View Full Version : Advice: How to read improv poetry in front of a live audience ---- language

May 19th, 2015, 06:56 PM

I just imagine everyone in the audience is naked.

First, I notice the really hot females. I start getting all... and my voice changes, like I'm going into a trance. I call it my lizard state, which sort of doesn't make sense because lizards can't talk, but it's more like my primitive body takes over and goes on automatic--like when you break a lizard's tail off and it keeps wriggling: I talk without thinking.

Okay, so some of you, or maybe I, think this reads like I'm some kind of sexual pervert, getting all bothered about naked females but I can't help it if I have a really good imagination.

Okay again, I just made this up- Ha ha- because I've never read in front of an audience and I just was saying that, having heard somewhere that the way to get over your fear of the audience is to imagine that they're all naked.... or maybe it was just in their underwear.

Come to think of it, it seems like stupid advice.

I would say drink a beer or something first, because that seems to loosen people up and have them shoot their mouths off etc. which can get really annoying and cause fist-fights and the like, which, now that I think of it, may not be the way to go so, as I was saying, 'I would say', but I don't say...

So there's two pieces of worthless advice.

I did once do a performance piece where I went up there and didn't say a goddamn word, which had everyone just staring at me, wondering when I would start, and what in the heck I was doing, waiting to just start talking or saying my poem, which by then they started thinking was a 'stupid poem', as in when is he going to start saying his stupid poem? I was feeling really awkward and pretty soon jolts of adrenaline or anxiety were coursing/shooting through the sides of my neck, up into the back of my head, and around to my face, as I could sense people were getting annoyed, and some were getting angry, which made me feel even more anxious.

But I held my ground, just going with it, feeling that physical anxiety, the utter awkwardness, and didn't reply or say anything, while fidgeting or posing awkwardly, staring around the room, sometimes looking at the most actively pissed, which were usually guys, square in the eyes like I wanting to say something to them, or like queer for them, but wasn't or didn't. But I was violating their space anyway, which either got them angry, or made them disgusted, or both, the females too, some wanting to 'just fucking go...' (I heard them say this) and I kept it up for like ten minutes, as people were getting more annoyed, louder, and then aggressive, until some started throwing things and yelling.

I finally had to run backstage, as three or four tough guys were coming at me among a barrage of beer bottles and hollering.

You see, they couldn't leave, as there was a better guy going on after me.

What a blast.