Written By | Emily Hartmann
Will Smith is a man who needs no introduction. Winner of the first ever Grammy award for Best Rap Performance, blockbuster film star, and, as we all know him, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Upon entering the venue attendees were given a copy of Smith’s new memoir titled ”Will”. Will Smith was introduced for the night by the co-writer of his new book, Mark Manson, who spoke very highly of Will, describing him as a kind and genuine person.
The event was moderated by Academy Award winning director Spike Lee. Our night at The Kings Theater started out the same way Will’s book does with a retelling of a time when Will’s father had the then 11-year-old Will and his brother rebuild a brick wall in front of his father’s shop. Will explained, whenever he or his brother complained their father would say, “there is no wall there, only bricks, your only concern is one brick.” It took the two of them nearly a year to complete that wall and it had such a massive impact on Will’s life that he decided to use the story to open his book; even in the venue, before the show started, there was a brick wall where people could choose a brick and share a word that guides their focus.
See more photos of Will Smith HERE
As Will was speaking he went through his book in chronicle logical order until, at one point, a fan in the crowd calls out to ask why every time Jazz got thrown out of the house he was wearing the same shirt and Will explained, “That was a bit; instead of having to go to the physical house every time they wanted to throw Jazz out they just used the same clip. If Jazz was in that yellow and brown button up you knew what was about to go down!” After talking about his time on The Fresh Prince the crowd erupted when Will said that the original Aunt Viv, played by Janet Hubert, was sitting in the crowd that night. She received multiple standing ovations from the crowd. Will and Spike went on to spend the rest of the night going through the book, speaking about some of the highlights. At some points Will would recite passages from his book while accompanied by piano. It was a really beautiful night filled with crowd interaction, laughs, and lessons.
Photo Credit | Emily Hartmann