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Author Topic: Slammers Breaking Through  (Read 24482 times)

Steve

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Slammers Breaking Through
« on: October 12, 2008, 07:05:28 PM »
I'd kind of like to keep track of those of us who have "made it" in one way or another.

Let me tell you what inspires this:

In 2005 I was given the opportunity through my company, The Wordsmith Press, to participate in the production of the 2004 Best of Urbana CD called New High Score which is available in the PSi store at http://www.poetryslam.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage-ask.tpl&product_id=169&category_id=8&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=29

This week I was watching the TV show Life. I like it because it's a former convict restored to his old detective position who is serious Zen student. The musical theme for this week's episode was a re-make of a cut off that CD. It is called I Shall Be Free by Kid Beyond.



TSPrunier

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 11:05:58 PM »
Love that track. Glad to know that's happening. On another side of that, I spent some time watching Billy Collins, who is also on that CD, at the Dodge Poetry Festival coupla weeks ago.

"Slammers" and peformance poets are making it more than we know: Poetri in Arby's commercials; Lemon and Carlos Andres Gomez in "Inside Man"; Beau Sia as Jimmy Huang's step brother in law working in a Duane Reade in "Hitch"; and I also saw two poets I did not know in a duo promoting March Madness. Oh, and don't forget Al Be Back in "ATL."

And tonight, watching the World Series of Poker on ESPN, one of the players at a featured table was a poet, or least noted it on his bio.

And as soon as "Sp!t" gets released, on DVD or otherwise, more will enter the pop culture scene...

... and if I ever sell a screenplay, my movie will be CHOCK FULL of poets.

AmyD

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2008, 12:47:55 PM »
I also saw two poets I did not know in a duo promoting March Madness.

There was a spot with Joel Chmara and Regie Gibson promoting the Big Ten.  Is that the one?

Steve

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2008, 03:52:04 PM »
Did anyone see Rives' Tommy Hilfiger show early this month? Riding across the country alternately on a Harley and in a vintage convertible with  the hottest new model as a sidekick has to qualify as some kind of "making it," right?

http://www.bravotv.com/blog/thedish/2008/10/ironic_iconic_america.php



TSPrunier

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2008, 06:35:13 PM »
I also saw two poets I did not know in a duo promoting March Madness.

There was a spot with Joel Chmara and Regie Gibson promoting the Big Ten.  Is that the one?

Not sure. I think it was B&W spot promoting March Madness. It was that long ago that I saw it.

JeFFStumpo

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2008, 03:33:12 PM »
Patricia Smith's latest, Blood Dazzler, is a National Book Award finalist: http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2008_p_smith.html.

Steve

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2008, 08:44:35 AM »
You might enjoy this:

http://obeygiant.com/voteforchange/poetrif4v/

and this:

http://obeygiant.com/voteforchange/saul-williams/

This does not constitute an endorsement by PSi. PSi is just minding its own happy IRS business here pointing out the popularity of a couple of its sons of fortune. We looked for PSi poets endorsing other candidates and couldn't find them. Maybe someone else has.

Angel

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2008, 05:21:42 PM »
Has anybody seen Ainsley Burrows' Guiness commercial?
The special effects are so cool and his words have velocity...I think the ad will
inspire many drunk poets to come out the shadows and strengthen the movement!
Checkout his myspace-  http://www.myspace.com/ainsleyburrows

Also, didn't Buddy Wakefield open up for Ani DiFranco on her tour about a year and a half ago?
I'm not sure about this one though.

I once received a free steak and potato dinner in Texas at nats from someone who saw my team perform...
does that count? : )

Seriously though,
It's really inspiring to witness the fruition of such hard work.
The only way to continue a movement is too keep on moving, as obvious as that may sound, we tend to forget this sometimes.
Dilegence and determination leads to destiny's blossoms.
Angel, NY 

chadpoet

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2008, 09:08:44 AM »
Darian Dauchan from New York has been doing some television work in the New York area. Had a few speaking lines in an episode of Law & Order and has been hosting some stuff for Nickelodeon, though at this time in the morning I can't remember the details.

Khary J aka 6 is 9

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2008, 01:41:03 PM »
I just saw Beau Sia (I think) in Rachel Getting Married.
Play diligently. Live sweetly. Love wildly.

Tony

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2008, 04:38:10 PM »
I do think it's worth noting, though, that the majority of people being cited here for "breaking through" aren't breaking through as POETS, but as actors or by having their work be used by the film and advertising industries as demographic bait or soundtrack background.  The more we focus on celebrating that aspect of "breaking through" (it's a legitimate one, and some of the folks listed here are friends of mine, so I don't want this to sound like I'm not being supportive of their or any other poets' hard work and good fortune), it seems to me, the more we perpetuate the idea that the main function of "slam" is as a stepping stone to success outside of the poetic world. 

