Author Topic: no repeat rule  (Read 25987 times)

philwest

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2009, 07:22:23 AM »
I would edit such a rule to state that once a piece is performed on ANY FINALS stage (NPS,IWPS,WOW)
that it cannot be used or repeated on any FINALS stage again, should the poet or teams be so lucky to make Finals multiple times.
This should be relatively easy to keep track of because there's DVD evidence.
This would mean the poems can be repeated in any prelim or semi situtation.

Love this. This ensures that the finals show is always new, gets at what inspired the no-repeat rule in the first place, and it's easy to keep a record of because you're dealing with a single bout per tournament.

AmyD

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2009, 10:00:04 AM »
I would edit such a rule to state that once a piece is performed on ANY FINALS stage (NPS,IWPS,WOW)
that it cannot be used or repeated on any FINALS stage again, should the poet or teams be so lucky to make Finals multiple times.
This should be relatively easy to keep track of because there's DVD evidence.
This would mean the poems can be repeated in any prelim or semi situtation.

Love this. This ensures that the finals show is always new, gets at what inspired the no-repeat rule in the first place, and it's easy to keep a record of because you're dealing with a single bout per tournament.

Many of the objections come up around defining a repeat.  If something is my indie piece this year (when I, of course, made finals) and then shows up next year as a group piece, is that a repeat?

You know what?  That is a BS objection.  If I did that in my first prelim bout and then second prelim bout, everyone would be up in arms.  Why would the standard be any different from year to year as opposed to bout to bout?  We all know what a repeat looks like.  There are DVD's available as proof. 

No, you can't take your high-scoring indie piece and bring it back as a group piece next year.  And if you do this, not only are you violating the rule, but you are writing the worst kind of group piece, the one that relies on impressing the audience with choreography and syncopation instead of actually exploring a topic from more than one point of view.

Incidentally, I think we should also apply this to group piece finals.  Once it is used in GPF, it can't be used again the next year.  Maybe this would prevent some of that nonsense where a team does the same piece year to year and just swaps out one or two poets by teaching the new kids lines that used to be someone else's.

Also, if we make this an NPS rule, it needs to be an NPS rule only.  Expecting people not to use poems at IWPS or WOWPS because they used them at NPS really just penalizes the teams that send people to those events.  You could also make a IWPS rule or a WOWPS rule, but not a rule that spans tournaments.

Exception: I think anyone who is sacrificing should be exempt.  No sac poet would want to waste the best they've got on a non-scoring slot in finals, but we want the best they've got in order to properly serve the function of the sac poet.

Okay, that's a long rant for a Saturday morning.  I'm quite done now.

succulentpoet

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2009, 09:41:08 AM »
Agree with Amy on all points. I think having a no-repeat rule that spans finals stages for all tournaments is a bit extreme, but I would support it being carried from finals to finals for NPS. After all, it's the way we do it at Canadian Nationals. *grins*
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Stefan Sencerz

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2009, 01:47:21 AM »
Agree with Amy on all points. I think having a no-repeat rule that spans finals stages for all tournaments is a bit extreme, but I would support it being carried from finals to finals for NPS. After all, it's the way we do it at Canadian Nationals. *grins*
Personally, I do not think it's too extreme. I would vote for this sort of no-repeat rule. (Then again, in th interest of full exposure, I doubt this rule will ever affect me or anyone from Corpus Christi.)

AmyD

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2009, 06:56:29 AM »
Agree with Amy on all points. I think having a no-repeat rule that spans finals stages for all tournaments is a bit extreme, but I would support it being carried from finals to finals for NPS. After all, it's the way we do it at Canadian Nationals. *grins*
Personally, I do not think it's too extreme. I would vote for this sort of no-repeat rule. (Then again, in th interest of full exposure, I doubt this rule will ever affect me or anyone from Corpus Christi.)

Stefan, I think that it is unfair for a team to have shallower pockets at NPS just because they happened to send a lot of women to wowps that year.  I fear the unintended consequence would be to cut back on sending women, or to coach women not to blow their best stuff, or to give those women less finals stage time at NPS, and any of those would be a shame.

kashe

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2009, 01:24:04 PM »
I personally love the no repeat rule because ive heard so many poems, and some of them it seems like 100's of times. BUT I am torn because I know that I am a jaded listener who has been part of the slam scene for 11 years, and I hate most stuff--but, as a business person and promoter Ive had to see the other side of the issue.  Some quick points:

 *My prob with the no repeat rule as it stands was that people used to complain all the time that it only took 3 poems to win finals--and were tired of teams with only 3 poems a person winning finals--but the rule did nothing to insure that the teams that reached the finals stage actually did have deep pockets--luckily  thus far most of the teams that have hit finals did have deep pockets, but, since there are random factors in slam, there could be a year of flukes--A year where most of the teams that reach finals stage actually don't have polished work.

*Unforturnately the way that NPS works now, all your new/non poet audience members pretty much come on finals night.   It used to be that people wanted NPS to move around region to region so that when people saw it, they would be inspired and start their own slams, or it would build on the slams already there--if finals is lackluster it defeats this purpose.  I would like to see more audience members that actually travel to other parts of the country to see an NPS, however if their first taste is a mediocre finals--then I doubt they will travel to NPS the following years, or even pay $30 to see finals if its is in the same city the next year.

