Author Topic: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?  (Read 24788 times)

TSPrunier

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2009, 07:34:04 PM »
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.


This is the kind of stuff I want to hear, not powers-that-be (rhymes with blot and leave) trying to stifle immediately before discussion gets going.

Dahled, I also misrepresented what I was saying... I meant that a team with a 1 in a low-scoring bout could still score several points lower than a team with a 4 in a judges-gone-wild affair. This can hurt them in seeding later.

GENERAL COMMENT ON SLAM HERITAGE: I agree with the idea that it's not about the points, but if we're going to have a competition where we're discussing time limits and repeating poems and primary authorship among a myriad other competition issues, then we might want to take the national competition a little more seriously. The fact that BNV used non-audience judges was the kernel of this proposal.

Ransacked

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2009, 07:45:25 PM »
preselected / qualified judges is what they're doing in the pro league i believe. it's also what they do at bnv.

Point of information: What's the pro league?

dmagdalena1

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2009, 09:20:49 AM »
I understand both and all sides...
But more importantly I also know how frustrating getting good judges can be... especially after MCing my first bouts this past NPS.
What I suggest... which is what I plan on doing at my bouts.... is make sure that those who I feel are qualified judges show up to the bout!

Knowing I was going to MC I made sure to have a nice group come to the bout. The mistake was they also came to the open mic which some teams attended and performed - jeez! There went 3 great judges. Luckily I did invite other friends - one which is a 2x Pulitzer winning writer - she judged and had a blast. A WPB Post reporter ended up judging 3 different bouts.

It may be wise for the hosting cities to have their promotion team also try to get confirmed guest to as many bouts as possible. So the rule is still in place and the poets will get great judges. Not making this a new rule or a new requirement - just a volunteered thought and an option for MCs, Bout Managers, promotions team, hosting cities etc....
Making both sides happy. ;D
Deborah Mag

Scott Woods

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2009, 10:22:08 AM »
Fuck you mean, stifle discussion?
Noting history is not stifling.  Opting to learn from the history that exists is up to you.

I just hate to see us discussing these thiings like they've never happened before simply because no one wants to be bothered with using the search function. 

TSPrunier

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2009, 01:23:55 PM »
Fuck you mean, stifle discussion?
Noting history is not stifling.  Opting to learn from the history that exists is up to you.

I just hate to see us discussing these thiings like they've never happened before simply because no one wants to be bothered with using the search function. 

Touche.

Still, with new players rotating it, wouldn't hurt to hear new voices before someone who has been through it before says 'been there, done that,' when it's more like 'discussed that in the past, maybe did a form of what was proposed.'

Scott Woods

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2009, 01:34:15 PM »
Fuck you mean, stifle discussion?
Noting history is not stifling.  Opting to learn from the history that exists is up to you.

I just hate to see us discussing these thiings like they've never happened before simply because no one wants to be bothered with using the search function. 

Touche.

Still, with new players rotating it, wouldn't hurt to hear new voices before someone who has been through it before says 'been there, done that,' when it's more like 'discussed that in the past, maybe did a form of what was proposed.'

What's te post count before someone who isn't new can speak then?

johnmiller37

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2009, 01:42:53 PM »
heres what I did and the poets were happy

I wanted to find judges  for one of my final slams that hadn’t heard any of my regular poets yet. In my venue we have a strong following of regular audience members who have their favorite poet, or have heard most of the poets who will be in the final.
I sought out high school teachers, college drama  teachers,  city council members, radio DJs anyone who I thought would enjoy the show but hadn’t been there before.
What I got was a 2 people that showed up…1 thought everything should rhyme the other thought it was Rape event…..Both got their minds changed after the first round and said they didn’t know how to judge the poems. I still had 3 audience members 2 were regulars one was just some poor lady who brought a ticket….
We had one of the best judges slams and evenly scored to date

I can see trying to get pre stationed judges that will help the slams start on time.....i just think it will be hard to fill slots for every venue.. it tool me 3 months to get 2 judges to show up


I wish I could be just write for you

Michael Mlekoday

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2009, 02:05:20 PM »
Basically, you can run your own shows however you want. If you want to start a tournament with "expert" judges, go for it! But that isn't slam. "Random" judges is an essential fact of what we do. It represents the democratization of art, points out the absurdity of the very notion of "expert" art judges, and involves the audience in an important way.

Ransacked

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2009, 02:31:11 PM »
At the risk of hijacking the thread...

Is the real issue here that the randomly-selected judges are know-nothings, or is the real issue that it's hard to find judges at NPS? To put it another way, are we debating bringing in preselected, qualified judges or are we debating bringing in warm bodies?

I bout-managed at NPS 2008 and it was much harder than I'd have believed. I still believe the best way to get judges is the old-fashioned way: get Dawn Gabriel to flirt with them until they say yes. I've seen the judge conundrum resolved in two effective, but controversial ways:

Eugene Poetry Slam has judges sign up at the beginning of the night.  I was really surprised when I went there to feature and saw three sign-up lists: Open mic, slam, and slam judge. You get a certain selection bias with this, and I'm not sure it's according to Hoyle unless you get maybe ten names on the list and then select judges at random from that list.  Is that really random?

The other way is to offer some sort of compensation: I bought drinks for two judges at Madison. You could guarantee them seats in a SRO venue, or they get a free NPS T-shirt, or what-have-you. Two drinks cost me $10 or so in Madison; I'm not saying that was an ideal solution, but it got the show started on time.

TSPrunier

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2009, 03:42:19 PM »
What's te post count before someone who isn't new can speak then?

