I cannot believe that after a long break away from the stage, I have now done my second gig at the Y Theatre, Leicester. Last week I pushed the boundaries further by performing three poems to backing tracks, about topical issues that I feel strongly about. The first one about gang rape is one I performed earlier this year and seems to be a hit, which is now actually requested at gigs. My second poem was originally a task that was set by the Writer's Group when we were given the theme of writing about a debt or financial crisis. I chose to write about how the recession is affecting society. To finish off I decided to talk about sex! The theme was actually safe sex and not allowing peer pressure to lead young people into rushing into something, then wasting their youth away.
After all the performances were over we received audience feedback. I certainly achieved what I set out to do, which is to get people thinking and to take the audience on a different journey. An interesting debate that got started was, whether I should perform my poetry to a backing track or not. Poetry to a backing track is something new, experimental and exciting for me. I am of the belief that poetry still gets a raw deal and should appeal to the wider masses. A backing track is something that can enhance a poem by making it stand out more. Using a backing track is actually harder than reading a poem out alone. With a backing track one needs to think about the execution of the poem, getting the emotions out and making sure the backing track is in rhythm and synchrony to the poem. When I choose my backing tracks I also try to choose backing tracks that fit the mood of the poem.
Overall I am pleased that I am rebuilding my performance confidence again. From reading previous blog posts many of my readers and followers will see that my life can be a roller coaster. Having challenges like this keeps me going and boasts my confidence. When I step out onto the stage I feel I am stepping into another world and in that world I can just let myself go. If I did not have that world I do not think I would cope with half of what life throws at me. I said it on stage, but I do not feel I can reiterate this point enough. It is the strong support network of family, friends/mentors that have made all this possible again. I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by positive energy while I am embarking on these important journeys in my life.
There is a video and pictures to follow this blog post, watch this space.