Open Mics

23/10/2017 // by Jan Moran Neil

Open Mics by Ms Paige Turner
This last week I was with Fish Hoek Writers in Cape Town. Most of the writers had never experienced participating in ‘Open Mic’ (and I personally am not convinced of its validity on the basis that if you are going to listen to performers there should be some gatekeeping). We decided to treat the evening as an experiment. Creative Ink for Actors will smile at this notion as every play I ever wrote and ever had performed started out as an experiment.
I suggested we did just that: play – as I remember the director Thami AkaMBongo describing rehearsal to one of my actresses as just that: ‘play’. My suggestion, I believe, gave some sense of freedom and fun to the evening in Fish Hoek and I in turn, was able to take some risks and read poems from my collection ‘Red Lipstick & Revelations’ that I don’t usually read. I made some discoveries: some went down much better than I had expected. In particular a sestina whose story began with one that my Welsh girlfriend Miss Carrieoke told me of a gravedigger whose whole family were ‘professionals in death’: black humour.
The ones that really don’t work so well are less narrative: more meant to be read on the page; the alliteration smoother on the eye than the ear.
The Creative Ink spring term 2018 is running at the Fitzwilliams Centre, Beaconsfield on Tuesday mornings beginning January 9th for 5 weeks and has some places as has the ‘Get that Book’ arrangement. Email me for a syllabus and details.

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