Easter Two-Nighter

Right, because I’m at my London home and using the laptop I spilt water on that doesn’t have the letter ‘g’ (and it’s nearly 1am) I’m going to try to keep it short and sweet.  I’m writing it slightly annoyed because I wanted to say something and can’t remember and have been trying for ages to remember grrr!

Last night I SANG with my frex Will Gardiner who played the guitar for me.  It was for the Late Shift at UEA’s Sainsbury’s Centre.  After years of wanting to do this and being to scared to do it, it was actually not any scarier than reading poetry.  There were some other amazing performers and was really happy to be included in such a fantastic line-up.  Check all these people out: Jamnesty, Rachael Durrant, Vince Laws and David Osbiston.  And if you want to look at how it went for me, you can watch  the video on YouTube… though listening to it myself is a bit cringe and it seemed way better at the time haha.  Also, I was aware I messed up some of the words as I was doing it so that’s never nice to hear.

I continued the night with my friends Helen and Laura, and so it was a proper last night in Norwich.  I came home for the Farrago gig by train and it was long and I had a heavy suitcase, so pretty tiring.  My mum picked my up from Worcester Park station, and of course, when I walked past the traffic, a load of guys were being “ultimate lads” aka “ultimate tools” and shouted out at me ‘alright schweetheart, need a hand?’  I didn’t respond at all, even if I came up with a witty come-back, it would just be giving them what they wanted.  I was in a weird mood, maybe a delayed reaction from talking to a friend earlier about something that’s been frustrating me for a while, combined with nerves and disappointment that I didn’t think anyone was coming to watch me.

However, I was mostly in a positive frame of mind, just had a mini-stress-out.  I’m looking forward to tucking into the best Easter chocolate as well – dark chocolate egg and lots of creme eggs!

So, tonight I had a huge surprise coming out of Goodge Street tube station.  An old college friend, Janet Etuk, who was not only there… but there to see me!  And, even better, Anya Destiney came along too – the girl who you could say is responsible for everyone having to endure me read poetry!  Both girls are mighty-fine actresses as well so keep your eyes peeled!

The other features of the night were Charlie Dupre, Fran Landesman, Clair Whitefield, Sharnika Power, The Wizard of Skill, and AF Harrold.  Charlie, Clair, and Sharnika were all unfamiliar to me and they were incredible!  Espesh, Sharnika, at only 16, she was unbelievably good, so confident and intelligent.

I forgot my camera, which was a shame, since I actually had people to record it for me, and I think it went quite well… though it was cut really short.  Anyway, I thought I’d start posting more photos and stuff to make this more interesting and personal.  Part of that will be pictures of me haha, basically, I’m quite into style (I’m inclined to say style rather than fashion for obvious reasons) and any attempt to go to poetry readings in just a jeans and t-shirt combo never really happens… I like dressing up, and maybe coming from a “dance background” it makes me see it more as a performance with costume haha… that’s why the up-coming Glam Slam is exciting!

I’m wearing a yellow Passenger t-shirt (it was quite cheap at some shop, and I got my friend Natalie Cooper a similar design) with a standard red h&m cardi, and not shown in the picture, a high-waisted black skirt.  Note the badge from Russel J Turner, reading “all you pretty fuckers”.

Okay, that took just under an hour.  I have lots to occupy myself with tomorrow and will hopefully be swimming again, with my mum.  I went the other day in Norwich and it was really nice.  I kinda wanted to go to Tooting Bec Lido but my mum keeps changing her mind.  That reminds me, there’s poetry stuff going down in Tooting, which is where I spent most of my childhood.  If anyone is near 833 Garratt Lane, please ask for my Barbie dolls, I miss them.


Farrago Heartbreak(er)

Last night I went to Farrago at the RADA bar, and had bagged myself a feature.  My train was delayed and I didn’t know when I was on, but I didn’t stress myself about it because last time the show started at 8pm.  I was pleased with my set but wished I slowed down a bit.  The time is usually quite tight at Farrago, so it was probably better in this case to be quick so I didn’t have to cut my poems short.  I was quite surprised at some of the noises the crowd made because I guess it just seems so natural to me, but I did deal with some emotional matters with a kind of raw honesty.  I’m glad some people laughed at the last poem, ‘Lullaby’ because I see it as a kind of tragi-comedy poem about the ridiculous patterns of thought when you’re infactuated with someone, and wanting them to like you and hoping they feel the same way when they don’t.  It was inspired by reading Sarah Kane and listening to Regina Spektor’s song of the same title… although for some reason I only have half the song. 

A girl I met through an ex boyfriend came to perform again.  I think I may have mentioned she came to the Tea Box gig as she’s trying to get into the poetry circuit.  Her name’s Harriet Cramer and she’s soon going to get a collection published, so watch this space!

