I'm a 23 year old actor/writer/poet/performance artist/graphic designer from Manchester, England with an ever-expanding experience in the creative industries. In January 2008 I put on my 1st play "A Last Cry" at Contact Theatre, Manchester - a play that I both performed in and co-wrote with the Manchester Playwrights Forum, directed by Julian Hill. In May of that same year I along with the Albert Kennedy Trust took part in a Queer Up North project at Contact Theatre run by David Hoyle and Paul Mayers focusing on the effects of homelessness on the lives of young LGBT people - and designed two installations with artwork and poetry. One representing the lighter side and how we grew as people, and another on the darker more vulnerable side. I also gave a speech and performed a poem at the launch event. I was then approached by the head of Contact Theatre's creative development office, Suzie Henderson about auditioning for Contact Young Actor's Company. I passed and took part in two terms with them. At the end of the first term in August 2008 I was in a new production Use Blue For Night directed by Forced Entertainment, an improv piece focusing on our hopes and fears. From June 2008 – August 2008 I was a graphics design intern at the Lesbian and Gay Foundation's Manchester office and designed adverts for the Out Northwest publication, a logo for the LGBT police surgery in Manchester gay village, and internal disk images. At the end of the second term in December 2008 I took part in a piece called Kwaidan directed by Dende Collective which focused on a group of young friends who break into a haunted and abandoned theatre, and in doing so live out the ghost stories of Japanese folklore. In the middle of these terms was international theatre festival Contacting The World 2008 where I volunteered. In March 2009 I was approached by David Hoyle to take part in his Artist In Residency project at Contact Theatre, and focused on this project instead of taking part in my third CYAC term. In June 2009 I was rather busy at Contact Theatre. I took part in the Wound Man and Shirley Exhibition with Niven Ganner, focused on LGBT heroes, I designed some original artwork for the project and was involved in a photoshoot as my 'Bidaman' character who is a bisexual superhero. In the same month I also performed at AIR Time representing David Hoyle's artist in residency (he was in London at the time), and got a poem permanently enshrined outside Contact Theatre's Creative Development office. I then disappeared off the radar a bit until February 2010 when I took part in Outspoken with Regie Cabico where I performed in the Loon Off, it's like a poetic equivalent of a rap battle but with 11 words at a time. In May 2010 I went to see Dominic Berry in the next Outspoken and he plugged his poetry events Poetry Pillow and Freed Up, so I got involved in those. In July 2010 I represented Manchester in Contact Theatre's Youth Leadership Summit, a celebration of European Youth Leadership sponsored by the European Union and sister event to the wider Contacting The World festival. It was there I presented my first professional facilitation and I "killed it" as they say in the rap game. The confidence CTW 2010 gave me was incredibly helpful, and I approached Dominic Berry about putting my own event on at the newly re-branded Earth Cafe. With just 2 weeks notice I presented the inaugural OpenMind on 13th August with Dominic Berry taking the host spot whilst I was guest artist for the month to test the format out. Since then OpenMind has grown to be both a popular event for theatre goers, musicians, actors, performers, comedians, singers, dancers and audience members alike, and an up and coming theatre collective. I won the penultimate Poetry Pillow slam at An Outlet, Manchester in October 2010. In December 2010 I ran creative writing workshops with Urban Alternatives up until February 2011. In January 2011, spoken word collective Pen-Ultimate headlined my birthday OpenMind event, bringing the biggest crowd until August 2012. On 7th and 8th February 2011 I took part in workshops led by American artist Danez Smith ahead of the 9th February 2011 LGBT history month OutSpoken event at Contact Theatre where I appeared as my 'Bidaman' character again in front of a live audience and Regie Cabico who appeared from Washington via video link. Our Valentine's 2011 show with the Music Resistance soul band was the 1st musical headliner we had at OpenMind and gave us an idea of how our audience reciprocated to music, which has helped as the positive feedback from musicians and audience members alike has led this trend to continue. On 18th June 2011 the OpenMind Collective headlined the Envirolution Festival as part of a fundraiser for the Envirolution charity. Despite the unfortunate events 2 days previous, we unanimously decided as artists to go ahead with the OpenMind Festival of Independent Artists on 12th and 13th August 2011 and the experience was invaluable, teaching me the important lesson that sometimes unplanned events can affect longterm plans and it is important that one can respond to these things. Since winning Prince's Trust Community Cash award funding in July 2011 I purchased space for OpenMind in TV21, 10 Thomas Street, Manchester. In October 2011 I was a guest at Guitar and Verse in Salford ran by Jeff Dawson and appeared as my Indigo Angel character at the lottery funded 'David Hoyle's Northern Lights' working for him for the third time in my career. I performed as one of the spoken word artists at the inaugural 'Flow' spoken word/dance fusion event at Contact Theatre alongside Dominic Berry, Jamal Lewis-Service, and dancers from Gemma Connell's 'Broken Rose Performing Arts' who organised the event. I also attended a workshop as part of the Apples and Snakes 'Shake the Dust' project at Contact Theatre which gave me