*I think there is another element to bouts:  the synergy of teams responding to each other through poems, and the ebbing and flowing of this, the roller coaster ride--And eliminating poems from their pockets I think changes this energy as some of the perfect response poems are gone and many teams will simply have to do something that they know, but might not be right for the moment--that spark of electricity is gone--I enjoyed the heck out of the Austin No Repeat year, but I could tell that there was electricity missing from the room--some of the poems made no sense going back to back--but maybe Ive just bought into the slam formula. Even this year people are saying contradicting things--like All the poets rocked--but finals was boring.

* Do you remember the first poem that really turned you onto slam?  And don't you want the world to hear it?

* Don't you want to get a chance to hear the poems that everyone is talking about at 3 AM?  Maybe you are someone who travels the country and will hit every slam venue, or your home venue is in a large city that all the poets come through, but for many people, it will just be impossible to hear these poems live.

* I remember having this discussion with Taylor Mali years ago when I was bitching about seeing the same stuff on finals stage, and he pointed out that 1500 other people in the audience have never heard them before, it prob took me a couple years to come around to seeing his point, and I see it, though I personally prefer no repeats. So a compromise would be the best be in my book.

*Surprisingly the same debates seem to be going on as when I left as a slammaster 5 years ago, one of them was is NPS just for the poets?  Is no repeat rule just for the poets? Or is it in fact for the audience who is going to a slam for their first time?


TSPrunier

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2009, 01:55:33 PM »
... Is no repeat rule just for the poets? Or is it in fact for the audience who is going to a slam for their first time?

I understand the argument that this rule is for the audience, but I'm wondering what prompted the proposal of the no-repeat rule redaction at slam masters this year. Was there massive audience upheaval? Did people walk out of 2007 and 2008 Finals thinking 'this was mediocre'? I'm just wondering because the most salient argument was to put forth the best possible Finals for the audience, but the passion behind it seemed to be to take pressure of teams to continue producing new work.

When the vote passed, those in the majority rejoiced. I don't believe they were doing so for the benefit of the DVD or the Finals audience. I think it was so they could repeat proven winners...

... sad thing is that I was at five or six bouts this year, and each bout was a different feeling. There was the usual popularity contest to sway the judges before a known poet utters a single syllable; there was some home-team favoritism; there was a surprising high score for a poem that seemed to be written back in 1998; and there were a few well-written poems that could not be denied.

Since it was ignored before, I'll write it again: Put cameras in all the bouts to ensure you capture those genuine spoken word moments and put them on the DVD as well. This way, teams can just read their top 16 poems and not worry about the score. And if they only get to read eight times, wouldn't it be great to know they shared their top eight poems as opposed to 'safe' pieces in hopes they needed their 'better' pieces in semis and finals?

Repealing this rule takes the emphasis off the poetry and puts it on the competition.

Mike Simms

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2009, 04:57:17 PM »
-Question to people who have been around longer than I have.

Prior to the no repeat rule, were the poems presented on final stage, way better?

I have all of the DVD's, pre no repeat rule, and post. I don’t really see a difference, I like some poems, I could do without others...

The point that the show is better for the audience, I believe is invalid and unquantifiable, unless there are those that can say without a doubt, the finals show on the years you could repeat were better.

The argument that “I want to hear the poem that everyone is talking about at 3am” is also invalid, because just because a team rocked out a piece during prelims does not mean they are going to use it at finals

I respect everyone’s position on this topic, but what bugs the sh!t out of me is that I just wish some slammasters would call a spade a spade. You really don’t give a F*** about the audience! This is a competition, if you can repeat poems, then you can show up with sub-par poetry and still have a chance to make finals stage.

IMO, its real simple if you want to be the national champion of our organization, show up to the comp with 16 great poems, and some strategy in your back pocket, but based on the decision at the slam masters meeting it is clear that my opinion is in the minority…

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Scott Woods

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2009, 07:00:54 PM »
Mike,

As someone who isn't fighting this battle any more in the hope that it will stop showing up on agendas twice a year,  and having watched videos of NPS finals further back than some of the poets here were alive, I can say that they were what they are now: a mixed bag.  The poetry was certainly FAR more experimental and less competitive minded and original voiced (hell, I saw a team peice off of paper by, hmm, Cleveland I think it was), but it was not necesarily better.  Much of it was poorly performed by today's standards, but by god, when you heard a Lisa Buscani poem, it didn't sound like anybody BUT Lisa Buscani.

I would caution us to not really use subjective terms like this.  "Competitive" is safer and it resonates more with certain tropes that show up in our work that we can all point to and say, "Ah, yes, I see what you mean.  That is kind of wack/cool."  I saw a cat from Team XXX perform the same poem twice last week and didn't like it either time.  But it was competitive - and repeating it over and over was part of what makes it competitive, content aside - and that's why some people want to keep spinning those joints.  They're polished, they're loud, they've got the ramp-ups in all the right places, the slam tempo is in line, and it can double as a team piece.  It may be shit, but that's not what determines its competitiveness anymore.  There are teams that are wholly aware of that.  I cannot think of one that isn't fighting to keep no-repeats.  So all of that is to say, I hear you. I also agree that it increases the emphasis of our "festival" as a competition, and I'm personally against that, but not professionally (as a PSi head, I mean).  Slam is big enough for both and more.  The problem is that the competition heads don't want to share.  They want to make the game go the way they play it, not the way WE play it. 

