« on: August 10, 2010, 10:59:18 AM »
NPS 2010 from my eyes
So, this was the first NPS as PSI Volunteer Coordinator, and I also coached a team. Craziness- this perfect storm of work will NEVER be attempted again. Period. Iím negotiating with Chunky to come on board as team coach for 2011, and that process is looking really good.
Tonight, Iíll arrive at DADA to host the poetry slam FRESH from the Ft Lauderdale airport after a day of traveling from the MidwestÖ as I type this, Iím on a bus from Madison to Milwaukee, flying out around 1:30.
Some of these highlights will be similarly discussed on the mic while Iím hosting tonight. I have the distinct pleasure of hosting a Mr. Jason Carney this evening, so the family vibe from Nationals isnít even over yet. WHAT!
- My team. Yíall canít tell this from the final rankings (54 out of 76), but we worked REALLY hard this summer, often over the phone, to put together a few beautiful things for the National Poetry Slam. I had the best time in a long time working with these consummate professionals: Flow Diva, Chunky, Mr. Rigz, Ebony, and the unconquerable Jashua Sa-Ra. EVERY voice was represented on stage, and every poet performed admirably. I couldnít have asked for a better representation from our state. And we SERIOUSLY had fun together. Now, the judges are another storyÖ ☺ Our first bout was pretty great. We knew Atlantís Art Amok team and the 11th Hour Team from Washington DC would be some tough competition. Art Amok HANDILY took the 1 in that bout, +2.5 points from us holding down the number 2 spot. So, while we didnít get the 1, there might have been a little room to slide into the semis if we took the 1 in our second bout. Unfortunately, the crowd at the History Theatre on our second night was definitely not interested in anything remotely like theater! We had a choice: rock out the individual poems we had in our pockets, or showcase the ensemble work we put heart and soul into throughout the summer. We chose to show our group pieces, which didnít work for us as a strategy, but seeing as I broke a 5 bout streak of pulling the ďdĒ spot in the rotation, and we were sitting with the ďaĒ, we knew we couldnít bring down the giants on Lizard Lounge, and rolling out solos for the bout would mean that the group work would never see the light of day. I was particularly excited about ď21 reasons,Ē a brilliant piece written and performed by Jashua and Ebony, which (to our credit) garnered the highest score we got in that bout. But we fell to the competition, taking the 4 with honor.
- NUPIC 2010 (AKA ďthe Undies). Underground indies was a beautiful sight this year. VERY original work, VERY excited poets, VERY TIGHT BOUTS! THANK YOU Harlem 125 for all your work to make this magic happen once again. CANíT WAIT TO SEE IT NEXT YEAR.
- Volunteer Open Mic. Jenn Parks called me about a month ago and asked me to host a Volunteer Open Mic. I said: sure! And then promptly forgot. But Jenn didnít. When I arrived on Monday and opened up the program to a page with my name on it, I thought: ďHello, WHAT?!Ē And then I remembered. This is probably the best idea Jenn contributed to the often confusing and always exhausting volunteer coordinator position. Giving our illustrious volunteers a chance to touch stage, and touch all of us, was really special. One of the best side events Iíve seen at an NPS. Letís keep this one going! It was my true honor to host it, and it was super fun to do.
- Erin Livingston. Best roommate ever. Thanks for every giggle, and for final outfit approval for finals night. I love you forever and ever. Spa and sushi date at Nationals in Boston!!!
- Volunteer Coordination with Jenn Parks. We now share a brain. Crazy. Jenn did a seriously great job, and only fell apart once, even after getting soaking wet and hit by a car while trying to bike the city, and having about half of her volunteer sign-ups flake out at the last minute. WHEW!
- VOLUNTEERS. This yearís crew was the sexiest, friendliest and best trained crew Iíve ever had the pleasure of working with. THANK YOU! YíALL MADE THAT SHIT RUN! AMAZING WORK!
- Brother Saidís proposal to limit debate at the SlamMasters meeting. 1minute, forever, please god. The meeting wasnít even really painful.
- Seeing Ms Spelt actually have a good time. HOORAY!
- A tie for most beautiful eyes between Hamsa (team Toronto) and Sean (team Portland, ME).
- Decathalon Slam- a triumph for human kind, 5 years and still going strong. Best Interpretive dance round in Decathalon history (check the videos on my profile page for proof).
- Finding balance between working and partying. Unfortunately, that meant that I didnít have time to sleep: OH WELL!
- The Hilton Garden Inn. Friendly staff, for the most part, pretty good amenities (although a bathroom on the ground floor would have helped. A LOT). The stairwell (highly versatile in a pinch): DING!
- The 5th floor. WHAT?! Best floor of poets ever.
- Dave at the Artists Quarter. A love supreme. Thanks for going above and beyond every day and not even being the least bit put off by it. And thanks for making out with Angelique on the bar that last night- it was smoking hot.
- Josh and Tony from Camp. HOLLA! I will totally come back to St Paul and party with you guys. Thanks for getting me Thai food, and getting me wasted, and showing off your tattoos.. Youíre newfound love of poetry slam is PRICELESS!
- The Tournament Team of Henry, Erik and Sean. It was super weird not having Bill around. Sean filled his shoes to the best of human ability, and didnít smell like cigarettes everytime I went in for a hug. Bill, please stop smoking so I can hug you.
- Being a go-to person for problem solving: from broken badges to blunts, I was happy to be of service.
- Every poet who had the chutzpah to try out my hoop. You are ALL rock stars forever in my book. Special shout out to Jon Sands, who mastered the break and reversal while waist hooping: your face at that moment was SERIOUSLY priceless.
- All that ninja and no big booty? Seriously? Whack.
- St Paulís Downtown ghost town on Saturdays. HUH?!
- Douchbaggery on the finals stage from incidental speaker. YOU RAT BASTARD! Thank you for seriously ruining it for everyone. I hope it was worth it.
- No Garrison Keilor. Insert sad face here.
- The band on the last night. Even a great band (and that band was very good) is a poor choice for a late night event. We need djís, because we ONLY want to dance to stuff we know, at that point. Spoiled by repeats at finals, we canít HANDLE new shit by the end of the week. PLEASE: BOSTON- donít make the same mistake! I nominate Jive Poetic as NPS DJ Emeritus.
- The line at registration- when I wait in lines THAT long anywhere else, I get to go on a big slide or a rollercoaster at the end of the wait. Hearing Abby say ďyou are all clear, thank you,Ē does not provide the equivalent delight. Iím calling bullshit on all the SlamMasters who held up the line because they didnít have their ducks in a row.
- Homeless guy who asked if he could come home with me one night.