I am usually the first one to have a big cry about doing this stuff alone, how poetry can be a solo exhibition of the soul, and how it is very hard to collaborate, find helpers, get people enthusiastic about projects etc.
But these past few weeks have taught me how people can rise to an occasion.
Personally my show MaXimal was an incredible success. It showed me that I can do an hour show, something which will (hopefully) lead to festival shows, touring and international spotlights (?). I got my first ever review (as being in performance poetry world does not lend itself to reviews very much, other than your friends posting something positive on fb).
Not only that, but my friends from BrokenWord supplied me with lights, mics and sound. Angela Willock and Eleanor Jackson helped me with the door as well as gave me a lot of love and support, and Doubting Thomas funded the project, as well as leant mental support for my withering nerves and frayed brain. Bonus points go to Olivia Pushong who somehow conjured chairs when the venue couldn't supply me with theirs as they would be closed when the show went on.
So I had a moment in time where people gathered, supported and said "dude, what do ya want? Coz we can help".
I was humbled and amazed to have the energy of those people to draw from when I thought I would be lost.
I guess now the questions of comedy circuits and different avenues of marketing remain in that there is only so many people in the poetry community, and only so many ways a show that was actually comedy, but billed as poetry, can pull an audience. So if you see me starting to put "comedy" as my main thing, it's because I'm figuring out how to get audiences, build crowds, and generally build my rep as an entertainer, more than a poet. Which I think is fair considering I'm always at the least trying to be entertaining.
Then I got to work collaboratively with the wonderful poet, and also my gf, Angela for Mixtape. It may be relationship suicide to do such a thing, and not something that always works - no matter how much you care for someone collaborating on a project does not always translate the same as collaborating in hearts. However this project has been a great amount of fun and also taught me a lot about how poets work, the courage to scrap ideas and go for the bits that really shine, and also the ability to communicate and give support. Not stuff I'm good at at the best of times.
We performed for the first time together last night, and I gotta say, it was fucking excellent. Another review. And once again, it was shiny and great. Proving that working hard on a show and knowing what REALLY WORKS is vital to editing and devising a performance. It's a different show than MaXimal, quieter and less of a showcase of word-skills, more of a personal inspection and introspective view of what happens in love, music and relationships. It's a project, a concept album, a connecting point for us both to explore and work.
We have one more show tonight, and then Jam Jar Poetry Slam kicks into fundraiser mode for the Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup on Sunday at 3pm.
I would say I have some time off after this, but I don't, I'm doing workshops for Ipswich Poetry Feast all next week with primary school students.
My cousin is a workaholic, something I never thought I would be, and he always used to say "I'll sleep when I'm dead..."
Probably not the most healthy way of doing things, but fuckit.
I'll sleep when I'm dead.
If you came to my shows, thanks, if you saw me in Canberra, thanks, if you're coming to Mixtape tonight, thanks, if you're coming to Jam Jar on Sunday, thanks.