Yesterday afternoon I got an urgent text from my dear friend Erin telling me to come up to the Bronx and watch a show that she was stage managing. “Get here Now” was the message. The show was called Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen, so I was obviously interested right off the bat (this is how well my friends know me). Now in it’s third installment at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, MHHK is a spirited and eclectic showcase of Women in Hip-hop. 2+ hours of dance, song and spoken word for the advancement of women.
Of course I loved it. But beyond the obvious attraction between gay men and women of color, it was nice to be at something so… positive and relaxed. The whole thing was very welcoming, especially for spoken word, which has to be the most exposed art form ever. there’s nothing but you and your thoughts. Standing in the wings of the show (I watched from backstage) I realized just how much I love spoken word. It’s such a fun intersection of rhythm and rhyme and wordplay.
There was young girl who performed yesterday afternoon who couldn’t have been older than 21 and she was brilliant. As I watched I was thinking to myself – Why don’t I try this sometime? I’m in NY city, why don’t I go find some slam poetry club and give this a shot? I might not even tell my friends and boyfriend that I’m doing it. The anonymity would be nice.
I don’t have very many experiences with spoken word, sadly. When I was in college there was a guy who was around the theatre department who wrote amazing spoken word pieces and I remember him bringing one into an acting class one day to workshop in front of the class. Our teacher at the time gave him some direction, good direction… but maybe not right for spoken word. Because it’s not a monologue. And he clearly wanted to do perform it in that very fascinating pattern and rhythm – the same rhythm that intimidated ME when I thought about writing my own pieces.
I guess for now this will hang out on the “someday list” after aerial silk dancing, but hopefully I can go and watch some more spoken word soon. Here’s the trailer for Momma’s Hip-Hop Kitchen: