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Author Topic: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?  (Read 22763 times)

TSPrunier

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Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« on: August 19, 2009, 11:42:40 AM »
Considering the amount of preparation and effort at the local and national level, why don't we assemble a pool of qualified judges from academia, slam, pop culture, maybe even a celebrity or two?

It could be a pool of approximately 60 judges to work the NPS tournament. Since there are usually no more than five bouts at a time, judges could work two bouts a night in different venues. Doesn't matter where they're from, as they will judge based on the poetry and performance. There are a lot of variables, but I'm hoping to hear amid many shouts of Are you crazy? and You don't know what you're talking about! some thoughts as to why this could possibly work.

I base this on two things:

1. The struggle to find an unbiased, random judge from the audience at an NPS bout.
2. Steve Marsh's writing "... some of our judges come from all over the country to sit in that bar to be a judge. They are not random at all" in another thread.



Scott Woods

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2009, 12:32:36 PM »
Oh god no.  Not this one.

TSPrunier

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2009, 01:30:13 PM »
Oh god no.  Not this one.

SnortChuckle. ;D ::)

AmyD

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2009, 01:46:49 PM »
I base this on two things:

1. The struggle to find an unbiased, random judge from the audience at an NPS bout.
2. Steve Marsh's writing "... some of our judges come from all over the country to sit in that bar to be a judge. They are not random at all" in another thread.


I think 2 is largely a function of 1.  If we can't find judges, we are instructed to use our scorekeepers or timekeepers or merch people or whomever, and then backfill those positions in someway.  So sometimes someone comes from another city planning to volunteer, and ends up as a judge.

kashe

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2009, 03:45:28 PM »
Hmm well, I thought the idea of picking judges from the audience was to get the audience involved.  Marc Smith used to say somethings like--, he came up with slam so the audience had a voice and didn't have to sit through some self important poet. . .

Arent you all just making the poets the most important people in the room by doing this?  And not the audience?  Sorry--Im from Chicago, and I just can't escape the importance of the audience being the most important thing--Though Marc and I didn't always get along, I think he is spot on about this--and his packed venue every single week for years is proof.

yes, when i hosted at nationals it was near impossible to find judges outisde of the poetry community for some of my bouts, and in some bout judges that the teams liked better, but, I think that the solution to this is to not to make more rules and pick judges ahead of time, but to get more audience in the doors.

Scott Woods

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2009, 03:51:17 PM »
More audience means this "problem" goes away.  I saw bouts that started on time with paid audience for judges. 
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TSPrunier

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2009, 07:29:50 PM »
Hmm well, I thought the idea of picking judges from the audience was to get the audience involved.  Marc Smith used to say somethings like--, he came up with slam so the audience had a voice and didn't have to sit through some self important poet. . .

Arent you all just making the poets the most important people in the room by doing this?  And not the audience?  Sorry--Im from Chicago, and I just can't escape the importance of the audience being the most important thing--Though Marc and I didn't always get along, I think he is spot on about this--and his packed venue every single week for years is proof.


I agree with this sentiment, but I also know that NPS has evolved. And, with the scoring/ranking system currently in place, a team could win by five points and still be two points behind a fourth-place team, depending on the judges. There are a lot of facets to this argument, and it's not a knee-jerk thought to suggest this; I know it can be considered near-blasphemy by some.

Still, I think the amount of work put into preparing, fund-raising, etc. for the venues as well as PSi could warrant the need for some professional judges.

Steve

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2009, 10:23:34 PM »
We tried a trick like that in 1995. Had each team bring a "qualified" judge and assigned them to bouts their teams were not in. They judges didn't show up. They wanted to be entourage. Haven't tried since. Still think it is generally a bad idea.

TSPrunier

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2009, 08:15:41 AM »
We tried a trick like that in 1995. Had each team bring a "qualified" judge and assigned them to bouts their teams were not in. They judges didn't show up. They wanted to be entourage. Haven't tried since. Still think it is generally a bad idea.

Not what I'm proposing.

PSi is a national organization. Granted, this might require future consideration because it may require funding. The idea is to identify people throughout the communities of spoken word, entertainment (read: not necessarily celebrities), academia and publishing who can be a part of the festival, perhaps conduct workshops and showcase, and provide some kind of standardization for the event. PSi would probably have to pay for their travel, which is why it might require future consideration (or if we can pull from local high schools, colleges and universities if we are in a town with enough schools, and area talent agencies and publishing houses).

Not only might this add legitimacy to slam as an important realm of poetry, it might help showcase slam by word-of-mouth through other industries.

Ever see the beginning of the movie Finding Forrester? It's a raw open of a young kid freestyling. Another popular thread in this forum is "slammers breaking through." Wouldn't it be nice to see one of those melodramatic scenes where the actors just stare out the window and contemplate with the tonal music be augmented with a spoken word poem? How cool would it be to have a poetry slam or an open mic be the setting for a scene (it's in one of my unsold screenplays, but I digress). How about if in So, I Married an Axe Murderer, Mike Meyers did spoken word instead of beat poetry? Right now, all there is is Demetri Martin parodying slam on his Comedy Central show, "Important Things." Is that how we want to be known outside our domain?

Just listing a benefit, not suggesting PSi or slam sell out. If every team has to contend with the same crappy judges then there'll be no complaints that a team with an emphatic 1 is ranked lower than a team that lucked into a high-scoring 1 because the judges started throwing up 10s in the first round of the bout.

