Something you may or not know about me is back in school I took Drama as one of my options for GCSE grade. I remember very distinctly really enjoying the creative process, both imagining stories and performing them. I also remember being teased about this by the bullies in school. During part of my GCSE exam the teacher started us off by giving us a scenario, we were a person who got trapped in a lift and he wanted us to express and act this out, he told us that the end would be declared by us sitting on the floor with our head in our hands reserved to the fact that we were trapped. Now the thing is that I really enjoyed drama and could easily get lost in it and so I went about performing my piece. I remember distinctly feeling the entire part of the story in my head of the guy trapped in the lift, I also remember not noticing other people, I was inside my head, there was nothing and nobody around me at that time even though I was in a room full of people. My story ended as instructed and I sat on the floor with my head in my hands and waited for the teacher to move on. After the exam I remember a fellow student who was supposedly a ‘friend’ of mine tell me that I did a nice job of sucking up to the teacher because apparently I was one of the last person to finish that particular performance. Okay, great thanks for telling me that ‘friend’ so you can see the kind of people I was dealing with.
When I left school I never really considered pursuing the acting career but I feel I should of done a bit more perhaps. The reason why I say this is simply because when I get up and perform these days it fills me with the same mix of dread and excitement which is wonderfully heady as a tonic. I think this is one of the reasons I love giving presentations, for me it’s part of an act, a performance if you wish in which I take on the role as needed. Over the past few years or so I have played with the idea of performing at some open mic nights, either some of my rather random poetry or just a rant. I have played with the idea of standing on speakers corner in London and giving a lecture. Now I have only managed to convince myself to make this step a few times and every time I do it the same wonderfully heady mixture of emotions return.
I have whilst still in London appeared once or twice on open mic nights and wanted to make it a regular thing but I lost faith in what I was writing and then found it too hard to get it into my life again. Now I am away from reality a bit I decided once again to step into the spotlight so to speak. A few nights ago (05 April 2013) I went and performed again. The space was rather unique, a gallery of sorts, well converted warehouse into a small gallery in the Collingwood area of Melbourne called the House Of Bricks. The area itself for me is a bit like Shoreditch, East London, it’s full of graffiti and has these hidden away spots that can be very interesting or full of people who are full of themselves. So I arrived in good time and put my name down for a performance. The one guy running the show was called Santo who seemed to be happy behind the microphone interspersing the feature acts with the open mic people which is something I had not seen before and for me works really well. The general atmosphere of the place was good, a bunch of fellow poets writers and all sorts. After the intermission and a few more acts I got my chance to unleash the performer inside me. Of course I was as nervous as I always am and yes the shakes were ever present but there is something quite beautiful about not caring about this and carrying on. I read something dark and I read them something less dark, both of which I had written a while ago but they were well received. Santo was either very kind to me or genuinely impressed that I had walked in off the street and delivered what I had. Thats the thing with open mic, you never know what may turn up.
So yes, performance needs to be more in my life. I would like to do more, show people what a mild, meek but passionate person like myself is capable of and also prove to myself I can do it. Every time I do it I get that feeling, accomplishment, pride and aware. Time to step out from the shadows perhaps, stop filtering myself and really let the beast roam.