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.

My Poem “Peak Performance”

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 ‘Busk for you’

Strumming guitar strings,
a phenomenal voice
singing into a microphone,
an amazing and captivating
reverberation of sound –
a singer, a guitar player,
an artist, a hopeful dreamer,
an entertainer, someone with a gift
who is now standing at the centre
of a circle of people,
playing their heart out,
and singing every song as if they mean so much to them,
and as if every song were a song that had be written for them;
entrancing, inspiring, amazing,
making everyone stop and stare, smiling,
and even moving a black man
in a white hat holding a basket-ball
to stop in his tracks
and start dancing like Michael Jackson.

It always amazes me how much and how deeply
music can move and touch someone,
it has always enthralled me no-end
the connection that people form with certain songs;
it has always brought me joy
to see the happiness on the face
of someone who just loves singing
and who loves playing their instrument;
it always inspires me to be up close
to share some time with the gifted
and the artistic people that I randomly meet,
who are wonderfully exceptional and brilliant,
because they are so different.

I have seen performers of every age,
colour, gender, and ethnicity,
performing publicly, in all weathers,
in every city and town that I have been to;
I have watched singers, violinists,
guitarists, brass-bands, choirs,
full-orchestras, change and effect
the very air and the atmosphere of somewhere
and share hope through their music;
I have been moved in so many ways
emotionally by every artist whom I have listened to;
I have always envied singers and musicians –
because, anyone can write a rhyme,
anyone can have an idea come to them,
and anyone can tell a story,
but only a singer or a musician
can bring words and notes to life
in such a way that elevates them
from a page to make them truly epic.

When a busker is busking
they never want to stop playing,
and when they are playing
they never want to rush;
when a singer and a musician
who loves what they do
gets the chance to play,
they experience a feeling of true divine love;
when an instrumentalist
is masterfully bringing together
all the notes before them
and combining them into one
perfect expression of sound,
they feel and they know their instrument
so well that both player and instrument
have for each other a mutual trust;
when a busker is playing on their street corner,
or in the open space
where they feel the most comfortable playing,
and where everybody knows that they are going to be,
all that they want to do
is play like there is no tomorrow,
and busk for you.

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Check out the amazing Esther Turner on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/esthermusic and on Twitter at @Esther_Ninja

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.

My Poem ‘Nine Lives’

A poet, a writer,
a dreamer, a communicator,
who loves to write,
who loves to see the world,
and who dreams of life
and adventures beyond the stars;
a booking agent, a sign-language speaker,
a people reader, someone who sees the best in people,
a teacher, a friend, and someone who cares greatly,
and who has the biggest of hearts.

A coffee-house barista,
a caffeine cocktail expert and mixer;
a business man – someone with a briefcase of paper,
electronic wonders of inter-connectivity –
who is someone who is definitely a man with a plan on his mind,
who looks like someone who I would describe as a “fixer”.

A manager, a strategist, someone who has authority
over a lot of people, who is always thinking about
work schedules, rosters, and organizing a way
to get the most from his employees in any and every way they can;
a street-performer, a gifted and amazing musician –
someone who cares and who loves their art so much
they will spend entire hours and days
sitting or standing in the spot on the street,
or in the Subway or Underground station,
they can always be guaranteed to be found,
who brighten the day and the face of every passing
child, woman, and man.

A website designer, a moderator,
a person who can read and who can speak in code,
who knows the language of binary –
someone who has the gift to be able to create magic
with the tap of a key on a keyboard;
a DJ, a person fluent in the lexicon
and the discography of music, singers, musicians,
and who understands the deep layers of sound,
and the power and the importance
of one of humanity’s oldest and best
timeless forms of communication and entertainment,
who rarely enjoys any seconds of true white noise silence,
and whose favourite place in the world
is standing behind their DJ decks
and looking out at people reveling in
the magically and enthralling music they are producing,
broadcasting, and sharing, and seeing the ecstatic joy
of people enjoying themselves
moving like a single ocean of energy on a dance-floor.

A parent, love giver, a friend, a companion,
a protector of their children since the day of their birth,
who will be there for their offspring all of their life –
someone who is one of billions of people
who they are connected to, and who unknowingly are connected to them,
because they know someone who knows someone who knows someone,
who does something, who likes something,
who has something in common with someone they know,
who they may have met.

I have met people, and I have known friends,
and I know friends and family members, who know and who do,
and who are gifted at an infinite number of things –
however, for the purposes of this poem,
I wanted to show how varied and exquisite life is,
and as an example of the amazing people in our lives
we all may know, and this poem is a snap-shot
of some of the people that I know, and have met,
who all have, and who all live,
nine interesting and inspiring meaningful linked lives.

My Poem ‘Our Room’

The space, the place, the sanctuary,
the part of our home where we can truly be;
the dance-floor that is there for us to move around on
like John Travolta;
the studio where we can listen to music,
and create our own;
and where we can sing
while channeling every kind of performer-
from a ‘rock god’, to a classically-trained tenor of opera.

In our room, we are surrounded by all of personal possessions
and memories, and all our favourite things
that we have collected throughout our lives;
in our room, we can read, study, surf, watch,
and interact with the rest of the world,
while wearing the face and name of any guise.

Our room is where we dream;
our room is where we can talk to friends;
our room is the place where not that many people have been,
or will ever see;
our room is a cocoon that contains all that we need
for any and every day, and any eventuality,
from the instant that we emerge and rise from our bed.

Our room should not just be the place where we sleep;
our room should not just be where we spend
one-third of our lives without nothing to show for it;
our room should be our temple, our library,
our catwalk, our personality, our gallery,
our place of safety, our place of serenity,
our place of development and growth-
like a mothers womb;
where we return to and enter with a smile;
where we feel and can imagine ourselves as anything, or anyone;
where we can lose our inhibitions,
and shower ourselves with all kinds of magic-
that is the place that is our room.