Here’s Regie Gibson on the Finals stage at the National Poetry Slam in Portland Oregon. An accomplished writer and performer, Regie went on to become an individual National Poetry Slam Champion. He is also featured in the New Line Cinema film Love Jones, which is also based on his life.
“It’s better than fighting and it’s better than shooting and stabbing each other.” Freestylers hone their skills in healthy, head-to-head competition.
The Making of Freestyle (continued)
I heard that Kevin Fitzgerald’s movie, Freestyle – The Art of Rhyme, had been accepted into the 1999 Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City. I went to see it. It was still messy, but it had been cut way down, and included some incredible performances. The movie won an award at the festival. I finally met Kevin at the screening. He had heard about my project, and we hung out, talking freestyling and movies. It seemed there would not be room enough for two freestyle movies, and Kevin clearly was way ahead. I decided to abandon my project.
We hope you're all as excited about the London Olympics as we are! To get in the spirit, we're sharing a spot Paul created for the 1996 Summer Olympics while working for NBC. Enjoy and get ready to watch the opening ceremony tonight at 7:30PM on NBC!
Before video editing could be done on a laptop, it often involved a complicated tape-based off-line/on-line process. A music video, for example, would be worked on for days on inexpensive equipment and low-quality video, generating an edit decision list (EDL). That list would then be used to on-line or conform the final edit on the high-end very expensive equipment and tape. Lot’s of time off-lining, quickly as possible on-lining.
I on-lined edited dozens of music videos back in the day. This one was off-line edited by my friend Ernie Fritz, who has the back story:
If there is a video that is the definition of "fucked up", this is it - - and looking back at it now, that's why it's great. I was the editor and this video, and I must admit, I thought it was doomed the first time I saw the footage. My friend Drew Carolan directed and I had no idea what he wanted or what was on his mind. I don't think he knew either - - no let me rephrase that; he clearly didn't know what he wanted but he was director who loved to have fun and always pulled something out of the hat.
Picture this: 40-50 documentary professionals watching your unfinished movie and then ripping it to shreds...uh... offering constructive criticism. It's an intimdating scenario, but also exhilirating and always valuable.
Founded by filmmaker Susan Kaplan, DocuClub is now run by Arts Engine. It is a member organization of filmmakers in Manhattan that workshops new non-fiction work. DevlinPix is honored to present our newest project, The Front Man, in its first semi-public screening at DocuClub.
If you're in New York City this week, come join the fray: Thursday July 19, 7PM at DCTV, 87 Lafayette Street, New York. Admission: $6 for non-members, Free for members.
I Want to Be a Woman became one of my signature poems in my slam years from 1994 to 1999. You know how it is: you road-test everything you write, then you find that two or three or four or five poems get the highest scores, and sometimes you stick with them for years. People used to complain that Patricia Smith did the same two poems three years running to win the Individual Slam, but hey, those were the ones that scored highest for her, so what was she supposed to do -- perform some other poem and lose?
I Want to Be a Woman was actually going to be the first in a long series of gender, cultural and other reversals, but after I Want to Be a Woman, I only got to write I Want to Be a Black Man. I never got round to I Want to Be a Dog and I Want to Be God and I Want to Be a Murderer and I Want to Be a Republican and I Want to Be a Dictator.
I performed I Want to Be a Woman as my final poem in 1997 to qualify for the individual finals in Connecticut, and managed to score a whole bunch of tens (in the actual finals I screwed it up royally). I remember Michael Brown telling me that my performance was like a levitation, like I was flying or something. I wish I had a video of that performance, because it was my best performance ever of anything I've ever performed ever.
