Thursday, August 04, 2005

The reason that we're here

Well it ain't just an old Earth Wind and Fire song.
I served as emcee for a great event here in Columbus know as Mahogany Soul.
Very ambitious event that in my opinion, worked quite well.
Well, this event had poetry in it. My general job was to serve as emcee. My specific job was to:
a) get the poets to come
b) legitimize the event in poets eyes/minds
c) run it in a professional manner

To those above stated directives, the poetry portion was a success.
As fate would have it, the poetry grew beyond anyone's expectations. This is a GREAT thing, believe me.
As fate would also have it, the event came to an end, at least in the form which it was know for at that time.
At this point I looked around and realized that here were all these people (average 40-100 a week) that would have nowhere to go once this came to an end.
So I convinced the owners of the spot to give me a shot at doing just an open mic.

This was no arm twisting experience, mind you. They liked the poetry (as much as people about their business like things) and saw a chance to ad a night to their roster that went in synch with the image of the place. (It is a high quality, upscale, black owned restaurant with a soul food lean, if you will)

Having just the open mic in their lounge also would ADD to the night there-
1) no noise from other floors
2) a very nice atmosphere
3) people were used to the space-just had to switch days
4) they wouldn't pay for parts of a night they weren't using. (while some cats came to party, a good amount came for poetry and left thereafter)

My mother always said, in a relationship, give the person what they say they want. Then if they complain, you know they weren't being honest.

So, with that, I figured I would offer the people here what they claimed they wanted and see if they respond. If not, at least I know I tried and can walk away with that knowledge.
(yes I do view running a spot as forming a relationship, a very important one at that. we'll talk about that later.)

So far, so good. Though I hope more people come out.

The goal is for the people to take over the night. Make it a monster that can't be stopped, just steered. THAT is the job of the emcee, to navigate the tricky parts, no more-no less. brand the night as a place of joy, fun, entertainment, somewhere you can let your hair down and be you while enjoying or sharing some poetry.

Again, so far, so good. But it's EARLY.

until that day,