Recently opportunity knocked in the form of a post I saw online and I applied for it. When I got the call, I was so encouraged, excited and thankful to be awarded a Storm Poet entry into the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS) competition! Each Spring forty poets from across the country compete to be dubbed the Canadian Slam Poet Champion, with an opportunity to represent Canada in Paris at the world’s.
A storm poet is someone who didn’t win, or perhaps even compete in their local poetry slam in order to officially represent their city venue but wants to take part in the national competition and storm the stage so to speak.
I don’t pretend to expect to contend with poets who have been doing this full time with poetry they’ve created and have been performing over the year. If I was chosen for the bursary, I saw it as an opportunity to help me focus, write, memorize and perform (in a month!). I am coming out of my creative closet and finally giving birth to my poetic gestation(s). I’m going to have some serious fun, one slam round at a time; that alone is winning for me.
For far too many years, due to distractions, untoward interactions, a myriad of fears and the wasted years.. I have been an artist in hiding. This is my year of maturing, my humble beginning, my debut as an artist on the local, and national stage with an opportunity to join other artists on the world stage.
I hope you will join in imbibing from my deep well of poetic offerings, cheering me on up on the stage in East Vancouver in late April for the preliminary CIPS rounds and beyond at the Verses Festival of Words. Stay tuned!
Sometimes we have ideas and dreams, but are they meant to be?
One can see that play out if they’ve ever watched AGT, America’s Got Talent or any of the other talent shows. AGT is one of my family’s favourite TV shows to watch together because of some exceptionally entertaining talent and drama played out by the contestants and creators. What’s your (family’s) favourite show? Let me know.
There are many talented people out there and some very moving life stories. Then there are those who audition just for attention and a laugh, some people may very well be Florence Foster Jenkinsesque ; in their minds thinking they have it going on, but they don’t see and hear the reality the rest of us do. In such situations I choose to politely clap for the effort. Please don’t boo.
Last year I thought of auditioning but didn’t think I was good enough.. alone. This year I tried to get my friend S’lu from South Africa to join me, I was willing to help bring him here. In the end he didn’t get things together on his side in time to come to the last live audition on February 24th in Phoenix, Arizona.
I need to have the courage to do this on my own.
To AGT or Not to AGT? That is the question before me. At this time I am not able to travel down and audition in person like I’d hoped to but there is still the online audition. I have written my answers to the producers questions, and have chosen 90 seconds to present from a song I composed last year for AGT.
My plan is to find a room in my home, and time of day when there’s decent lighting, and quiet as soon as possible for me to record and upload my audition for AGT producers to review and decide on my offering.
Just before writing this post, an obstacle has gotten in the way of me doing so as soon as I’d like to. To AGT or Not, what will it be? I’ll post an update here and maybe on social media in the coming days to let you know.
While we wait, what is a talent that you’d love to further develop and share with the world?
UPDATE: Audition recorded and uploaded on March 6th. What a birthday present it would be to hear from AGT. Happy I finally auditioned my song.
From time to time we all need to take a puppy pause and rest like these little one’s seen here taking time to rejuvenate and grow healthy and strong.
Sometimes life kicks the wind out of us and we don’t have time to fully recover before the next opportunity and challenge comes along that we need to face and follow through on to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. And then we need to pause and take care of ourselves so we don’t crash and burnout. Yes I’m speaking for myself and maybe you?
Look for #DOJpuppypause moments from time to time on official DreamOnJohn social media gathering places online.
Happy Birthday Gord, you died as you lived, “no dress rehearsal..
Ahead by a Century, tragically, Tragically Hip,
“It couldn’t come at a worse time,
locked in the trunk of a car” singing, “New Orleans Is Sinking,
and I don’t wanna swim.. let me out! Courage, my word.”
You took us on a poetic, musical cross country trip,
you died as you lived, “no dress rehearsal,
Ahead By A Century”, tragically, Tragically Hip.
“It couldn’t come at a worse time.. locked in the trunk of a car” singing,
“New Orleans Is Sinking, and I don’t wanna swim.. let me out!
Courage, my word.”
It’s so easy for me to dream and come up with good, even great ideas, much harder to focus on one and follow through. I write new songs and poems and get seeds of songs and parts of poems, planted and growing day and night.
Yes, in the middle of the night too; that’s me under the covers,that’s me writing by cell phone light, finding my religion. And not waking my woman.
Here’s one example of a thought I wrote down the other night:
Today I took two songs and made them into one that is a definite contender for this DOJ recording project, oh the suspense, I know!
For the last while I’ve been working on bringing a long time South African friend to Canada to record with me but can only do so much from my side.
Every day I’m doing the dream work, step by step in time with the tunes, in tune with the times. What a passion and a privilege! Here’s to working together with my dream team, whomever you end up being. Cheers! At the time of writing we’re still in the gelling stages.
“Easier to make it up than make it real.” Edie Brickell
That line sings so true for a visionary dreamer like me. I’m dying to make musical dreams come true but feel so much like the sole shipwreck survivor, desperately sending up smoke signals for passing airlines 35, 000 plus feet above the relationally deserted island I find myself on.
Last week I strained my voice in a number of ways including yelling in anger (stop that), singing while exhausted (get some rest) and trying to learn someone else’s song that as my wife says “wasn’t meant for you”.. (wasn’t written for me).
I’m on the mend and need some pre-production help in placing the song in the right key for me and deciding if it’s right for me to record the song or not. Covering the song live is one thing, recording it is a creative and financial commitment.
Re-evaluating everything, who, what, where, when, why of this recording project and even entertaining the thought, “should I even do this as it could change everything and not necessarily for the better.” Yes I have been afraid of failure, and success. Sometimes dreams are not meant to come true. What am I meant to do? Even with this second guessing, coming from a desire of wanting to do the right thing, I will do the right thing following the way of peace. And that does not mean following the path of least resistance.
Last month I had the sage thought “Character before creativity”,and that’s where I’m at really. My character flaw of being stuck on an emotional roller coaster keeps getting in the way.
Years ago, an either crazy or wise man said to me, “You will be healed as you sing.” That’s what I want my music and creativity to be, healing and freeing for me and others in the process of making it and enjoying it. Character flaws and all, here I come.
When my dream comes true, other people’s dreams come true too.
It was sad to hear that Delores O’Riordan of The Cranberries left this world today. I fell in love with her music after hearing a gal in the stairwell at music school playing her guitar and belting out “Zombie”. That led to my discovering the band and falling in love with the raw, unique style of Delores’ voice, the realness of her lyrics and the passion of her delivery.
Delores, you will be dearly missed. Thank you for the bitter sweet refreshment that you and The Cranberries gave to the world of music and the hearts and lives of millions!
Met with a persistent, encouraging and available producer today. We mostly talked, and in the end I went with the intuitive flow that I’ve decided to go with as there is no time left to wonder and dream.
For some time I have wanted to record my version of a song by a well known and loved Canadian artist. This producer mentioned her name twice in our meeting and previously I had noticed that he had opened up for her at a benefit concert. So in the end I let him know what I had been thinking since before we met. We’ve agreed to look at how I might breath new life into this song engaging fans of the original and gaining new ones of my cover! Hey and if the artist liked it too that would be wonderful.
As I was driving home I could hear an idea for the song come to life in my mind’s ear.