonard Tshitenge; dancer, movement artist, and educator Makeda Wallace; R&B artist Nancia Músic; and hip hop artist Timi O.

With a pre-show event starting at 6:30 PM, tickets are available here for Thursday's event.

Here are the things that Dwayne P. Mitchell can't perform without:

Ricola Cough Drops

"Though it may seem very predictable for a vocalist/performer, Ricolas are truly out here changing the game and have become an intricate part of my performance career starting from my time as a student and aspiring professional actor/performer. To let you behind the scenes, I have formulated the way I have Ricolas for a performance. One before a performance, and one after a performance in my tea! If you see me walking around with my tea mug, and more than likely has a Ricola inside of it!" $5.69, Target.

'Finding Me' by Viola Davis

"Viola Davis has been HUGE influence in my artistry and my platform as an activist in the arts. She is not only a force in this industry who embodies the essence of unapologetic performance rooted in truth, but she's actually the thing that ignited my flame for theatre when I saw the play 'Fences' by August Wilson for the first time. Having her book 'Finding Me' and being able to read or re-read pages before and/or after performances keep me in a state of hunger and gratitude for bridging art and activism. Her words encourage me to be fearless, to trust my journey (in all its imperfections) and to always be discovering; this is how we grow as humans and artists." $19, Target.

Yogi Ginger Tea

"Yogi Ginger Tea has truly been a lifesaver for me since I've joined the First National Tour of "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations." It is always a journey for me to find a tea brand that has a great ratio of pure ginger vs. other added ingredients and for me, Yogi seems to have the right amount and not to mention always leaving little reminders/food for thought quotes on their tea bags!" $4.39, Target.

Beyoncé's "Renaissance"

"The turn up is real!! ANYONE WHO KNOWS ME KNOWS MY LOVE FOR THE QUEEN! Believe it or not, I almost always get nervous before any performance, and one of the things I love to do is have a vibe check-in. I put in my headphones and begin to play the entire album of "Renaissance." For me, this album embodies the essence of being free and authentically you, and that's what I want my artistry to reflect—truth. Plus, It's Beyonce. She alone is the vibe."

Quest Protein Shakes or Chips

"I like to consider myself a very physical person. I love to go on runs, workout at the gym, and do just about anything that gets my body moving before starting my days. Workouts have become my daily routine and so has Quest Protein! I was first introduced to Quest by my best friend, Haley K. Clay, who is a brand ambassador for the company, and have loved these products ever since. From the snack options to the protein bars, to the shakes, I find that this brand does well with providing quality amounts of protein in very flavorful ways!" Quest Nutrition.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation Line

"Two things: sweat and oily skin. These are two of the most common things I have personally dealt with in my professional performance career so far. In live theatre, both are bound to happen, and it has been a journey for me to find a foundation that supports the ways of my skin and doesn't run during high energy dance numbers! This product is from MAC's studio fix fluid foundation make-up line and holds very well for things like live performances/entertainment events/on-screen acting. I currently use this product on tour and has proved to work wonders for me in this high-energy show!" $39, Mac Cosmetics.

Vicks Personal Sinus Steam

"Speaking of working wonders, I absolutely love to steam before and after performances. It's so therapeutic for me and also serves as a decongesting tool/technique. I am grateful for the opportunity to travel quite a bit on my current project, and with traveling comes different altitudes, atmospheres, and weather so my body has to constantly adjust (which is not always the easiest thing to ask of our bodies) but having my small Vicks steamer is the perfect size to pop into my bag, making it very accessible any time I need!" $41, Amazon.