Jamillah and David Lamb are the dynamic couple behind the successful off-Broadway play, Platanos Y Collard Greens, which has enjoy ed more than 10 years running. For years, they have worked side by side, 24/7, to create and build their business. And, not only have they not killed each other, their love has grown stronger. Now Jamillah and David share their recipe for romantic success.
This insightful relationship guidebook is part love manual and part diary as the couple explores important and intimate topics. Speaking from both of their voices–separately and collectively.
Perfect Combination: Seven Key Ingredients to Happily Living & Loving Together is not a book of relationship theory – it’s a practical guide that provides the recipe anyone, man or woman, single, engaged or married, can use for love . Jamillah & David tell their story with a sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious, honesty. It is the warm, true-to-life style combined with road-tested advice that makes this book on love and relationships so unique and so valuable .
About the Authors: Jamillah & David Lamb are the husband and wife team who own Between The Lines Productions, Inc., a company they developed in 2003 to inspire and bring the joy of laughter to people, which has produced the long running Off-Broadway show, Platanos Y Collard Greens. David was born in Queens, NY and raised in public housing in Astoria, Queens. He attended the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and New York University School of Law. He is the playwright of Platanos Y Collard Greens, a piece that grew out of his experiences growing up in the Black and Latino communities of in Queens and the South Bronx. Jamillah Lamb grew up in Chicago, in the same neighborhood as First Lady Michelle Obama. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in economics from Wesleyan University, she went on to Harvard University, where she gained her Master degree in Public Policy. She uses this background in the daily operations of Between The Lines Productions, Inc. Jamillah always loved theater and shares David’s passion for creative work. David loves being married business partners and parenting with Jamillah. They live in Brooklyn with their wonderful little girl. For more information about Perfect Combination: Seven Key Ingredients to Happily Living and Loving Together
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Interview with Jamillah and David Lamb, Successful Theater Producers and authors of must-read relationship guide: Perfect Combination: Seven Key Ingredients To Happily Living & Loving Together
1. “Love like kids act like adults” is your motto. What do you mean by that?
We have all been blessed to see how openly and beautifully children love, without fear of rejection or embarrassment. Seeing this, we can’t help but break into big, broad smiles when a child expresses their love. Despite these broad smiles, however, most of us turn our own love lives into a Quentin Tarantino movie and “get medieval,” “get even,” and “get over”. We forget to love the way we once did, instead we build massive, reinforced fortresses around our hearts to protect us from hurt. Complete with moats (baggage from past relationships) and knights (friends and family who, filled with their own past relationship baggage, advise us to protect ourselves and not open ourselves). Unfortunately, while we believe these fortresses protect us, in reality they are prisons that imprison our love and leave us unable to genuinely give and receive love.
We say no more, it is time to make the greatest prison break since Shawshank Redemption.
Here’s an example, we playfully call this the screaming greeting. When a small child is happy to see you walk through the door, you don’t have to guess about it the joy comes out as their little voices rise and they run and hug you. Now have you ever come home after a long-day at work and greeted the one you love without any greeting at all or worse yet a grumpy greeting, each of you distracted by the mail, the work day, the television, the phone or the thousand and one other things that distract us. Well—stop it! That is merely a façade another way of putting a fortress around your heart to protect yourself, but instead has turned into a prison inhibiting your love. Next time the one you love comes home after a long day of work greet them with the enthusiasm that your love deserves: run up, hug them and shout out your love for them. It will shake off the blues and bring you closer, you will find yourself cheered up and longing for them even more.
2. How do you keep the spark in your relationship?
Loving Like Kids is a living, breathing philosophy for us. We go on spontaneous dates—doing what we want to do in the moment, and we have no limit on public displays of affection (no matter how embarrassing.)
3. What are your fundamental tips for making a relationship work in your opinion?
First, Let Your Past, Be Your Past. One of the keys to being happy in a relationship is to be in that relationship. We all carry emotional baggage from past relationships around in gigantic duffel bags and oft-times those past relationships poison the current relationship we are trying to have.
You can never see the potential of your future, if you are always viewing it through the lens of your past. One of the most complementary things that someone has written about Perfect Combination was that the book inspired them to not make the next person pay for the last person’s mistakes, but instead to always put their best foot forward in a relationship and to leave the baggage behind wholeheartedly embracing a new opportunity to “get it right”. That is our message – that love and happiness are not elusive. They are accessible, but they begin with a ready, willing and able self, strong enough to make the journey and take the trip.
4. How did you meet?
We actually met at work. David worked in the New York office and I worked in the California office.
Yes, one week after starting work I noticed a picture of the company’s retreat from the year before, and my eye immediately went to Jamillah. Something told me she was going to be my wife. I know that love at first sight is a Hollywood cliché, but for me it was a very real experience.
A month later we had our company retreat in California and David and the rest of the New York staff came out to California. I have to admit that when I saw him there was instant electricity.
It took her ten years to admit that!
5. Now I know you two are in love, but like all couples there have to be disagreements sometimes. How do you handle disagreements?
Many relationships fall apart because the couple doesn’t know how to handle disagreements. We have seen couples explode over something as small as which movie to see on Saturday night. What we’ve found is that it’s not the things you disagree about that break couples up, but the ways in which couples disagree. We urge everyone to take Dr. Martin Luther King’s advice and “learn to disagree, without being disagreeable’.
6. What is the quality you like most about the other?
His sense of humor and youthful attitude. He keeps me laughing, all the time. And his belief in and support of me.
Her sweetness. People say you end up marrying someone like your parents and for us its true, even though that was not our intention, but the first time I walked into Jamillah’s apartment and saw a painting of trees that she had worked on, I thought, this is really bizarre, because my mother is one of the great tree painting enthusiasts in the world.
It’s true, and I don’t know how it happened, but David is a blend of both my father and step-father – the good parts.
And her support of and belief in me.
7. Most people think that working together actually will doom their relationship, but for you two, working together has made it stronger. How has this come about?
Originally we planned to produce our play, Platanos Y Collard Greens, for one weekend. We both had full-time jobs and thought that it would be a fun thing to do on the side, but when the audiences came that first weekend, they fell in love with the show and it took over our lives.
Suddenly we were managing a company of twenty actors and dealing with drama on and off-stage. We had to learn how to manage people and not let the stress of doing that damage our relationship. Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends & Influence People became a handbook for managing people and surprisingly we learned things that improved our relationship, one very important thing we learned is that people crave appreciation. When we first began working together we didn’t appreciate that fully and would sometimes take each other for granted without even realizing it. Once we learned this lesson in business we began making sure that we showed each other how much we appreciated each other, and it made our relationship better.
For information about Jamillah and David visit their website www.acoupleoflambs.com Perfect Combination is available at Amazon.com and other online booksellers.
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