Whether a finals is good or bad can generally be quantified by how publicly and voluminously the community rakes it.  2003 got RAKED, son.  Go back on the old poetryslam list and see. 

For someone who is done with this issue, I guess I still have a point or two left in me, but really: if no one is talking about compromise, then I'm not interested.  I just saw that Mike Simms said something and I knew it would come hard and had to read it.  He always gets me going.

Stefan Sencerz

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2009, 07:24:45 PM »
Scott,

I definitely think about compromise. (Generally, my mind about this issue is not made, and I casted the votes on both sides of the debate).

Bro.Said

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2009, 07:30:45 AM »
Slammasters DID not
.......assert that they do not believe that their five-poet teams can come up with sixteen fine, competitive poems for the National Poetry Slam.

What we asserted was three things:

1. The no repeat Final rule was an extreme case of micromanagement. Let individual poets and teams decide how many poems and what manner of poems, they will write, and whether or not to repeat them on Finals stage if they make it. Slammasters Council SHOULD NOT be in the business of micro managing teams. Individual Slammasters may chose to assert that their local community come up with sixteen new poems whenever or however they want.

2. The finals shows over the past couple of years since the inception of the no repeat rule haven't seemed very "competitive" to me.

3. We're in the entertainment business as well, and the Finals should be an enjoyable, entertaining event for audiences and a hallmark of some of the best work - which may have been performed already during prelims and semis.

Personally, when the no repeat rule passed a few years ago, I was absolutely horrified and shocked that we could act so stupidly as a body of Slammasters. It is an utter fallacy to argue that presenting brand new poems is good or better competitively than repeating poems you've heard before. What difference does it make? A poem repeated or not should be proven as competitive in a slam - NOT in Slammasters Council.

We are DEEPLY divided as a community over this issue - and passage depends on which camp out numbers the other at Slammasters Council. To avoid going back and forth on this issue every few years - we need to compromise. I'm willing to alternate a year of no repeat Finals with a year of repeat. And that way we can get a clear gage of what is really best for our AUDIENCES.

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AmyD

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2009, 08:47:14 AM »
I have always been on the side of no repeating.  The most interesting argument for repeating, however, was what someone brought up about the flow of the show, and the idea of sending up a poem that is a "response" to another.  I can't think of a hot example fresh off, but we've all seen it, and we know it is awesome, and it can make a show.

The compromise solution (2 repeats) would allow for that.  Plan on putting up all new stuff, but if the team before you sets you up just right, you can slam that response poem down the audience's collective throat.

Let's compromise, and then get this farking thing off of the agenda.

Scott Woods

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2009, 09:50:41 AM »
We have no way of gauging the audience's interest.  What we do know is that most of the Finals audience hasn't seen an of the week so far, so it's all new to them.  As far as we know, based on applause, scores and general levity, they have always enjoyed Finals shows regardless of this issue (and a host of others).  And really?  Nobody's making more noise in Finals or bouts than our own poets.  So based on impression, even WE think every Finals rocks.  If we didn't respond to every fart on stage in that manner, then we might have something to gauge here.  Hadn't seen anyone point that out yet in all the years we've been batting it around. They generally have no expectation of what they will see and learn from the raucous poets around them that it's okay to respond to the poetry beyond clapping.  So let's stop talking about what audiences are getting out of it in the negative or positive beyond how it relates to what we're advertising.  You can have this discussion without consideration of the audience expectation at all.  I would argue that amongst the SMs is EXACTLY where you should be having it at the rules level.

But when we say "the top 4 teams", that should be what they're getting.  Based on ranks and scores, they are.  Based on the personal opinion of 80 or so SMs, they may not be.  I have navigated this issue primarily asking that we live up to what we advertise: that the poets on Finals stage are poets that work at this on a level that is less refutable than repeating poems they've already done, yet still be respectably competitive.  I feel most of te people who have asked for it have asked for the same.

The local poet who showed up at every mic during NPS this year trying to get on performed the same poem every time I saw her.  (Don't front; some of you know exactly who I'm talking about.)  If she ended up on Finals stage with that effort - which isn't far from the effort of some poets on teams - I'd stop going to finals altogether.

Scott Woods

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2009, 09:51:56 AM »
More importantly, I think a compromise would shut both sides up for at least a year and we could move on to other things.
SMs really missed an opportunity here.

johnmiller37

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Re: no repeat rule
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2009, 09:55:14 AM »
i see the debate on know repeating has well defined sides......I would like to hear from the SM who made the motion for the amendment to allow unlimited repeats in the finals.....

Regardless of which side your on or for what reason I think that allowing two repeats on final stage is a good medium...But lets see how things fair in 2010 we may self medicate on this one.

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