My Poem “The Art of The Act”

Every performer is a character…
everyone who performs on a stage,
on a screen, to a camera, to a microphone,
from a speaker has to adopt a persona…
every actor, every singer, every politician,
every comedian, every personality,
every person known for doing something
or for being somebody has to embody
a certain magic and emanate a certain gravity
in order to make their audience
fall under their spell…
everybody who has a gift
and who has this hunger within
to craft something of their own creation
and their own imagination
that they want to share with other people –
something that people like,
something that people understand,
something that people respond to
and empathize with – is an artist
with a heart and a soul deeper
than the deepest well…
everybody who plays at being someone
for a long time naturally has moments
when the character that they play
seeps into and starts to influence
the actions and the boards walked
by a performer during the moments
when they are being who they really are,
behind the mask of the character that they portray,
when they are doing the day to day
activities of real life…
every performer sometimes has moments
when they find it hard to see the dividing line
between one side of their personality and the others –
which can ultimately lead to moments when performers
look in the mirror and they ask themselves: who am I?
every performer wears a costume,
every performer has their own voice,
every performer longs to dive into a world
and be someone else – even if it is for a short time –
and every performer has their own back-story,
as well as the story that they tell themselves
within their mind which they are at the centre of…
every performer is a magician –
even if they do not directly advertise
that they perform magic…
every performer is an artist of an art…
every performer is constantly a student
and a teacher of those who follow them
and to those who they are walking
in the footprints of who are sometimes
so influential to a performer
that their performances are considered mythic…
every performer – no matter who they are –
in order to continue to do what they do
and to continue to love how they choose to live
often times have to play and practice at
being someone else and at having to act out
the performance at being the person
at the centre of the art their act.

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My Poem โ€œPeak Performanceโ€

Performers perform what they know…
Performers perform differently depending
on where they are performing…
Performers performing to an audience
feed off of the feedback that they feel
echoing back at them like a wave…
Performers performing based upon
a well rehearsed performance
are participating in a dance…
Performers performing in the moment
are inspired by what
their audience gives to them…
Performers get better
the more that they perform…
Performers of every age and gender
always feel nervous before a performance
but over time they learn to use
what they feel in their stomach
and what they feel in their chest
as a source of fuel
to propel the explosion of artistry
that comes when they find their place,
their stage, their audience
and they can play to the limits of their gifts
with confidence and with a wish
to share their passion
and perform to the peak of their performance.

My Poem ‘Psychic Arithmetic’

We all know our own minds,
but other people see more of us
than we do;
we may spend all of our time
with ourselves,
but we do not see
all the things that we do;
we may all know our own
personal likes and dislikes,
but we may not all be familiar
with all of our routines;
we all may look in the mirror,
but it is other people
who see the face that constantly changes.

By acting on instinct
we all can sometimes
take our own actions for granted;
by repeating the same tasks for a while
we can find it hard to imagine
a life that is not already
a picture and a memory in our own head;
cycles and predictive patterns
are important to life on our planet;
everybody has their preferences:
what they like to drink?
what they like to eat?
what they like like to listen to,
and what they like to watch?
Some people just do not “feel right”
if they do not keep on their
preferred side of their own bed.

Some people just know us;
some people can just read us;
some people are just like an open book;
some people can tell the story
of who they are from a single look;
some people constantly analyze;
some people speak as well see with their eyes;
some people love us – no matter how predictable
and bound by our own insecurities,
obsessions and compulsions we are;
some people think that when they see us
we shine like a star;
some people are so incredibly psychic
that their gift can be deceptive;
some people teach us every day
that there is more to learn
about all forms of nature
just by looking, observing,
understanding and deciphering
the signs and mimicking the techniques
used by the best of those schooled
in the performance of psychic arithmetic.

My Poem ‘The Showman’

The audience, the stage,
the lights, the time,
the anticipation, the murmuration,
the feeling in the air
as the lights begin to fade…
and then the Magician appears
into a white spot-light of illumination –
all eyes are looking at him,
he has everyone in a trance,
the Showman begins to tell his story,
and the music starts to play,
as the Mentalist leads us all
in an unforgettable and tremendous dance.

The Showman is a true master of his art;
the Magician is a true wizard of his magic;
the Mentalist has so much to think about
and has to be ten steps ahead of his audiences;
the Storyteller is weaving together
and telling a tale to everybody,
but he is also having to adapt
to the seemingly random choices and responses
of his ticket-paying gathering –
however, every second, the Conjuror
is undoubtedly in control:
he never once shows any sign of nerves,
stage-fright, or not knowing what is happening
and what is going to happen –
because they know that things are playing out
just as they predicted they would,
and everything and everybody
is following their blueprint for the night,
and the pieces of the puzzle
that they have laid out and fragmented deliberately
are coming together according to their plan
and their pattern.

