Posts Tagged ‘audiences’

I didn’t post yesterday as I was too busy resting on my laurels, as they say!

Thursday’s open mic night went brilliantly, far better than I anticipated: we had about 10 performers (most got up more than once), ran for an hour and a half, the venue was full and at the end a number of people asked when I was arranging the next one. And when I said November, they wanted one sooner!!

It was a huge relief, and a real buzz.

We had mostly poetry, a mix of self-penned originals and recitation of published works, but also some singing and storytelling.  For a small community, we have a lot of talent!

I can’t say how happy I am that our event was so well received; I only expected about 5 people to turn up (3 of them my family!) so to have a full house was way beyond my imagination!

Now I have to start thinking about next time!

Happy writing,




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Today two positive writerly things have happened.   Well, more than two actually, but two that are important for the purposes of this post!

Firstly, I went to an open mike event, which was a lot of fun. I read one of my poems in a new style and it worked much better; it’s funny but in a wry grin rather than a belly laugh way, so I read it with different inflections and I was really happy with it.

The second is that I was asked to do another performance of the same style as the weekend’s event ie music and poetry over an afternoon session.

How are these relevant to an inspiration post, you ask?  And, why am I talking about them both?

It’s all about inspiring you to get out there.

I’ve said repeatedly that the performance side of things is really hard for me; I’d be happy to read work by others, I think, but I feel very exposed reading my own poetry, so the more I do it, and the more I try things out, the more I can see what works and what doesn’t. ¬†Most of my poetry is serious, but I am aware that I read some poems as though I’m reading the news and that’s not great from an audience point of view!

Using open mike events to see how people respond is useful. ¬†Tonight I learnt that my planned poem introduction for one piece didn’t work, but the new style of reading got a specific response from virtually the whole audience (‘aah’, in this case – the bunch of romantics!). ¬†Until tonight I hadn’t had a response like that to the poem, and now I know what works.

So before my next performance, I’ll practice reading at these events and with someone whose responses can be used to measure the success or failure of an attempt. ¬†I have to remember that my performance is a type of acting, and I have to act the part of a confident performer! ¬†The more I do it, the better I’ll get.

I have been promised a workshop on performing poetry by someone with 30 plus years of experience, so that should help too…

I’m sure I sound like a broken record on this, saying yet again that you should just go and do things. ¬†But it’s true.

My experiences show that even when you are nervous, lacking in confidence or frankly terrified of performing, you can improve. ¬†You can use open mikes to develop your confidence, try out new styles and listen critically to your work. ¬†Then, when the chance comes to perform you might do it better than you thought, and be asked to do it all over again. ¬†And you’ll be using those open mikes to refine your performance for the next time.

If you make a life as a poet or writer, you will have to read your work in public one day.  Preparing yourself is the best tool you have for getting through it successfully.

Happy writing,



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