Quite a few people came up to me and asked for any websites etc. which was really cool!  The second time someone has asked if I have anything published!  To be honest, I still get rejected from most magazines, and have never tried to get a collection published.  I don’t think I’m ready but I hope to be at that stage after the MA in Creative Entrepreneurship – if I get onto it!  I need to go through my mass of poems to pick out the best.  I also like the idea of working with a theme.  Visually, I want it to be a cross between Laura Dockrill’s Mistakes in the Background, and Courtney Love’s Dirty Blonde.  I’d love to have a more plain collection as well… oh to be a Faber New Poet!

I was also introduced on stage for a second time as something like ‘the angel of heartbreak’ which I was very embarrassed and uncomfortable about.  I had to introduce the winner or the special heartbreak(er) prize – a pick-up line generator, Patrick Hearn.  He said ‘see you at the pub after?’ which added to my embarrassment but I did what I usually do in those situations and giggled like a little girl, which is probably why people think it’s normal to call me an angel and are shocked at some of the things that come out of my mouth haha!  But, hey, it’s just a shyness thing and it’s part of who I am so, irritating as it is, it is how I shall probably stay!


So Near and Yet So Far

Last night was the Farrago Zoo Awards and New Year Slam.  I hadn’t been to a slam there for ages and so, despite the depressing weather and sore throat, I went along with my new Motel dress and newly cut hair.  I was asked to read out an award that went to Fran Landesman, and this made me more nervous than performing my poetry, especially as there was a name I was worried about pronouncing properly, but I think it went okay.  It’s a bit of an honour to present an award to this lady, clad in an Iron Maiden t-shirt, she’s still rocking and holding her own for the older generation.

I didn’t have any friends with me this evening, but was introduced to photographer Oliver, who sat with me through the first half before getting a better view from the back.  Ray Antrobus came to talk to me as he saw me on my own, and told me about a new poetry event that will run in the daytime on Sundays, welcoming more “page poets” than perhaps other events to add to the Chill Pill events.  I assumed the implication that I was more of a “page poet,” though I try to present myself as bridging the gap between the two.  That said, I would like to see the pages I am on, as I have only been published a handful of times in magazines.  A major problem for me, other than confidence issues, is my bloody memory.  I need an autocue or something!  Anyway, he’s a lovely guy and very talented performance poet haha.

The slam itself was won by a girl I can’t remember the name of or find via the internet but I knew she was going to win before the scores were shown.  She did a poem about weave, which reminded me about when I watched Good Hair last term, and was in a similar sort of humour to the film: amusing, but with more serious undertones.  I was pretty close to winning, I think by like 0.5… if I remember correctly I got 6, 7, 7.4, 9 and 9, so I was pretty pleased.

So I’m not mentioning the same people over and over, I’m just going to mention a couple of people to check out.  First of all, Vanessa Kisuule, who I mentioned won the slam (when I was featured I thiiiink).  She’s so good I hate her.  Not really, I love her, but am a bit jeal of her, in an inspiring way though.  Btw, I’m loving the abbreviated ‘jealous’ ever since The Only Way is Essex.  If anybody has Kirk’s number, heeeeyyy there!  Anyway, another one to watch is Mab Jones, she was perfectly hilarious.  They both deservedly won awards, and to prove I don’t really hate her, I did vote for Vanessa.

I’d actually forgotten I had to pay entrance of £5 so I could only afford one drink.  It was probably for the best as I’d already had a bit and drank water instead.  At the moment I’m checking out the NME one’s to watch for 2011.  I’m so out of touch so I figure it’s a good idea.  Only a few stand out so far, but I’ll have to look into them more to see what I really think.  Although, this one female singer, Spark, appears to have a similar hair-do to me.  Mine is basically very short at the sides (man-short) and the middle section (and a bit extra) is long and is brought forward.  The back has already grown a bit, and as they shaved my neck a bit I’m slightly worried what I’m going to do about that… attempt to shave it myself? Eeeek!

Anyway, before I start talking about Keith Jarrett’s beautiful poetry with his eyes that make you think of sparkly chocolate buttons melting, I shall go and give myself a bit of time before watching Hustle.  Though as it’s taken me an hour to finish this, I will have to save the bath until 10pm.  Then I shall be a good girl and read The Female Eunuch in bed.  Before that, I shall leave you with a quote from Germaine Greer herself:

“I’m sick of weighting my head with a dead mane, unable to move my neck freely, terrified of rain, wind, of dancing too vigorously in case I sweat into my lacquered curls. I’m sick of the Powder Room. I’m sick of pretending that some fatuous male’s self-important pronouncements are the objects of my undivided attention.”

Since writing the book though, she wrote a terrible piece on Mrs Obama’s dress which i wrote a poem about but it’s on my external hard drive in Norwich.


Farrago Poetry: School’s Out Slam

I was feeling excited about going to Farrago, as it’s a place I’ve been many times and it’s a place I feel comfortable in.  However, I ended up with NO FRIENDS coming to see me.  As my personal life’s been a bit up and down, losing a few friends and that, I had to just not think about this too much or I knew it would get me down.  When I am friends with someone I see it as friends for life, so it has been upsetting, but it’s good to keep busy and take my mind off it all.

