<Deleted User> (5210)

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new to poetry performing

Just a few questions but when do you know you are ready to begin pefrorming your poetry?
and how do you go about getting venues to perform your poetry?

Thanks :)
Sun, 3 Aug 2008 01:45 pm
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Hi Holly
Well I guess the time to perform is when you decide to share your poetry with other people and, having practised reading it. Then you gird your loins, take a deep beath and take the plunge. But, in the words of Alabaster Deplume, "The time is now!" If you're in the NW come to one of our events - we particularly encourage new comers - and have a go.

To find an event near you have a look at our gig guide - if you click on the "Filter" option you will see all the places where there are events being held, click on a town or city to bring up only those events.
Sun, 3 Aug 2008 01:55 pm
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The main thing Holly is to relax. Everyone who has performed/read poetry has made a pig's ear of it at some point. The trick is not to see it as a great disaster when it happens. I've seen the most experienced, well-regarded performance poets mess up, but it's the way they get up and do it again that counts. Although deep down all poets hate each other professionally (either for being better or worse than each other), socially, poets are generally a very nice bunch of people. They will encourage you and nurture your performance path if you ask them.
I host an informal poetry reading night in Manchester called Inn Verse and many young (and not so young) poets have broken their performance duck at the venue. They have all felt that it was worth it. There is nothing quite like the feeling of expressing yourself in front of a group of strangers or friends in poetic form.
Sat, 6 Jun 2009 01:22 pm
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I also co-run one in Bolton called 'Poets and...' - for me, there is no right or wrong way too... A lot off it for me is just learning to relax and making your voice heard.. I've made mistakes myself on then, and have read out poems that should have stayed in my scrap book but you live and you learn as I always say... Just go with the flow!!!!
Mon, 22 Jun 2009 08:29 am
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<Deleted User> (6513)

Well, they say that before you write poetry you should read it. The same holds true for reading your poetry in public, I think. Before you do so, you should experience all different kinds of poetry-reading events. (One event might have many different styles of performance within it. A slam event is almost inevitably going to have a mix of 'radical' declaimers and shy reciters. Both can be eqaully effective performance modes.)

And perhaps practice reading aloud before a mirror, or record yourself.

But see what you think works best, and what's best for you as a performer of your own work. You don't have to copy any one reader or any particular style.

And it might take time, like reading and writing poetry.
Tue, 11 Aug 2009 04:34 pm
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I would recommend reading your poems to a select group of friends or family before taking it to an audience of strangers. It is surprising how weak a poem can seem when you read it out to other people, even if it looked fine on paper. Your practice run will give you a chance to re-write the dodgy lines before going public.
Sun, 16 Aug 2009 10:20 am
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I've been performing 7 years and my best advice is don't spend time talking about your poems before you read just hit them with it and walk off
Wed, 10 Feb 2010 01:18 pm
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<Deleted User> (5832)

Just a few quickies - maintaining eye contact with your audience if you can I for one think is very important, easy if you are 'parroting' from memory, but if you are 'reading from the page', try keeping your finger next to the next line before you look up otherwise you'll end up faffing about like I often do, trying to remember where you were... and never apologize for your performance or work, they are your words and if you want to read them out, an can either like it or lump it. sometimes, you may eg. open mic find yourself on first [ this is great - just let rip & f'kin go for it ] and if people are talking or heckling whilst you are reciting just politely tell them something "shut the f'k up you ignorant tossers" wild audience has been clapping and whooping the previous 'poet', don't worry, it's no big deal, the ovation was probably just all of their mates, and of course, thier mum...
Thu, 25 Feb 2010 01:05 pm
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Like all the advice given so far. Before a slam I was told GO LARGE OR GO HOME.
Sun, 28 Feb 2010 10:50 pm
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Don't invent a pseudonym for yourself. That's so last year, dahlings!
Tue, 2 Mar 2010 01:57 pm
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Invent a pseudonym for yourself, it's the next big thing! But not a naff one.
Tue, 2 Mar 2010 02:35 pm
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No! Invent a naff one! Preferably related to cheese or other dairy products!
Tue, 2 Mar 2010 03:31 pm
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Good idea, I'm thinking of 'Hagan Daz' - what do ya think?
Tue, 2 Mar 2010 03:40 pm
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I think Mr Whippy might be more appropriate for you Paul...
Tue, 2 Mar 2010 03:47 pm
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Holly, go to your nearest open mics and just listen and watch. note what sort of things go down well (usually shorter stuff). If it feels comfortable, get up and read, then or next time; whenever you are ready.
once you have broken your duck - soaked up the accolades - most folks settle into it fine.
and thanks for posing such an important question.
Tue, 2 Mar 2010 06:25 pm
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Sorry for being a bit flippant earlier Holly - Julien has given you some good advice.

I don't suppose you ever know you are totally ready until you get up there and have a go.

My advice would be to let your confidence grow steadily and not try to achieve too much on your first performances.

I made the mistake of trying to memorise a very long poem and read it without the paper on one of my first performances. I of course froze and felt like a total idiot. I now have a bit of a phobia about performing without words in my hand.