I've seen this with many poets: the one time they hit a transcendent incandescent note. It's an absolute blessing to be there when it happens. In fact, there's nothing greater. I can recall such moments from many poets: Patricia Smith, Marc Smith, Lisa Buscani, Wammo (the one about the bar), Dana Bryant (the one about the heat down south), Maggie Estep (the one about being a lady vampire), DJ Renegade (the one about Miles), Da Boogie Man, Gayle Danley (at least three of her poems, when she burst on the scene in Asheville), Michael Brown, Sheila Donohue, the Superheroes group poem (best group poem ever), Regie Cabico, Jerry Quickley, Glenis Redmond, Beau Sia, Mayda del Valle, Morris Stegosaurus, Reggie Gibson (the one about Hendrix), Cass King, Taylor Mali, Roger Bonair-Agard, Derrick C. Brown (what a funny guy), Shappy Seasholtz (Butterfly, just for starters), Sara Holbrook, Jeffrey McDaniel (the one about the submarine full of midgets), Rachel McKibbens, Lynn Procope, Sarah Jones, Scott Woods, etcetera and on and on into the long good night. Heck, I remember a performance of Beau Sia when he was just making shit up on stage from moment to moment, freestyle-style, and he was on like a boner on a bat, and it was LOL hilarious. And I remember seeing Bob Holman do a whole show of his poems, with a friend on percussion and other instruments, and it was utterly mind-blowing. The memory of those incandescent performances are burned in my mind like laser etchings. When poets hit that spot in your brain, that spot stays lit up forever.
Another good moment with I Want to Be a Woman was when I ran across a student who told me he used it as an audition piece to get into drama school. I walked on a cloud for days after that. It's not that often that you find your work has actually helped someone achieve a dream.
OK, some links. My book of poems, Suck My Poem, is available here, and my novel Vagina Rebel is available here.
These days I've reincarnated myself as Adam Ash, singer-songwriter, who performs solo and with his band the Dingbots. Check out my band's CD here and follow my music career here, where you can also listen to three of my songs, including the rather bizarre My Girlfriend Got Freaky with a Strap-on.
Hi everyone. Some news... my boyfriend of 5 years, Jerry, proposed to me last Friday night on our 5th Year Anniversary! It was an amazing and unique proposal, so I'd like to share the story with all of you. It's also available here. :)
I’m sitting here at Starbucks staring out the window at the foot traffic outside. It’s 5:15PM on Friday, June 22nd. It’s my boyfriend Jerry and I's fifth year anniversary today and he’s late. He told me we had dinner reservations for 5, and he won’t tell me the place. He told me to wait on the corner of 3rd Ave and 67th Street, by the Caché. I’m staring out the window and wondering where in the world he is, when my iPhone buzzes.
It’s a text from Jerry and it’s a cryptic, exciting thing. “I’m in the city,” he writes. “But you have to find me! You’re going to get clues on Instagram. Your name is Marie Antoinette. Your first clue is up. Happy hunting!”And so begins the most amazing, exciting, and rewarding scavenger hunt of my life, trailing me across Manhattan’s upper east side, and eventually leading my to the love of my life.
My first Instagram clue is pretty straightforward. A picture of a Caché tag against a gorgeous fabric! I read the caption on Instagram and I cannot believe my eyes - it reads just like a post on Gossip Girl!
I cannot even… Jerry has tapped into my Gossip Girl fan girl side. It’s amazing. Phenomenal. Has he been listening to me ramble on this whole time? I run into Caché, and my adventure begins!
“Group Pieces” are a truly unique art form that has emerged from the National Poetry Slam competition. The concept of a team of poets created by the competition naturally led to interest in collaboration. Some of the most innovative performing art I have ever seen on stage has been Group Pieces at National Slams, with poets using their voices and movement to create a masterful mix of vocal music and rhythm. Multi-dimensional poetry.
But a slam team is a fragile, ephemeral phenomenon, and a Group Piece exists as performance for a very short time. It is near-impossible to re-create after poets go their separate ways. As Taylor Mali points out, if a Group Piece is not recorded that season, it is usually lost forever.
Thankfully, this classic Group Piece from Team Austin was recorded for SlamNation. Wammo, Danny Solis, Phil West and Hilary Thomas were masters of the Group Piece that year. They were favorites to win, but as can be seen in the movie, the competition played out differently...
His name says it all when it comes of Freestyling. A true master of his art form.
The Making of Freestyle (continued)
After starting my own movie about Freestyle, I discovered there was another filmmaker, Kevin Fitzgerald (aka DJ Organic) who had already been shooting a movie on the same topic for about 5 years. I thought about abandoning my project, until someone showed me a bootlegged rough cut of Kevin’s movie. It was a mess and ran well over two hours. I stopped worrying about it.