Thursday, October 11, 2012

Say Yes to Slam, man.

Oh blog world, how easy you abandon! Damn all these real life responsibilities! So, I went to Hawaii, yada yada yada, the snorkeling was great! I haven’t been going out as much because that trip was suuuper expensive, but totally worth it. You should go to there. But I am back to tell you about my new obsession: Slam Poetry.

I’ve always been a poet (wouldn’t ya know it), but for some reason never thought to do anything with my work besides fill up endless journals and stick them in a crate, though I did win the Books Arts Bash poetry contest in 2008. So, it’s been a while!

A couple months ago I volunteered my photography services for VaRiEtY Showcase Showdown, and walked in to Kevin W. Burke performing his poems. I was immediately blown away and completely inspired. Jacob Dodson also rocked the house with his clever and comical mind. I talked to them after the show and they told me about Austin Poetry Slam, happening every Tuesday night at 8pm at 29th St. Ballroom (Spiderhouse).

Slam is a little different than your typical open mic night as judges are selected from the audience to score the poems. Poets have three minutes to perform and those with the highest scores receive cash awards and high fives. The place gets packed, so if you want a good seat or want to perform, get there early to sign up or save a spot. 29th St. has a full bar, and the Love Balls Bus serves....balls. And other things. But mostly balls. Plus they’ve got a super sweet 8-track collection that you can choose from and play around with while you wait.

So, I went to see a slam and I was sucked up into the scene within seconds. How have I gone without it for so long? I laughed, I cried, I snapped my fingers,  I scribbled ideas down. I felt like it was the perfect outlet for my writing and my desire to perform without much of a commitment to rehearse and deal with scheduling conflicts. Soon after, I awoke in the middle of the night and wrote a poem that had been begging to be written for a long, long time.

A few weeks ago I did my first open mic at House of Commons, which happens Wednesday nights at 8pm. You have to see this place. It’s a co-op on campus and totally Austin. The living room is full of couches and kitchen chairs, dogs are roaming free, shirtless students are running up and down the stairs doing laundry, people are drinking straight from the wine bottle, and the DJ is spinning ambient music through his laptop. Anyone can sign up and poets are picked to perform in a random order for each round.

Last week I did my first slam, which actually took place at Sky Candy because the Ballroom was booked for a private party. Sky Candy came up with this cool idea to combine aerial and circus arts with spoken word. Poets and artists were paired together at random and then given 30 minutes to rehearse together. The outcome was outstanding. I didn’t see a lot of the show because I was pacing around in the back room trying not to throw up from nervousness, haha! I performed, and nobody died. I even scored three 9.0s! PS: That totally rhymes. The show received great feedback, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing this type of thing again. Come out and see me sometime! Or just check out my Youtube channel.

If you dig it, you can also catch me at Mortified next weekend on the 19th and 20th. The show is at 8pm at Spiderhouse (so, I pretty much live there...). The show will feature lots of lovely ladies reading real excerpts from angsty teenage journals. Check out the FB page for more info.

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