Left Bare On Stage

Hello Poetteers, 

Poetry is not just something that is written. It can be something you perform. Practice is always recommended but when you're in the moment, it may still be shaky. Practice will help you get comfortable, confident and know your piece. I practice the words, not the emotion and emphasis. When it should be both. The nervousness gets in the way. That's something I need to work on. For example, you have an angry slam poem & since you're nervous, the anger isn't really there when you perform it. It's okay if you can't memorize the piece but do try. Have a copy of the poem with you on stage. Practice every day, three times a day, aloud, keep looking up to make eye contact. Practice in front of friends like it's the actual thing before the actual performance.

There will most likely be other poets performing, sit back and listen, observe the crowd, and just take in the moment. Let yourself feel the nerves, but don't let it consume you. Feel excited for your performance and for the others. I think it's good to not get caught up in the expectations of what's to come.
I have done a few poetry readings and events. Arrive early. Get a sense of your surroundings, talk with the organizer and guests. We have an ideal setting that we would like to perform at. Hopefully, it feels casual, comfy, calm, quiet, dim lights, snaps as they hear lines that touch them. There is a mic for you to use. I prefer small crowds. There is something about not fully seeing their faces but knowing they are there. You can't have it all exactly, but it's good to look for places that will provide something similar. You want it to be welcoming and encouraging.

When going to an open mic night or any poetry event remember to bring a copy of the poem you're performing.
  • Books
  • Business cards
  • Water 
  • Pen
  • A friend

Stay inspired, 


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Michelleb writes said…
This is great advice. I like how you said to practice not just the words but emotions too. Thank you for always sharing your talents and ideas/advice��