The Showman asks his audience for their trust,
and as a member of their audience,
and because you want to be
under the Magician’s spell as much as possible,
and for as long as you can,
you not only want to give the Mentalist your full-attention,
but you also want to give them
your cooperation and participation.

Being in the audience of a true Showman is a gift;
being there when the lights go down, and the show begins,
is magical in and of itself;
being hypnotized and entranced
literally gives people a lift;
listening intently to the Mentalist’s incantations,
and willingly going on a journey to another place,
and feeling as if you are in a different state of being –
as if you are dreaming;
when you leave the theatre, after the show has ended,
figuring out what happened, and when,
is sometimes hard to recount and tell.

Every second of the Magicians performance is amazing;
every colour, every word, is precise and meaningful;
every person selected at random from the audience
and who gets to tread the boards of the stage
with the Mentalist has an unforgettable experience;
every sound, every visual,
is fascinating and electrifying;
every time the Magician comes into the audience
and literally overcomes people
with their touch and presence,
being so close, is phenomenal;
every act, after the fact,
feels like it happened in a flash –
even at the interval of the show,
you can’t believe that the time
you have been in your seat in the theatre
has gone by so fast.

At the end of the show,
when the performer comes back onto the stage
to take a bow and enjoy a rousing
and roaring standing-ovation,
the Conjuror, the Magician, the Mentalist,
leaves the stage – but then reappears
to connect the dots back to the first thoughts
that they had verbalized,
the first pieces of the puzzle:
and when they reveal the true message
that makes everything that has come before,
everything they have shown and demonstrated –
like a conductor of music
with an audience of instruments
in front of them and under their power –
everybody feels something profound,
and when the artist, the star, the entertainer,
the virtuoso leaves the stage for the last and final time
the cheers and the response is electric –
and, in truth, you don’t want the magic to ever end.

When the show is over,
and you, the audience,
have to leave the theatre,
everyone is awash with great and magnificent emotions –
and as they walk away,
everybody cannot wait until the next time
they are in the audience, and can be a witness,
to the entrancing showmanship
of the remarkable Showman.

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My Poem ‘Dramarama’

At school I wasn’t a born actor,
however I didn’t mind a bit of drama;
in drama class, I was always shy to take part at first –
however when I did have to act and play
a quickly improvised part
it didn’t take me long
to make the part I was playing my own,
have fun, and revel in the exposure of the stage I was on –
and thinking back I think I actually liked
creating a character, talking in a different accent,
because it always gave the creative side of me
a much-needed burst.

I can still remember my drama classes now,
and my drama teacher Mr. Brooks;
I can still remember Mr. Brooks telling me
how “natural” I was as an actor,
and if I wanted he could potentially
get me an audition somewhere –
I remember him telling me that:
“you have something a lot of great actors have,
something that is natural,
which can’t be learned from reading a book.”

In another life, right now, who knows,
I could be an actor, a performer, a film-star,
a television personality, perhaps a soap opera regular?
If I had not picked art as the subject
in my final years at school that I wanted to focus on,
who knows which path my life might have taken,
and who I would be?
In another life, I could be on stage somewhere
performing Shakespeare, in a film,
acting opposite my favourite acting hero,
or even living in America,
on the verge of having my own Walk of Fame gold star?
If I had been bitten hard by the acting bug,
I wonder if my life would have been
radically different than it is now?
I wonder if I would have ever written
any sort of poem, or a single line of poetry?

Choices, especially life-changing choices,
don’t always appear as they are, as they seem,
when we are faced with them;
whether to go in one way or another
is a choice that you sometimes just have to make
in the moment and hope that everything turns out for the best.
Every performer, or actor,
at the beginning of their performance life
gets stage-fright – and some still do
before every time they walk out on a stage,
and meet their audience –
and that to me is always an indication, at least in part,
that whoever they are and whatever they are doing
means something to them;
and finding your way and your confidence
to be comfortable in moments of exposure,
in one way or another, for most people,
especially actors, is the big test.

Life, theatre, connection, caring, drama,
creativity, motivation, the feeling of butterflies in your stomach,
can seem scary at first, but after a while you love it,
you want it, you need it, you thrive on it;
and what comes after: the response, the applause,
the smiles, the joy, and if you are lucky the love and respect
that you are lavished with, for putting yourself out there
for other people to see and critique;
because, to me, no matter what kind of actor you are,
and in which form your acting takes place,
you are making art for somebody,
and it is the same if you are any kind of performer;
and, as William Shakespeare himself said:
“All the world’s a stage…”;
and as long as there is life,
there will always be drama.