Sign up for our newsletter! Follow:
Slam Poem: Taylor Mali - "What Teachers Make”
Guest post by Taylor Mali!
The first thing to notice about this performance, which comes from the final stage of the 2000 National Poetry Slam in Providence, RI, is how loud the audience can be BEFORE the poem starts. You can hear someone yell out "I love you Taylor" before I begin; but that's tame! Sometimes that good-natured hooting and hollering can last almost 30 seconds, and if you're not prepared for it you can lose your focus.
The second thing I notice is how short my hair is. I really do look like a Republican! The quirky laugh that I give to the lawyer twice is something I have stopped doing over the years because I think it's distracting. Notice that when I take the mic off the stand, which I always do at the exact same moment, the sound quality becomes appreciably worse. I wonder why I didn't hear that and move it closer to my mouth?
Lastly, of course, a pirated version of this exact performance has been on YouTube and received close to 4 million hits. Consequently, whenever I begin this poem today, depending on the venue, the audience is filled with people who either clap in excited anticipation or roll their eyes and groan, "Not THIS old poem again!"
And check out Taylor Mali here!
- Cannes 2013: Jia’s A Touch of Sin and Ozon’s Young and Beautiful
- Specialty Box Office: 'Frances' Ha-s Stellar First Weekend; 'Pines' Becomes 2013's First $20 Million Indie
- The Dardenne Bros., Marion Cotillard and Sundance Selects Team For 'Two Days, One Night'
- Phase 4 Buys Anna Paquin's "Free Ride"
- The 9 Best Things Said by the Coen Bros., Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake at the 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Cannes Press Conference