Words are not boring. Words are actually still popular, still loved and still highly entertaining as I discovered this past Friday
night, October 13th 2017. I joined a cast of 40+ writers and performers to share words, all original writings, in the new Redgates Theatre’s Gateways showcase evening, on Fish Island in Hackney Wick.
More than 200 people filled out the rough-around-the-edges warehouse theatre space to watch. I was thrilled that a poem I wrote about my son was accepted in the submission process, by the director and producer Andrew Smith, and included in the mix of talent on display. The challenge I set for myself is that I needed to go “off-paper” and so I memorized the poem, and rehearsed for three weeks in the run up to the show. On the day, I got input from director Patrick Bayele, and rehearsed with my new found performance poet friend Robert Garnham.
Performing Back in the Day
Sure, I’ve been on stage before – many times – but mostly in a different style and time in my life, when I got the courage to take my online cartoon character I developed called (((Futuregirl))) to New York City audiences, way back in about 2000. That was then, and speed ahead now to 2017, and my life has changed so much that my beloved (((Futuregirl))) just isn’t relevant to me anymore, or to the city I live in now of London, or to the audiences I am entertaining.
Instead of that wild, single, carousing character, who was into raves and romps in beds of noodles (my (((Futuregirl))) lived inside the Cup Noodle sign above Times Square), my life is far more settled, domestic and maternal. So how fitting to present a short poem about my son, and give a little insight to the audience about the joy, but also the sheer monotony of parenting. Being a mother now (my son is six), my days start at dawn and are filled with mundane routines that I carry on with because I’m totally in love with him, and with this adventure of being his mommy.
It has been sometime since I was consistently performing my words, but what a blast to get back on stage and deliver something that the audience truly loved. I am always amazed at the bits that make them laugh, or pause, or clap, hoot and holler! I got fantastic crowd approval and a great blast of self-pride and renewed confidence, for getting out there again.
Inspired, I think I’d like to develop and perfect this genre of my own “mummy poetry” and get out on stage again. I’m excited that maybe, after wandering around and dropping performing altogether for a great number of years, I’ver perhaps locked into a new chapter for what I can share with audiences. And the material for new works is massive!
My head is brewing now about topics I want to pursue and ideas I want to share, all themed around motherhood and parenting. At this stage, I’m not sure what’s next, but I do respond well to what the crowd encourages me to do – and what I’m getting feedback on right now is continuing with performance poetry, in an aim to make people laugh and smile and be entertained by my own brand of mummy poetry.
In the mix, I’ll still be making art with my drawing and painting, and keeping up with my work with my Hai Media Group, but just watch as I may keep up with popping up on stage from time to time now as well. My cli-fi book also remains for sale on Amazon.
I first did a reading of my poem about my son Truman, to audiences on Wednesday, 27 April 2016 for the That’s What She Said event hosted by For Books Sake, at The Book Club in Shoreditch.