Being introduced to performance poetry in August 2015, I was blown away, to say the least. I came to realize that Performance Poetry is fairly different from Page Poetry – it is more interactive, more conversational. Not many people know about Performance Poetry and hence it’s important to have people getting other people into this art form and a workshop is great way to do that.
Performance Poetry workshops help to build your confidence. The folks you will be work-shopping with will mostly be positive, non-judgemental people who are just as new to this as you are. It is a free space where you can belt out your innermost thoughts and the poems you are not so proud of, and still be pretty okay about how you did.
My performance skills prior to me attending the workshop were non-existent. I used to be flat, expressive, and not confident enough. I used to read my poems like I was reading out the rules and regulations from my school handbook.
Post the workshop, I have become more confident in performing, don’t have to read out from my phone, can convey my feelings in a different and a better way, and most importantly, know how to write for the stage.
When I attended a workshop, one of the first exercises we did was ice-breakers. We were encouraged to talk about ourselves a little, get to know each other, and share one detail about us that stands out the most. This helped make us comfortable with each other and feel more open.
A workshop is a great place to talk about your poems and how you feel about them and to get to know what the reader/audience thinks about it too. When you present a poem in a workshop, people tell you about the things you could be doing to have your poems presented in a better way. For example, I found out that I was going too fast and that I wasn’t speaking loud enough. I did this vocal exercise where I screamed out my poem, made sure the surrounding 3 blocks heard it. I felt comfortable to do this since the people who were working with me were very supportive and didn’t mind me doing this.
The instructor or the person who will be conducting the workshop will be an experienced person and will guide you through the process. In my case, Rochelle did an excellent job of making me feel my poem and improving the way I talk. She also instructed me how to break up my poem, notice where I needed to take pauses; whether it was for breathing or for a better poetic effect.
As I said earlier, these workshops will be conducted by people who are experienced and they will put their heart and soul into teaching you how to improve, so don’t look at a fee as them ‘commercializing art’ or anything. They’re experienced artists who are doing this to help you. So keep in mind that these workshops will be worth every rupee you pay and support artists who are there to teach you new skills.
So, if you are thinking of attending a workshop, do it! At the end of the workshop, you’ll definitely be a better performance poet.
(If you’re interested in attending a poetry workshop – click here and register for the next one that will be held at The Hive in Bandra on 1st May 2016)