I've spent the last six weeks alternating between a state of anxiety and excitement. I guess you could call it nervous anticipation. The cause? My first ever feature as a spoken word artist at the Fresh Voices event as part of the Melbourne Spoken Word & Poetry Festival.
When Benjamin Solah of Melbourne Spoken Word asked me to do a fifteen minute set my response was 'Hell, yes!' I couldn't believe Ben had asked me to share the stage with Cat Lee, Thabani Tshuma and Poetpre. These guys have amazing poetry and have won all sorts of spoken words in the last year.
I've only been performing since the beginning of the year and although I dreamed of one day performing a set as a feature, I thought it would be years before that happened. Turned out I was wrong!
Once the excitement wore off however, doubt began to creep into the cracks and corners. Pretty soon it turned into dread. Fifteen whole minutes up on stage. Did I have enough material to make up a fifteen minute set? Was any of it good enough to share with an audience? Could I remember all my poems? What was I going to wear? How was I going to get there? What if no-one liked me and I died of shame?
~ these next photos were taken by Brendan Bonsack, photographer extraordinaire ~
Like most things, it turns out all the energy spent on worrying was a waste. I loved being behind the microphone and speaking to an audience of over 100 people at the North Fitzroy Library. My husband and beautiful girls came along to see my first ever feature and there were lots of friends in the audience too. It was my first time performing in front of them and one of the reasons for my anxiety (what will they all think of this side of me?). The experience of seeing familiar and friendly faces in the audience was incredible. I know I'm a poet but I have no words to describe it.
My friends loved the whole evening and all the open mic performers and other featured artists. It was fabulous to see their appreciation of the spoken word community and to share it with them. Sometimes the things you dread turn out to be the best things of all.