Michaela The Poet features at OUTSPOKEN DANCE at SADLER’S WELLS

9 Jul

Hey Guys,

Today I recited at Sadler’s Wells, a very well-known theatre/dance venue in London. I’ve been home for about 2 hours, thinking, writing, smiling, and whatever else one does on the hype of returning from an awesome event.

I gotta give it to Ashleigh, she’s the organiser. I’ve been a feature at the annual Outspoken Dance production I believe 3 or 4 years in a row now, and every show I’ve done has been an awesome experience.
It seems like quite a small team, a small team with big dreams, and usually when small teams with big dreams finally have their  dreams realised; they tend to be poorly organised, sloppy, and produce sloppy shows, but Outspoken Dance has never been like that. So if they are in fact a small team, kudos to them.

The 2010 production was at Sadler’s Wells theatre (Lilyan Baylis Studio). They sold out of tickets before midday today so unfortunately my loved ones (i.e Christophe my designer and his wife Shaz) couldn’t come, but hey; if you decided to book late for an event you heard about and planned to go to 100 years ago you should expect that! 😛

I got their about an hour before curtain, went backstage, the usual atmosphere, dancers rehearsing their moves; gently yet sharply enough for me to feel slightly uncomfortable. I’m shown to my dressing room; a sign which read ‘MICHAEL THE POET‘ (as opposed to MICHAELA) greets me with a cheeky sense of familiarity, I smile…this is one of those common things, my name is virtually NEVER spelt correctly on any dressing room of ANY event that I recite at lol, doing something stupid like ‘EXCUSE ME CAN YOU CORRECT MY NAME PLEASE’ is a waste of energy and practically asking for ‘DIVA’ to be written on the door instead.

The employees were absolutely amazing, I felt comfortable, like I had been there for years…I don’t know why, they’ve just got this great vibe going on man.

Floetic Lara was in the house, and so was Verbswish which was great; hadn’t seen them both in a while so it was nice to catch up with two beautiful people. I recognised that all the poets on the line up had one thing in common (wink wink) and then I winked above at the fact that the gifts He has given us are breaking barriers and allowing us to meet people from different backgrounds with different life experiences and beliefs, we stand in front of them and speak and they have no pre-judgements or barriers…just an open ear.

I gotta say dancers make me laugh…I have always had this bad stereotype of them. When I was in my early teens I couldn’t stand them (sorry about the boxing of people; if you read my other blogs you’ll see I do that a lot for the purpose of writing economically; I don’t mean ALL dancers; just some lol)…I found them loud, obnoxious, over-confident and cocky, whenever I was at shows they’d shout way too loud whenever someone they knew was on stage and I was often confused as to whether their intention was to encourage whoever was performing or to subtly let the audience know they have many friends.

However today, I recognised myself in that attitude; I am loud, (I’m sure you’ll agree), over-confident, obnoxious at times (but not cocky! no I ain’t!)…and if people tarnished me with the same brush I’d be upset!

I scuffled out of the Sadler’s Wells toilet…the dancerish girls were in there, putting on their make-up, talking and smiling, leaning over the toilet sinks to get a better view of themselves in the mirror, talking in this specific exclusive dancerish code and joking about dancerish things…thoughts sped into my head, posed themselves and rotated round…do I say hi? Do I just wash my hands and leave? Maybe just smile Michaela…sing a song to prove that you are confident and unphased by their perfect bodies bends and big conversations.

“Are you guys dancing today?’ wooohoooo I asked a question!!!

and suddenly everything changed, their eyes lit up, as with mine, and me and the dancer girls began to have a proper conversation, they were lovely, bright faced, warm people, although I know they are not likely to have said hi to me first, all it took was one little question and barriers from both parties were removed until there were no longer separate parties but one unified toilet of performers.

I thought about why dancers…and musicians (instrumentalists specifically) according to Patsy Rodenburg seem unapproachable compared to actors and poets…musicians (i.e violinists, pianists, drummers…REAL instrumentalists); well those dedicated to their crafts anyway; spend their time hid behind their instruments, after a while their vocal chords lack importance and nobility because literally their instrument becomes their voice. It must be the same for dancers, one of the lovely girls in the toilet said the concept of standing in front of people and just talking is Top 3 on her horrid imaginations: Their bodies are the vocal chords, they manoeuvre their bodies to represent emotions, experiences, whatever else; even if they don’t necessarily feel it mentally/spiritually.

The actor has only their voices as their instruments, they have nothing to hide behind, which is probably why we seem to be more naturally apt at warming up strangers.

Backstage was hilarious, because I’m an actor…and because I’m at Guildhall specifically; I am a great advocate in ‘warming up’…this can consist of leg and arm swings, getting the breath low, releasing on a fricative vowel, limb stretching, the combra…basically ANYTHING that would make you think I was a freak and walk away in fear if you ever saw me doing it. I stretched my leg…then this dancer guy just came right in front of me and began to stretch his leg so high that his knee was on his face and his toes were pointing to my Saviour, it was quite a hilarious site.

My poems went well, I did Next! and one called America, which is kinda new (but draws on similar topics to something I wrote a few years ago) the crowd were so responsive, after a while I put the mic down; I didn’t need it, they were close enough and all I had to do was throw my voice a lil further.

My drama school are always telling me how much I need to work on that, it’s always fine when I’m reciting my stuff though…wonder why.

A group called Just Us came on after me…I can’t tell you how great they are, they connected with the music and their routine in an incomprehensible way…so into it…I thought it was incredible…at times they looked like they were praying and my heart was genuinely touched. I’m glad I didn’t miss them, absolutely phenomenal, and like normal people; one or two of them were getting nervous, which made me smile because it showed a very human innocent side to them, a side that living the repeated rehearsal of bionic London life oft takes away.

They were literally incredible .

Well done guys…Love.

Everyone was fab, but they just really stood out to me, I also got to speak to dancers in Nexus and Birdgang, and I can genuinely tell you both as individuals within groups, and as whole groups; they were lovely!

The ignorant view my youth has built up of dancers is happily removed!

I’ve done a vile thing…I killed this Sea-Gull. I lay it at your feet



One Response to “Michaela The Poet features at OUTSPOKEN DANCE at SADLER’S WELLS”

  1. Rachel July 12, 2010 at 2:58 am #


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