|02:34 pm - fuck-it|
robbie q nps 08 update x-posted from myspace:
this is not meant to be a comprehensive update on the national poetry slam but here are some highlights:
- a shitload of new poets, an equal shitload of absent old poets. this both bodes well for the future of the movement and establishes further nps as another step into the life of a performance artist. it's like school after college and i think that's wonderful.
-poets really growing and coming into their own - jeanann verlee and brian ellis come to mind immediately. it's so wonderful seeing people figure out better why they were always so dope in the first place. sierra from st. paul sounds like herself now. the future is now!
-me calling marc after team finals and him laughing and laughing about the organizational problems.
-whoever produced three brilliant issues of the satirical gossip rag the Tattler did an excellent job.
-danny strack having a very long conversation with my cousin, lyz, and then apologizing a lot because he has a girlfriend.
-nerd slam press! they got some of the facts wrong (escalade? wha?), but otherwise it's a great article. it's been great being a part of the nerd slam for six nationals now, and it has definitely evolved into one of the highlights of my year. it's just so much fun. oh, and shannon performed amazingly, which confirmed my belief that she's going to be one of the best performance artists in chicago. soon, my pretties, soon.
-chicago in general. after the exodus that decimated our spoken word scene in '03, this is the first year i think we can say we've recovered. kay krown and tristan silverman are a big part of that.
-story. instead of individual finals, this year they had group piece finals for the top 12 scoring group pieces from teams not in semis. i like that more teams get to compete in higher levels though there were some belly-achers that said it means there isn't as good a show. whatever!
green mill was in said group piece final and considering we had only two practices before nationals (which were both 2 hours long), the only slammy group piece we had was an indy poem of iggy's about being a determined sperm. it became a group piece because marc, amy, and i had the idea to run around the audience frantically waving our arms behind us like we were iggy's spermy competition. with two people as sperm, it looked funny enough to get it into group finals.
so we're in this big show with multiple rounds and the group piece that got us there is really just a glorified indy poem. instead of feeling a little like charlatans since there were non-glorified indies who didn't make the final, we decided to give a green mill-style gift to the community. when the team found out we were in the final, tim says "you guys should get 30 people to run around the audience with you as sperm." though he was joking, he was also totally right.
so in this large theatre we strategically planted about 20 of our friends to get up on the cue line and run around like sperm in the aisles with us. in the balcony were a shitload of YCA kids also with the sperm instructions (i'm such a great influence on young minds - use a condom kids!). green mill was slated to perform in the second to last slot in the final, which was perfect since we were able to find out which of the teams backstage had already been eliminated from competition and could join us as well.
i was really nervous about it. i wanted everyone to like it as a big celebration of silliness, not something to disrespect the competition (though i wish slam were more expertly, positively disrespected just a little more sometimes). i also didn't want people in the audience to think there was a fire and that we were running around flailing in fear (like they do in Chicken Run, for instance).
iggy wins trooper of the year for letting us do this to his poem. when we get to the cue, amy, molly, and i burst out from iggy, all the plants on the main floor and the balcony shoot up, and about 10 more poets ejaculate from backstage. we're all running around, people are really laughing hard, tension-releasing scream-laughter. i bang my head into the sign language interpreter's body (whose sign for what was happening was to just laugh and gesture to me as i'm butting into his belly). dain down from jersey was carrying a whiskey bottle as a sperm. kelsey miller ate shit and cut up her knee as a sperm (though she laughed the whole time). amy's boobs were out of control (as a sperm). molly and iggy and the organizers and everyone had so much fun.
when it was done, people were chanting "12! 12! 12!" and when mike henry announced our disqualification to cheers, i came out and gave him the ABQ arm-cross. it took a while to calm everyone down.
if my function in this community is to make sure people keep their perspective on why we're together (through satire and sperm-silliness) i'm pretty okay with that. i definitely come to nationals to experience great performance poetry, but without the great people you get to know, the whole experience is pointless (so to speak). community trumps competition. always always always.
if this wasn't so long already, i'd namedrop all the people i love and why. i hope those people know why.
stay pretty, pretties. forget the ugly, pretties, your pretty is prettier.