I love Speak Easy. This is the first open mic venue where I would like to be a regular and show my support consistently each and every week. I know it is only my second time. I know that I probably will not be able to make it every week, but I hope to keep this streak going as long as I can.
So last night, forWord visited Speak Easy in Downtown Los Angeles at the Harlem Place Cafe. Mark is on a road trip right now across the United States. He will be back in a week or so. We wish him safe travels and hope to see him soon. In the meantime, Steph, Susan, and I represented forWord at Speak Easy.
We ran into Francois who we saw perform at the Beyond the Boots open mic not too long ago. He was a cast member of the original SP!T. I knew he looked familiar when he walked in, but didn’t know for sure until he went up to the mic and introduced himself. He has a very powerful voice. He gives his all with his poetry. He spoke about how he became to be a poet from having a rough life of drugs, gangs, and prison. His energy is unfathomable. I mustered enough courage to tap him on the shoulder and show him my respect. I also told him that we are part of the second SP!!T. He is a very humble guy. He wants to go to the encore SP!!T performance which is THIS SATURDAY, April 2nd at the Urban Theatre, 5388 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach CA at 8 PM. $10 at the door, $7 if you buy early, and $5 if you saw it last week. Shameless plug, I know. Come through especially if you missed the show last week!
Back to Speak Easy, there wasn’t as many people as last week. Honestly, that didn’t even matter. I had a great time zoning out to the passion of each artist that stepped on that stage, tore their rib cage, and exposed their heart for all of us to see that they are human too. With that being said, I would like to connect with the artists more. Like I said earlier, this is the first venue where I am starting to become a “regular.” I long for that sense of community among artists who are like me. I am not used to putting myself out there to people I don’t know, except for when I am on the stage. I want to change that. I want to get to know them off the stage, or at least show them my gratitude. I think I did better this time around. I let a few artists yesterday know that I liked what they did by giving them a handshake or acknowledging them with a head nod. It’s a small step, but it’s a step forward nonetheless. We open mic artists have so much in common that it would be a shame to not make that effort to extend a hand and get to know them.
On a side note, I noticed that the crowd’s energy wasn’t as high or consistent as last week. It was at the beginning and middle of the show. But toward the end, it dropped but I didn’t care as much. I was still listening and showing my respect for each artist.
Last week, we met Lady Basco and Tara. It was cool to see them again. I hope these connections last. We are not there to simply promote for a show or about us. We are there because we feel at home. I feel at home. I loved it so much last week that I had to come back, so it was great seeing familiar faces again and meeting new people too, such as Skid, Nicole, and Damon. I hope these connections continue to grow.
Steph and I performed “Once Friends.” Emilio, Isabel, Elaine, and Kevin came through too. That was dope. They drove all the way from Irvine. That’s dedication. Kevin performed “Nothing” toward the end. It was cool to see them so soon after SP!!T. Too bad, forWord graduated from UC Irvine already. Wouldn’t mind to kick it more often and spit that poetry amongst friends.
It has been awhile since I wrote a blog this long. I just feel so inspired to write about Speak Easy because the experience is something worth reflecting upon. This is not a half-ass blog. This is what really think. I apologize if my thoughts are going everywhere.
So yes, yesterday was a Monday. Not as many people as last week. The crowd’s energy was not as high or consistent as last week. But the passion was there. The community was there. Speak Easy was there on a Monday night, the beginning of another long week. I felt at home and loved the space. That’s what matters.
I will be back next week with forWord to celebrate Lady Basco’s Birthday! Her birthday is actually a day after mine. I will be turning 23 years old this Wednesday on the 30th. Hers is on the 31st. I don’t really feel like I am getting older, but I am. Weird. Anyways, I am looking forward to next week. Stephanie and I hope to perform a piece about something that we and Lady Basco have in common. I wonder if you can guess what the piece is about. Next Monday is going to be DOPE for sure. There are going to be “special” guest appearances as well. So be there!
Until the next blog, I will be signing off. Have a good day!
- Eddy M. Gana Jr.