I often wonder if I had left it a little longer or tried to memorise a shorter poem whether I would be more confident now at trying to manage without a piece of paper. Food for though....
Tue, 2 Mar 2010 06:58 pm
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LOL - have just realised that Holly posted that question back in 2008. I wonder if she is still on the site, or whether we have successfully managed to put her off? She may well be able to teach us all a few things by now!
Tue, 2 Mar 2010 09:53 pm
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Out of interest I "fed" Holly into the Poet's Showcase thing and she didn't come up. Maybe she's got an alias (I know it was said on here recently that that's sooo last year, according to somebody - I'm tempted to say - who shall remain nameless!);-)
Wed, 3 Mar 2010 08:25 am
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From now on I wish to be refered to as Bic Penatmeter.

That way, when anyone asks me my name I can say " I am Bic Pentameter."
Wed, 3 Mar 2010 10:11 am
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I was so glad to see Mr Owen's comment. I totally agree that too much palaver prior to a poem can be off-putting. It virtually says that your poem cannot stand alone to engage an audience/reader. If you need to 'explain' anything keep it really brief. I have heard introductions much longer than the poem itself.

And I applaud the total annihilation of aliases.
Wed, 3 Mar 2010 01:15 pm
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Regarding the total annihilation of alias's. I use one because I live in a small village and I just don't want aquaintances knowing how I feel about stuff, especially sex/men. I don't presume that everyone where I live is agog to read my poems, or is in the least bit interested in poetry at all. It's just that if you google Ann Foxglove all my poems pop up. And so if I didn't have an alias that would happen with my real name. Maybe there is no privacy in this internet age. Maybe I'm just a coward! But I think I would feel so vulnerable if my words went with my name. Maybe one day . . .
Wed, 3 Mar 2010 02:56 pm
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No, I am Bic Pentameter!
Wed, 3 Mar 2010 03:48 pm
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Actually, if I was performing I don't think I'd mind my name being known. I'd have to show my face after all. It's just the blinkin' internet.
Wed, 3 Mar 2010 07:28 pm
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Actually my real name is Ann I. Illation!
Thu, 4 Mar 2010 08:31 am
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And mine? Is a bell necessary on a bicycle - or so I've been told all my life...
Thu, 4 Mar 2010 08:44 am
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<Deleted User> (7790)

Surely an assumed name is a better option than an imposed one? To remain under the auspices of the imposed is to be a fatalist. To roam with a chosen moniker is to exercise free will. Tra la la, et cetera.
Thu, 4 Mar 2010 02:19 pm
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Hmm, who am I to argue with that?
Tue, 9 Mar 2010 09:00 pm
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Quite! I always thought Admin was a funny sort of a surname! ;-)
Tue, 9 Mar 2010 09:20 pm
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In the past week I've performed some of my poems in public for the first time. I've stuck to the lively ones, not read any more thoughtful poems. This is partly because the venue was out of doors and there were seagulls, traffic, people passing by to contend with (and wind - of the weather variety). And shouting a bit does not go with quiet poems. But I think it will need more confidence to perform something where there won't be any reaction (laughter/happy smiling faces etc ;-)) To read to a silent audience seems a bit scary. But so far anyone who has seen me will think I only do daft stuff - but hey! maybe I do! So, is it harder to "do" serious poetry in public? I must say I have enjoyed the experience so far!
Thu, 23 Sep 2010 04:11 pm
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Well done for launching out, Ann. From the little I've seen of out-of-doors poetry, it is like all performance poetry only more so (and louder). People have to find a way in to it quickly, so that they actually want to hear what is coming next. That doesn't necessarily mean it can't be serious. Humour often does it well, but it can be a story, or a riddle, or a dilemma - there are many ways of stopping people in their tracks so that they can't walk away. However, there is little room for subtlety, which is one of the joys of page poetry
Thu, 23 Sep 2010 10:05 pm
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Good for you Ann. I knew you'd put it out!
I've never worked out which I hate most - people not laughing at my funny ones or people laughing at my serious ones.
Thu, 23 Sep 2010 11:14 pm
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As long as they don't throw stuff John then I shouldn't worry! xx (Unless it's money of course!)
Fri, 24 Sep 2010 05:30 am
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Well . . . the St Ives festival is over (you missed it??? Ahhhhhhhh!) Don't know when I'll be "performing" again. I have decided it is very like losing your virginity. You worry about it a lot beforehand, when you are at it you realise there seems to be nothing to it (why all the fuss?) then afterwards you start to think hmmm, could have been a lot better, and hey! I don't feel any different! Life goes on I guess!
Sat, 25 Sep 2010 06:08 pm
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And do props help? (Not in the losing your virginity department!) I thought I might perform Juggling Peonies while juggling peonies - only I can't juggle! As I can never remember which is my right hand and which is my left, how long will it take me to learn do you think?
Sat, 9 Oct 2010 03:50 pm
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I can juggle! I could be your glamorous assistant! I've never juggled ponies, though. Best to use the tail or the mane, do you think?
Sat, 9 Oct 2010 04:50 pm
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Hey! Are you going to Hebdon Bridge? I have my peonies packed already! xx
Sat, 9 Oct 2010 04:54 pm
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