There are examples -- a growing number of them -- of slammers who are making it INSIDE that world too; think of Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz's success with "Words In Your Face;" of Patricia Smith making it to the National Book Awards' finals ceremony as noted above; of the many poets who are making more than a subsistence living on the college circuit; of the growing success of Derrick Brown's Write Bloody Press as an outlet for page work by folks from the slam community, coupled with successful and relentless group tours showcasing that work; of those of us who were featured in the influential journal "World Literature Today"'s article on performance poetry world wide (disclaimer: I was among those, thanks to PSI President Scott Woods who wrote a valuable article for the issue on slam); of Ishle Yi Park's poem being in "The Best American Poetry" a couple of years ago; of Victor Infante's powerful online journal of politics and literature "The November Third Club" and the work of all those people who are moving beyond the three minutes on stage to publish and perform in new and exciting ways with longer works, with musicians, with one-person shows...the list goes on and on.

The community is growing up, and while fame and mass media exposure are important to that growth, it's good to recall that there is lots of success happening right back in the poetic and literary trenches, too.

MattMason

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2008, 10:56:54 PM »
I recently saw a State Department newsletter article about Danny Sherard and others at a U.S. Embassy poetry slam in Munich.  And I'm about to travel to Belarus on a cultural program for the embassy in Minsk, I'll be doing programs on Modern American Poetry as well as running possibly the first poetry slam in Belarus on December 10th (why do I suspect that Mike McGee and Dan Leamen are going to go to Belarus tomorrow, slam against each other, and declare me a fraud?).

And if that's not big enough, I'm also in commercials for some small transmissions repair shops... Omaha, Lincoln, Kansas City, and, yes, if you Salt Lake folks thought you recognized the blue-shirted guy in the Freeway Transmissions commercials, that would be me.  Doesn't get bigger than local transmission shop commercials...
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Gabrielle

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2008, 09:41:24 AM »
Quote
Also, didn't Buddy Wakefield open up for Ani DiFranco on her tour about a year and a half ago?
I'm not sure about this one though.

Yep, he did. After Ani's mom saw him perform as the feature at the Nickel City Poetry Slam finals.

Also:
-- Beau Sia in a cameo in the remake of the Manchurian Candidate
-- Derek Brown opening for the White Stripes (although I think they cancelled that night)
-- Old-school poets opening for Lollapalooza
-- Beth Lisick was on the best-seller list more than once, I believe.
-- Cass King & the Wetspots on Canadian Television, often

There's a few. I keep an eye on it as well. :)

Gabrielle

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2008, 09:43:01 AM »
I do think it's worth noting, though, that the majority of people being cited here for "breaking through" aren't breaking through as POETS, but as actors or by having their work be used by the film and advertising industries as demographic bait or soundtrack background. 

Don't you think this is because they don't know how else to frame the work? So it's being incorporated into existing quantifiable mainstream media outlets? Just sayin'.

Tony

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Re: Slammers Breaking Through
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2008, 10:57:25 AM »
I do think it's worth noting, though, that the majority of people being cited here for "breaking through" aren't breaking through as POETS, but as actors or by having their work be used by the film and advertising industries as demographic bait or soundtrack background. 

Don't you think this is because they don't know how else to frame the work? So it's being incorporated into existing quantifiable mainstream media outlets? Just sayin'.

Hmmm...not sure what you mean, G.  As I said, I don't think that anything's wrong with what these folks are doing, and at least a couple of them (Saul and Beau come to mind) have also put out traditional books of their poetic work.  I don't think the issue is with the poets in question doing non-poetic work; my point is that we (the community) have a tendency to highlight the non-traditional stuff in movies and commercials as being the definition of "success," when there's still plenty of "success" happening back in the poetry trenches, too. 

Glad you put Cass and John up here; I meant to come back and add them, too.  They're actually in London either right now or will be shortly...

I also saw Beau a while back in a video for a TV On The Radio song, and Derrick was on the Tonight Show with the Cold War Kids, writing lines from poems on a whiteboard while they performed.  (He told me a funny story about Jessica Alba telling him after the show how much she loved his band...)

And since I suspect I'm one of the rare NASCAR fans here, I should also mention that Bluz has been doing spots for NASCAR Cup Series races before each race all season.  I can't wait to talk to him about this week...  ;-)