Hey fellow members of The Crooked Table!
How are you all doing?
Robert said it'd be a cool idea to blog about my poetry reading experience at The Plaza last night and I couldn't agree more.
It's very interesting because I totally forgot I was supposed to be performing at this thing until about a week ago.
I was scheduled a month in advance and it just totally slipped my mind.
Maybe it was better that way because then I had no time to even think about being nervous.
So, I drove a few of my friends down to Hudson, Fl (my old hood) and we easily found the place.
It's a tiny little place but they have coffee, beer, and wine so that's pretty groovy.
It was an open mic night and I was the only poet there but the opening musicians were pretty groovy.
Two young kids from a local high school.
I stepped outside to grab a cigarette because I wasn't sure when I was going to be taking the stage when I hear my friend Ciara whisper my name.
"You're on!" she said.
I stomped my cigarette out and literally ran inside.
I grabbed the selection of poems I had typed up just as Stephanie (the owner of The Plaza) was announcing me.
I think the size of the place made me feel closer to the audience but I wasn't nervous about it at all.
I sat on the stool, introduced myself, and just started reading.
Everything went pretty flawless and I didn't feel too nervous. (Just a little bit though. lol)
I heard patrons saying things like "That was beautiful" in the middle of all the applause after I read each one.
It was kind of cool because I explained what my inspiration for some of them were.
Well, after that some singers took the stage and then there were really no more official acts.
My friends started getting into it and the next thing I know my friend Kyle is performing "Folsom Prison Blues" with one of the musicians.
Everyone was having a great time and it was so cool because people just started randomly taking the stage and either jamming out with the musicians, dancing, telling jokes, whatever.
Two of the kids started a freestyle battle and I couldn't think of anything cool to join into it until later.
(But next time it will be ON!)
I even got up there and did my famous scene from Rent, "Over the Moon" and it was just a really awesome time.
I totally want to do it again and a lot of my friends who came along were upset that they didn't bring their instruments and didn't have anything prepared.
What I liked most about the whole experience was how yes, a lot of it was goofy, unrehearsed, and on the spot, but isn't that how art is sometimes?
I can tell you it's a lot more fun when you learn not to take yourself so seriously.
And it made everyone who stepped up to that microphone a hell of a lot less nervous.
So, I'd like to officially thank Stephanie Marinelli and The Plaza for inviting me and for also inviting me back.
I totally want to find time next month and go out there and do it again.
So any of the Table members who have some poetry or some musical talent, or even just the urge to do something crazy in front of an audience should totally come out next time!
It was worth it and it was a lot of fun.
And since this was my second poetry reading and it was a lot less nerve-racking than the first one, I'm sure next time it will be a breeze.
I'll have pictures posted from it on my Myspace soon (and a video!) so hit me up on there at www.myspace.com/becauseimjenn
And hey, if you're not my friend on there yet, you should be!
I'd gladly read anything you post and do my best to spread the word about anything you may be working on or anywhere you may be performing yourself.
I think writers, artists, and musicians should help each other out and it's the least I could do, really.
Well, take care out there in Writing Land!
May the "winter blues" bring you some much needed inspiration to do something great!