I've taken part in a few small open mics before but this Sunday night was my first time to sign up and take the stage at a poetry slam. I had been to the Toronto Poetry Slam (TPS) once before in February. Their website had recommended going at least once before you sign up for the slam itself. I dragged Christine, my then girlfriend, and a few friends. We ALL had a blast. The feature was a guy from South Carolina and blew us away with 20 minutes of straight performing, alot of which I suspect was improv.
During the time that followed I started writing poems again for the first time since high school. I had even written a poem for Christine as a Christmas present. I also signed up for and began participating in the TPS online forum. I quickly became a very active member posting comments, asking for critique of my poems, and letting it be known I'd be showing up for the first slam after the finals: Sunday May 25th, The annual "Anything Goes Slam". Where the only rule still in effect is the time limit/penalty.
Christine, my now fiance, 3 of our friends, and my mother showed up early to get good seats because there was a lot of anticipated interest in this slam. When the host announced the sign-up the massive line formed out of nowhere. I spoke with and met a few poets who were on the forums as well as the host himself. But to be honest I was worried I wasn't going to make it through the lottery with so many people signing up.
You see they only let 12 people in for the 1st round, top 6 make it to the 2nd round, and the top 3 make it to the finals. But the host broke the rules too! He let all 15 peeps into the 1st round. PHEW !!! I made it. But something even crazier happened... I made it to the 2nd round! The top 6 of 15 ?? Not bad for a 1st timer I'd say.
I didn't end up making past the 2nd round but that's TOTALLY cool. I got to get on stage, do 2 pieces, make people laugh, and (best of all) my mom & fiance were there to support me. Plus the fact that Elyse, the girl who won, deserved to win hands down. Not to mention the fact that I didn't have my 3rd poem well rehearsed yet.
I'm going back again for sure. In fact, I'd love to make it back for the June one and find some other open mics. But the next month is going to be CRAZY busy and I'm TRYING to save money for the wedding in the fall. I guess I should use this time to write more material.