Tonight, I read at Live Lit, which is this event the Department of English has begun this year. Basically, you submit a manuscript to three judges (English professors, mostly), and, if they like your work, they allow you to read as part of an event with four to five other undergraduate writers.
I’ve always wanted my poetry to be read out loud and for people to like it, but I was still a nervous about this event. I tried to get a friend to apply with me, thinking that if he was doing it too I might feel like I have a comrade, but he wasn’t interested, so I decided to do it myself.
It was such a pleasure, getting that email that said I could read, but once I realized I had to do it, I was back to being a wreck. So, as always, I practiced. Not just the poems themselves, but the stories in-between, which my friend Lia told me were necessary to reengage the audience.
And then I got up there and do what I do best: myself.
I don’t talk about it often, but I come from a performing arts background. I was one of those kids who took dance classes, acted in plays, sung in choirs, trained as an opera singer, directed plays, performed in student news programs and at my high school’s annual Forensic’s Day. I turned to writing, on a lark really, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m still a little unsure of the performance aspect of poetry, but I felt so good about tonight. People laughed at my jokes, they enjoyed the poetry, and I knew they listened and cared. I must say, I totally rocked it, and from what everyone else said to me afterward, my fifteen minutes went over really well.
When I was up there, I felt like I was the most beautiful thing on the planet, if only for a few minutes.