Anyway, luckily everyone is friendly at Farrago, and an Australian guy who sponsors poetry and puts on events chatted to me for a bit and even bought me a drink.  AF Harrold was on first, for his first 10 minutes, but to be honest, as I was on next, I couldn’t give a proper opinion on that as I tend to get quite nervous before I go on.

I really enjoyed my performance, although I’d planned to do one more poem, I knew I was limited to 10 minutes so was happy enough to end it on ‘Roots’, the poem I wanted to finish with.  I tried to do it off by heart and was pleased with the amount I had remembered, as I only made a few strange slip-ups like saying ‘miss pronoucing my name’ instead of ”miss pronoucing my words’.  What was weird is that I was really shakey as well, like, even my legs were shaking! I’ve never really done that so it was a bit annoying!  I think I was a bit more nervous as I usually recognise more people in the crowd, and also, I think I feel more comfortable when I have my mates there for support.

I think Suli Breaks was next, if I remember correctly. I’ve seen him a few times before so knew he was gonna be good.  He was really entertaining and funny, and didn’t need bits of paper like me!  I was a bit ashamed I didn’t know what ‘crepes’ meant, but then again, there is a reason I get emails from Urban Dictionary.  Me and slang don’t go so well together, so I need the emails so I can at least know what’s going on around me haha, one of my mates once even said I’m ‘far too middle class, darling’ to say the word ‘sick’.

I think Fran Landesman was afterwards, and I LOVE her, as I’ve seen her lots at Farrago shows.  She’s a bit of a celebrity really!  Here’s the only picture I managed to take before my batteries ran out:

I think Niall Spooner-Harvey was up next.  I’ve seen him loads at Farrago shows and think he’s great, so is always a pleasure to see him, especially after such a long time as I got to hear a whole load of new stuff!

It was good to hear AF Harrold again, as I couldn’t take it all in as well as I would have liked before.  The only thing I would say is that, he probably would have sold more books if he’d read larger sections of his novel, the small sections were funny a few times but it didn’t get the message across.  My experience with Penned in the Margins has told me that a big part of selling the books lays with the actual author… not to mention the lack of royalities you end up with!  Anyway, John-Paul kept going on about reading the last poem, ‘Cats Are Better Than Fish’ and I have to say, I did enjoy it!

The slam itself was really fun, though I really wanted to have the scorecards and didn’t.  There were a few people that stood out, but sadly I can’t remember all their names.  One was Amy Acre, who I had been blown away by at the Glam Slam a few weeks ago, and although the MySpace I have linked doesn’t have much on it at the moment, she told me she’s planning to get some stuff up there so keep your eyes peeled!  Also, Hannah Eiseman-Renyard, who had been in the Feminist Midsummer Party audience and also went to UEA – I especially liked her last one about being a female writer.  A guy called Joshua Morris also walked past me and said he liked my set, he performed in the slam and was pretty good himself, but I feel like he’s an actor… not that that’s a bad thing! I wish I had more acting experience myself.  I was pretty chuffed he said that anyway, purely because I thought he was good looking haha!  He was directly in my eyeline as well (they always are) so I got a bit worried I was looking at him too much, what a loser haha!  At the end a woman also asked me for my email to join some sort of poetry social network thing, called JotSpeak which I have joined.  Already someone commented saying ‘Oh wow I saw you last night! I remember thinking you looked like Kate Nash… and sounded a bit like her too. Really liked your set ;-)’

I’m a bit wary of Kate Nash comparisons, since someone made a negative comment once, acting like I was a “wannabe”, although I told them I’ve actually got a poem mocking that kind of judgement and I changed their mind – yay!  There’s only been a couple of people that have compared me to her before that, one being a friend who is also an ex-boyfriend of mine, who told my friend (also his cousin) that he thought I looked like Kate Nash (and he loves her up so it pretty much meant he fancied me… how primary school haha).  The other was a friend of a friend I met once.  Oh! And an old friend thinks I have similar mannerisms after seeing an interview of her.  I guess when people say it, it reminds me of the ex, and so it’s a bit complicated, but obviously I want to be myself.  I certainly don’t think I sound like her though, I’m from the total opposite end of London haha.

I think it’s so easy for people to be compared to Kate Nash, because she’s just a normal girl, and that’s her whole philosophy and why so many can relate to her.  I like her for these reasons, and listening to her still makes me feel happy, and that’s what it’s all about.  So I’m not complaining about any comparisons!

Wow, that’s taken way longer than I thought! I was doing it whilst watching Dragon’s Den (well want to go to that Vintage shop with yummy cakes and stuff!) so it slowed me down.  I feel really in need of water as well!

I’m off with my parents to eat at Strada and see Toy Story 3, so excited!