Further to an old post called “Facing Fears” where I blatantly admitted to a few scaredy cat moments, this is an update on one of the fears I am doing my utmost to overcome – public speaking, or, in my case performance.
Writers, poets, there are so many avenues out there to help us get our words out infront of other people and I love that localities in every region have embraced the growing number of platforms where people like me can share their writing. From Slams to Open Mic opportunities and the chance to share the floor with established writers, there’s a movement of appreciative societies, listening, encouraging, enjoying and thinking upon every word that forms an individual’s perception of the spoken word.
Anything seems to go, comedy, romance, erotica, social angst; the movement reveals a freedom to explore word smithery in what I could describe as an “underground” manner. I have found too that it is the older readers who are far more smutty and intent on getting their audience’s knickers wet with their words than I would dare to try!
So, I’ve made myself get up there in front of the mic now on a few recent occasions. I would recommend checking out the events at The Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden, London, that shares it’s address with The Poetry Society. I joined Platform1, hosted by Ernie Burns and Amy Neilson Smith with an audience of around twenty five to whom I delivered a couple of my poems that will shortly feature in my new publication out next month. I got laughs in the right places which meant everything to me then, believe me!
I would also recommend finding out more about the work of Rrrants and the events they run hosted by The Anti Poet, a dynamic and entertaining duo who complete their set with cocksure ease, comical expertise, a double bass to keep the beats in time and, er, well, a cow bell. I’ve been to a couple of Rrrants evenings now, the first time as a onlooker, trying to persuade myself that sweaty palms and thumping heart was not an excuse to curl up and die and therefore, the second time, I put my name down, refused to let my sweaty palms and thumping heart result in a blackout and conquered my tiny set leaving me wishing I had time to do more.
I’ll get there in the end, I know, but it’s practice that I need and crave. My increasingly indelible life motto, “Nothing Left To Loose”, (also a rocking great song by Heaven’s Basement!), also rings in my ears every time I wonder: should I?
Thanks for reading.
Long Live The Fans!