an invigorating brush up on my creative writing workshop leadership skills and advice on working as a poet in schools. October also marked the return of my 'Bidaman' character at the Halloween 2011 OpenMind event. In November 2011 I joined VADA as part of their 'Families, Not Pretending' production written by Hugh Polehampton and directed by Stephen Hornby. I have continued to be part of VADA into 2012, having written and performed in 2 minute plays as part of our Short and Sweet production in March 2012 and the sold out Two Minute Queers production for August's Manchester Pride Fringe 2012. In April 2012 I was a featured artist in the WritingRaw journal with my 'Beholder's Eye' poem and expressive art modelling piece as my Indigo Angel character. Throughout 2012 I have continued the OpenMind events, whilst also working towards writing an October solo show, 'The Five Faces of Fulli' featuring my Indigo Angel, Sir Benjamin, Bidaman, El Poetico and Cowboy Crisafulli characters – my summer performances at The Fiddler's Elbow Rome where I gave a short preview of the show in July, and in August for Poet Brownie's Manchester Pride Fringe Poetry Slam where I performed my full Bidaman to receptive audiences set were stand out moments of the summer as I work to perfect. OpenMind's 2nd birthday/anniversary on 13th August 2012 was also a fantastic event with a packed house of about 50 people all coming to share in love, light and laughter. Every person that wished to take part in the OpenSpace was given a chance, and despite the fact it was a packed show that ended up being 5 hours long the energy never faltered thanks to the loving energy and vibes that were equally reciprocated between both artists and audience. During September 2012 I took full advantage of the Prince's Trust enterprise scheme to improve my skills in business management so that I can assist the OpenMind project further, and also attended a training weekend with O2 Think Bigger in Southampton as a prerequisite of our 2nd level of funding from O2. In October 2012 I enjoyed the benefits of affiliation with O2 Think Big as a young spokesman at the Earls Court Youth Enterprise Live event on 12th and 13th October where I presented my project in the O2 Think Big tent, ending with a performance of my recent National Poetry Day piece as well as performing as a guest artist on the Somewhere_to stage on both days whilst gaining a useful partner in securing free creative spaces for young people. October 2012 was also when performed my first ever solo show The Five Faces of Fulli at The Three Minute Theatre in Manchester on Halloween night of 2012 in which I examined perception and self-identity through the medium of 5 characters inspired by various interests and aspects of my personality. November 2012 was a productive month as I represented Manchester in the Somewhere_to NorthWest regional showcase on 2nd November, and on 25th November I reprised the Bidaman, Cowboy Crisafulli and Indigo Angel “Faces of Fulli” at the Liverpool chapter of the prestigious Embryo night at 81 Renshaw Street to a friendly and positive reception, in this month I was also accepted into the Young Enigma LGBT Writers programme supported by Commonword and poet Adam Lowe. On 6th December 2012 I served as the guest host for the wonderfully diverse Guitar n Verse event at Gullivers Manchester and on 16th December it was announced that my piece Would YOU like SEX with that? was accepted into the Retail Woes anthology published by Local Gems Poetry Press.
Here's the piece that won me the highly coveted poetry pillow :) I have the weirdest solutions for even weirder problems. I'm a societal psychiatrist, as crazy as any Quack doctor. Would that make me a vetinary nurse? Enough of these Donald Duck semantics, no time to be pedantic. Ah fuck it, just sit in the crazy chair and open your box. We've got Blobby as Banker running wilder than Hulk Hogan in a spaghetti Western. Spaghetti Westerns, or Mafia themed takeaways. Swiss Bankers and overseas layaways. Laying waste, these are the fat cats that got the double cream dipped in cocoa. Living La Vida Loco, is it any surprise that politicians lie? About as surprising as Ricky Martin's gay confessional, *cough cough*, ok time to be professional. I made a confessional gag without referencing the Pope, Religion and politics... I'm on a slippery slope. This slope's slippier than a slippery nipple, Tits on the floor as the perverts roar. Roaring like a pole dancing polar bear in the North Pole... Slowly sliding Southwards. I've used up 18 lines quicker than Angus Deaton, From Bogna or Bust, I ended up in Paignton. Holy smoke Bidaman, I sense profanity in the vicinity, Damn right, I was doing fine till I took my own poetic virginity. Words drip out my mouth oozing, Nothing gay about the Navy, they just enjoy cruising. Speaks of Cruise's, if Tommy can dig scientology, Fictional spiritual psychology, then I can do this properly. But NO! Religion can only be done improperly, I spin the the DOGMA backwards and say "AM GOD". Then they say I'm crazy, Ok then, explain how an invisible bloke can have a beard matey. Yarr matey, this one is in honour of Captain Jack, Mr Harkness, please take me from the back. That takes me back, to the time... Nevermind it's too profane. I mentioned this in another poem, I won't do it again. I mix with penal with the cerebral, Giving birth to a mindfuck so foetal. I'm an anti-hero super-queero, Saving society from itself. Too opinionated to stay hidden, or operate in stealth. Cos I'm Bidaman!
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
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Hover over an event to see the details. ( open mic event, Write Out Loud event)
Monday 10 January 2011
Thursday 13 January 2011
Saturday 29 January 2011
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