Scott, you were the first to respond to the thread with "Oh god no.  Not this one."

Regrettably, I have spent the better part of my afternoon searching the term "judge" on the forums, and the closest item of relevance I found was this thread, which is a forwarded letter from a judge who was treated harshly in St. Louis in 2004, and even this judge recommended preselected judges:" "... if you expect everyone at every event to judge the same, then don't pick judges randomly.  I would suggest using judges who have experience and know exactly how the whole event, not just one venue, will be scored."

With respect to the (ir)relevance of judges in the slam movement, NPS has evolved into something teams of poets train for year-round...

... still, I'm glad we have the ear of Mr. Mlekoday, member of the championship team (congratulations). I agree in spirit when he says this proposal "... isn't slam," but I disagree that there is one interpretation of slam. For example, when the group piece "No One Knows" debuted circa 2000, it rippled through the community long enough to have an impact on me when I got into slam five years later; now, the poem would be dismissed as do-wopping, gimmicky crap by many (myself not included). Still, it might've been considered brilliant at the time because it was among the first times anything like that was done at NPS.

We are constantly exploring the limits of poetry, and that does involve tweaking the show in many ways (like bringing back repeats) to make slam's appeal more broad - not just in the host city, but in the realm of poetry, performance, art and entertainment. The intention of this idea is to legitimize the event (NPS) and perhaps draw more people to the competition AND the festival and the movement. When the tide comes into the bay, all the boats come up.

It's tough to be passionate about driving a discussion and not sound like I'm evangelizing this proposal. I'll be honest and admit the likelihood of this passing in the next five years is about the same as me making finals stage, but I encourage everyone to think about it, consider the competition and everything we put into it. Wouldn't you hate to spend three months to several years preparing for NPS and then get a crappy score because a judge didn't like your goatee, or that you reminded someone of an annoying co-worker? I know it's part of the random nature, but if the competition matters so much to repeal no-repeat and tweak bout rotation and other such stuff, doesn't it make sense to bring up the level of competition in all facets of NPS?

EH?

Scott Woods

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2009, 04:14:07 PM »
Wouldn't you hate to spend three months to several years preparing for NPS and then get a crappy score because a judge didn't like your goatee, or that you reminded someone of an annoying co-worker? I know it's part of the random nature, but if the competition matters so much to repeal no-repeat and tweak bout rotation and other such stuff, doesn't it make sense to bring up the level of competition in all facets of NPS?

If I felt a) the competition was more important than the ultimate sharing of my or my scene's art and/or b) if I stripped away the whole origin and point of Slam ("stun who brung ya") then maybe.  As it stands I hold to neither of these things. 

Oh, and that whole thing about the competition being a sham anyway.  That has to hold true here, too.

TSPrunier

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2009, 06:08:10 PM »
If I felt a) the competition was more important than the ultimate sharing of my or my scene's art and/or b) if I stripped away the whole origin and point of Slam ("stun who brung ya") then maybe.  As it stands I hold to neither of these things. 

Oh, and that whole thing about the competition being a sham anyway.  That has to hold true here, too.

I respect what you're saying, and the experience/history that goes with it.

And I like "stun who brung ya" -- never heard that one before.

Then maybe we should talk about having a series of bouts and no champion, or a round-robin where each team competes over four days and the top teams from each pool compete in a "finals showcase." Then I would argue against this proposal.

But I do agree with you in philosophy, which might be a good thing.


Faldwin

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2009, 07:28:59 PM »
Having read a bit more of what people have had to say, it seems like this is a more basic issue. The issue of whether  we are going to take this competition thing seriously.  On one end of it, poetry can't realistically be assigned a point value, and even "qualified" judges might score a good poem poorly or vice versa because of their own experience/perspective.  Saying that one poem or poet is "better" than another implies a level of objectivity that just doesn't exist.

However, we also have to consider that competition has it's advantages.  It drives people to produce better and better work, and to push their skills to the limit. If poetry slam was just a community of open mics, I don't think that the quality of the writing and the performance would be anywhere near as high.

So with the advantages and disadvantages of competition in mind, we have no choice, but to find some sort of middle ground.  I think that randomly selected, unqualified judges is that middle ground.  It still allows a competition, and forced the poets to improve themselves, even if for no other reason than to get a chance to perform again.  But it also is inherently, and obviously unfair.  After all, why does this person we bribed into judging get to say whether my poem is any good? What makes his opinion more important than anyone else?  Nothing!  It's not fair, and that's the point.  Applying numbers to creative expression is inherently unfair, and if we are going to be unfair, then we might as well embrace it.

bigpoppae

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2009, 01:45:47 AM »
the very heart of the what poetry slam is supposed to do is this: get the audience involved and get them to be a part of a thrilling experience with poetry.

the judges and the scores have NEVER been for the poets nor have they been meant to rank one poet or team of poets as better than another. the judges and the scores have ALWAYS been a trick, a gag, a tool, a method of giving the audience a voice and making them an active part of an amazing show.

the moment you start picking "professional" judges is the moment you force the slam to be about the poets and their egos and actually making the show about ranking one poet or team as better or worse than another, and that, my dear friends, is the death of slam.

the moment you take the audience out of this equation is the moment you kill slam. the scores and the judges are NOT for the us. they are for the audience.

Scott Woods

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Re: Preselected, qualified judges for NPS?
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2009, 08:24:50 AM »
And I like "stun who brung ya" -- never heard that one before.


Yeah, I just made that up.  I'm freakin' Garrison Keillor over here.