Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why do we compete?

For all those of you who wonder, "Why would you ever want your poetry judged? It just seems so harsh." Here are the reasons why I compete:

A poet is accountable to their community, to their audience. A poet should be saying what an audience needs to hear and wants to hear. If you are too far ahead of the curve or preaching to the choir, then the judges (audience members) won't give you the high scores. Meet the audience where they are at, and take them somewhere new.

Competition brings out the best performances. There is that extra pressure in competition that builds anticipation in the audience and drive in the performer. It's the difference between a pick-up game of b-ball behind the school and the championship game.

Finally, the points are not the point. I slam because I love to. Story: Mighty Mike McGee didn't get into the second round for two years. And he's Mike McGee.

That's why I slam. Why do you compete?

Missie Peters

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2-1 Entry to Celebrate Locals' Month

March is Locals' Month at Tongues of Fire, and to celebrate, Vic Slam is offering 2-for-1 admission to the March 19th Slam.

That's right, you and a friend get in for half price! If you come together... so this is perfect opportunity to convince your roommate to turn off the T.V. and join you for a night on the town, to bring your latest crush out for a cheap and unique date, or spend some time with your parents.

Ok, maybe not that last one.

But come out and bring a friend March 19, for some of the rockingest poetry this side of the Rockies!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Standing Scores for the Slam Season

Here they are folks, straight off the score sheets, the standing scores for the 09 season of the Victoria Poetry Slam. First off, our 1st place winners, who've been ensured a place in the finals...

January 15th - Dave Morris
February 5th - Skawt
February 19th - Missie Peters
March 5th - Dave Morris
March 19th - Matthew Christopher Davidson

And second, a slam-by-slam breakdown of the second-round scores

January 15th

Dave Morris - 56.2
Missie Peters - 56.1
Anushka - 54.8
Skawt 52.5
Kat - 51.9

February 5th

Skawt - 56.3
Matthew - 55.7
Missie Peters - 53.7
Marla - 51.7
Brett - 50.8

February 19th

Missie Peters - 59.0
Dave Morris - 57.4
Kimberly - 56.7
Matthew - 55.6
Skawt - 54.3

March 5th

Dave Morris - 58.3
Skawt - 58.2
Marla - 57.9
Matthew - 57.3
Missie Peters - 56.3

March 19th

Matthew - 56.8
Anushka - 55.6
Steven - 55.3
Marla - 54.0
Misha Lilly - 53.1
Skawt - 52.5
JP Lawrence - 51.0
Vanessa - 50.0

Friday, March 6, 2009

March 5 Slam Results

Quick and Dirty:
1st Place- Dave Morris
2nd Place- Skawt
3rd Place- Marla O'Marla
4th Place- Matthew Davidson
5th Place- Missie Peters

The night was a great success including poems about money, healthcare, breaking up, and being a woman. Next Slam is March 19.

Stay tuned for points and standings...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is it ok to heckle at a Slam?

At the Tongues of Fire AGM this week the issue of heckling came up in discussion. Is it ok to heckle?

Now, Slam is about involving your community in your performance, so there should be some active dialogue going on. And Slam is about being accountable to your community, so if the audience doesn't like something, or likes something, they should voice it- literally.

And Slam is a competition. Someone brought up a great point, that in other slam scenes, it is the other competitors that heckle the performer as a way to throw them off their game, or get them to engage in the audience. In Vancouver you will often hear, "I've seen you naked!" (although it's probably not very shocking here in Victoria where so many poets have participated in Poetry in the Raw).

We want to encourage interactivity at our slams. The show can't happen without volunteer audience judges, and every audience member is an integral part of what makes a great Slam. And unlike most slam scenes in Canada, we don't have alcohol as 'social lubrication' so we need to build a culture that supports audience participation.

The best comment in the discussion was that negative heckling, "You suck" is unacceptable, but emotional response to the poem (cheering or booing) is not only acceptable but desirable.

So come out and cheer away, but be mindful of that your 'heckling' is supportive. Because, "We are all a ten!"