Monday, June 05, 2006

Say it to make it true

Again and again and again in recent months I have been noting the need for oration to make a more forceful comeback, which is I hope going to be, as I have said, a purpose of this blog. I'm hoping to as much as possible present writers who give strong readings, and I continue to be more concretely convinced of this necessity and of how much can be learned and imparted through it.

The lecture I attended tonight was a prime example of a speaker's much needed taking of a class in public speaking. While the presenter, who I shall hold anonymous (I'm building, not tearing down after all), was competent, insightful to a point, and exceedingly familiar with the material (as was I), I could not help but feel that his combination of largely rudimentary points could have come across more strongly if he were an effective orator.

Now while I suppose on some level his being a scholar may allow for the less than evocative presentation, his confuddlement (confounded + befuddled) at the slow egress of the audience as he pushed into his first and then second hour is less avowable. Perhaps this is simply my infamiliarity with NYC free lectures, but you begin taking up that much time without being compelling beyond the subject matter then there are going to be folk walking out. Just the way it is. Thinking about some of the readings I'd seen in the last few years which really made me into the oration-fascist I am slowly becoming: Sam Delaney, Jessica Hagadorn, Leslie Lee, , Thom Metzger, Greg Pardlo (some of the those the blog was not timely enough for), in comparison to the reading tonight, I saw too that there is a lack of completeness in poor oration.

Too not have spent the time going over, even once inside your head, that which you plan to vocalize to an audience, you are not considering the reader/listener as a component in your work. You are leaving out the notion of audience and at that point everything you write becomes an exercise in self-satisfaction. Thinking back on it now, this was one of my greatest dissatisfactions with open-mics: that a majority of the work, and the entire purpose of readings, was an endevour self-gratification.

So please, take the time, read it outload. Stand in front of the mirror, hide under blankets, go off and find a cave behind the house, just pop those lips a bit (or as my brother likes to say, "lick some spit").

1 comment:

Walden said...

I don't know if I have ever said that in my entire life! Although, now every time that the opportunity arises, I feel that if I don't say it I will be stricken with family guilt. Damn you Wado; you have cursed me!