Wow! I do not know what has come over me this last month but I have been really stepping outside of my comfort zone and doing things that I wanted to do but have been too afraid. Perhaps it has something to do with me allowing me to be who I am, without judgement.
So let me tell you what I did this time. Well let me give you a little background. Not only am I a visual artist but I do enjoy writing, which honestly was my first artistic love. In college I wrote a lot, it was how I expressed. Some of my early writings are very evident of age and stage, sometimes I was a bit dramatic hahaha. Which is ok, I was where I was. I have a few different note books with little writings and rhymes. As of late they exist on my phone, because when the words strike you gotta write!
Earlier this summer I went to a Slam Poetry event, I had been meaning to go for a while and one night I finally worked up the courage to go. It was fun, and inspiring. I even got to judge people without feeling guilty! I was a judge. Typically in slam Poetry judges are members from the audience with no relation to the poets. They are chosen the night of. That night it was me! I had also been watching a lot of slam poetry and I just wished that I had the courage to be one of those bold people performing, baring their soul in such an emphatic, witty, way. "There is no way I can do that, I need practice, also what if my poetry is not that good." These are the thoughts that prevented me from just trying it. However in the back of my head, after that night I knew that I was going to try it one day when I was ready.
So fast forward through life and being preoccupied with everything except poetry. I ran into my friend Dara on Sunday and we decided to have dinner together. What a good dinner and good time with this dear friend of mine. We talked about so much. She at one point in the conversation started talking about slam poetry in Spokane. She said she was going to read at a poetry night. That's when I shared that I wanted to do that as well. Long of the long, little did I know she was going to the event on Monday night to read. I invited myself to join her. I told her that if she read I would read too. We left dinner with the plan of going to Spokane Poetry Slam. This is no open mic night, it was a competition that is held monthly.
Monday comes and we meet at the agreed time. So here we are at the Bartlett. If you have not been to this venue you should check it out. They have live shows, open mic nights and delicious popcorn! Anyways, we were early and Dara was eager and had written a poem earlier that day and had to make some additions. Which I was really impressed. I am over here still trying to figure out if I am going to read and what. Finally the doors open, my friend Dara, goes right over to sign up. I still was on the fence. Then folks... I DID IT! I signed up to read a poem.
So the MC does all the stuff that you do at Poetry Slams. If you do not know how they work read this. So we go up there to draw numbers to figure out order. Dara drew a 2 and I drew an 8. I was nervous. I almost had to get into a different head space to exact it the way I wanted it to come across. Dara goes second. Let me tell you, she was so good! She exuded confidence and she believed what she was doing! I would have never known that she had not done this before. I was really proud of her! I listen and watch other poets intently while still working on my nerves and getting into my confident space. Finally I am on deck. This is real. I am about to do this.
Here goes nothing, the MC calls me up and it is my turn! I did it yall!! I read a poem, out loud, in a place, to people, in a microphone." Is how my poem started. Here is a small snippet. My ipad did not have enough storage so it is just a few seconds. It was great! Once I got into it, I felt fearless. I let go and just did it. It felt natural. I was myself while getting out what I intended. It was invigorating! The judges scored me fairly I guess. People seemed to enjoy it, but honestly it was something I had to do for me!
Here is the thing, I got to do it again in the same night!! I made it to round 2! I couldn't even believe it. I made it to round 2! I had planned on reading one poem, but like the creative type that I am, I had several other poems on my phone I could read. Dara helped me to choose which one. I wasn't as confident because I wasn't sure the voice I wanted to use but nonetheless I was number 5 and I was going to do it. But I did it!! I read another poem! This one I will practice and perfect and use the voice I want it to be. Check it out!
This one, the message was real and I love this poem, I just need to get confident about what I am saying while performing it. I will work on it and I am going to give it another go! So yall in the month of September, I went on my first solo hike, and read 2 slam poems in public to people. What is next?
The things I liked most about this experience is that everyone was so supportive and encouraging. I was even inspired by the other poets. I watched to get some good soul food but to also learn. There is some real talent here in the Spokane community; such a cool creative community. Now that I have done it once, I think I can do it again, perhaps with some trepidation but if I get in the space and remember who I am. I believe I can do anything that I set my mind to.