I must admit I was extremely excited and nervous to perform last night. I was unsure of the audience and couldn't help but wonder if the poetry I bought with me would satisfy what they expected from me.
I decided to bring an eclectic mix, read it in categories and start with the erotic because that is what I'd done last.
It went well; I could have gone a little slower but my girls - Dimitri and Karima came and gave me some real support! I was so excited!!! Atif and Marvin were in the audience which was intimidating but reassuring of my abilities that they would come out to support me....
Ad-Lib's performance was STELLAR!! He ROCKED it SO WELL that I didn't want to go on after him!! SMH! Real Talk! There was also a young lady there (I cannot remember her name to save my life- Sorry babygirl) that sung her heart out!! Her poetry mixed with song - especially Nina Simone's "misunderstood" really touched me - she talked about love, loyalty, friendship and honesty; not just between lovers but friends.
There were two other standouts of the night - one man who detailed an alcohol drenched dream laced with imagery so stark and tangible it was amazing as well as another fellow poet whose poetry was laced with politics and on point with where we are right now in America!
Found out after I performed that I probably should have ordered my poetry differently - coming from Poetology's founder - the contructive critique meant a lot. He gave me props for being a substantive poet! "You are NOT just an erotic poet you are more well rounded than that!!!" His advice was make them listen to you with the first piece, mix in some substantive poetry, then make them remember you. I will most definitely remember that advice next time!!! THANKS ATIF SALEEM!!!!
Ad-Lib gave me some valuable advice as well - memorize your work as you write it and re-write and although our process is infinitely different, I can see the value of what he said about how memorization allows you to connect with your audience. - Uh you can be looking at them and not your paper! - duh! LOL!
Now, I have no excuses when it comes to performing.