I totally feel you too... I was just discussing this oversaturation, and perhaps misunderstanding of the nature and roots of spoken word poetry, with another spoken word artist recently. He expressed some similar views to yours. He and I "came up" so to speak, at the same time in vancouver about five or six years ago, when things were just really heating up in the city for this exciting artform. It was new and exciting, we were new and excited, and we had a great ride. Now that spoken word is practically an institution in the city, tho, it seems to have taken on a new face. It seems less innovative, and less art for art's sake, but then again, I'm less new, and I'm less excited. LOL
Both myself and my friend host forums for the sharing of and expusure to spoken word. I'm still excited to provide that space, whereas my friend is much less so, and therefore is moving on. He is focousing on his painting, and is passing the baton on his open mic night to another who will breath more life into it.
I personally have taken a break from performing in the spoken word community for the last year and a half or so. I think any scene can get a little inbred, so I've been exploring other avenues in my own art. I don't have such a hard time listening to obvious metaphores, or overdramatizations, but for me I just stepped back a bit to see what I would create away from the subtle influence of my immediate community.
I think a time-out from "the scene" has allowed me to again be excited about the art form, if not all of its artists.
Laurie...I feel you.
Taking a break from the scene (notwithstanding if you are a host or have your own show) can be good.
I grew frustrated at the scene but now I simply ignore it. I try to mentally push the envelop. You all know that feeling, when you surpass performance into sharing. That feeling when you are no longer reciting but your piece is expressing itself through you. I have grown so much as an artist. And my goal is to infect the subconscious of anyone who listens to me live. So I act as if It is my last piece...whether its for a church group; or if its PSI or Def Jam. It was at a point where I would come in half way when the show starts, spit a piece and then bounce out of there. I listen to other poets now too...but I don't really vibe with folks anymore I just leave. In particular its great going to different cities and spitting. There is an element of anonymity that's healthy for me. I began to like to be "that dude" that shows up every now and then vs. "the host."
Another funny thing I noticed when I go to different spots. Some spots they show you made love. Other spots you got the emcees or hosts who think its some sort of competition. If they think you are hotter than they are, they kind of chide your whole persona. I just keep doing what I do. There is at least one person that is in the audience that you can touch. Of if your piece is therapeutic (can't spell it...lol) then do it anyhow.
you certainly have infected my subconcious, Mr. Dhoobie D. and I haven't even heard you yet!! LOL
Come to vancouver and be "that guy" in my neighborhood!!
anyways, when it comes down to it, I've still got mad love for spoken word, but maybe it's just a little dimmer for "the scene".
Take a look at this Share:
(8 comments) — This is a heartfelt tribute to my friend Skip Shea -please read and visit Skip's profile and, if you are lucky enough to be in the area, you could go to this reading and book signing!CATHOLIC (SURVIVING ABUSE & OTHER DEAD END ROAD THE POEMSA Rea... more