True, what I propose would take some time to enact, but I think the conversation is worth having. I would like to know what the Slamily thinks of standardized judging at the national event. I'm not suggesting ripping the fabric from Marc Smith's loom - I'm suggesting the national event be given a leveling to differentiate it from local and regional slams, and all the expectations that come from them. I mean, how will someone who is a regular at, say, the West Palm Beach slam, compare their local team to a team from Iowa or New York or Vancouver? Bring in impartial ringers to do that for us, let the audience sit back and drink and cheer.

AmyD

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2009, 08:41:12 AM »
We tried a trick like that in 1995. Had each team bring a "qualified" judge and assigned them to bouts their teams were not in. They judges didn't show up. They wanted to be entourage. Haven't tried since. Still think it is generally a bad idea.

Not what I'm proposing.

PSi is a national organization. Granted, this might require future consideration because it may require funding. The idea is to identify people throughout the communities of spoken word, entertainment (read: not necessarily celebrities), academia and publishing who can be a part of the festival, perhaps conduct workshops and showcase, and provide some kind of standardization for the event. PSi would probably have to pay for their travel, which is why it might require future consideration (or if we can pull from local high schools, colleges and universities if we are in a town with enough schools, and area talent agencies and publishing houses).

Not only might this add legitimacy to slam as an important realm of poetry, it might help showcase slam by word-of-mouth through other industries.

Ever see the beginning of the movie Finding Forrester? It's a raw open of a young kid freestyling. Another popular thread in this forum is "slammers breaking through." Wouldn't it be nice to see one of those melodramatic scenes where the actors just stare out the window and contemplate with the tonal music be augmented with a spoken word poem? How cool would it be to have a poetry slam or an open mic be the setting for a scene (it's in one of my unsold screenplays, but I digress). How about if in So, I Married an Axe Murderer, Mike Meyers did spoken word instead of beat poetry? Right now, all there is is Demetri Martin parodying slam on his Comedy Central show, "Important Things." Is that how we want to be known outside our domain?

Just listing a benefit, not suggesting PSi or slam sell out. If every team has to contend with the same crappy judges then there'll be no complaints that a team with an emphatic 1 is ranked lower than a team that lucked into a high-scoring 1 because the judges started throwing up 10s in the first round of the bout.

True, what I propose would take some time to enact, but I think the conversation is worth having. I would like to know what the Slamily thinks of standardized judging at the national event. I'm not suggesting ripping the fabric from Marc Smith's loom - I'm suggesting the national event be given a leveling to differentiate it from local and regional slams, and all the expectations that come from them. I mean, how will someone who is a regular at, say, the West Palm Beach slam, compare their local team to a team from Iowa or New York or Vancouver? Bring in impartial ringers to do that for us, let the audience sit back and drink and cheer.

I think for every team walking into NPS with eyes on the prize, there is one that is there to share their poetry, and doesn't give a damn about scores.

Ransacked

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2009, 10:15:13 AM »
I like this idea!  We should totally have preselected, qualified judges for these things.

We'd get a panel of 3-5 judges. The judges would be selected well ahead of time on the basis of things like previous slam experience, prior publications, scholarly credentials, having slept with all the right people, and other pertinent criteria.  We can go one better if we make the judges themselves, not the poets, the real reason the audience comes out to see the show. See, we'd pick outspoken, celebrity poets to be our judges. They wouldn't just hold up numbers, they'd be mic'ed and we'd get to hear the reasons they were rating a given poem a given way.  We'd pick judges with a penchant for scathing criticism and/or dippy-doo comments.

My dream team for this kind of judging panel would be Glyn Maxwell, Saul Williams, and Jewel.

The audience would be largely irrelevant, but so they wouldn't feel totally left out, we'd have a number where AT&T subscribers could text in their votes for the winner.

We'd call it "American Idyll."

Michael Mlekoday

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2009, 03:21:58 PM »
No.

Faldwin

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2009, 04:20:35 PM »
I like this idea!  We should totally have preselected, qualified judges for these things.

We'd get a panel of 3-5 judges. The judges would be selected well ahead of time on the basis of things like previous slam experience, prior publications, scholarly credentials, having slept with all the right people, and other pertinent criteria.  We can go one better if we make the judges themselves, not the poets, the real reason the audience comes out to see the show. See, we'd pick outspoken, celebrity poets to be our judges. They wouldn't just hold up numbers, they'd be mic'ed and we'd get to hear the reasons they were rating a given poem a given way.  We'd pick judges with a penchant for scathing criticism and/or dippy-doo comments.

My dream team for this kind of judging panel would be Glyn Maxwell, Saul Williams, and Jewel.

The audience would be largely irrelevant, but so they wouldn't feel totally left out, we'd have a number where AT&T subscribers could text in their votes for the winner.

We'd call it "American Idyll."
I really, really hope you're kidding.

Dahled

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2009, 06:03:17 PM »
I agree with this sentiment, but I also know that NPS has evolved. And, with the scoring/ranking system currently in place, a team could win by five points and still be two points behind a fourth-place team

not true - you win your bouts you don't have to worry about scores. a team with a lower bout rank (1st, 2nd in the bout) always beats a team with a higher bout rank (3rd, 4th in the bout) regardless of the scores.

also - while it's often hard to find judges the randomness of who has the score cards is part of the point... and part of why the points don't matter. once you start using "qualified" judges you're putting more emphasis on the competition - that won't fly here. it's not that i don't agree with you (many do) but i recognize an unwinnable battle when i see one - this is one.

preselected / qualified judges is what they're doing in the pro league i believe. it's also what they do at bnv.

Scott Woods

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2009, 06:24:57 PM »
It's been done at NPS before too.  Disastrous as I heard.  It was before my time.