29 April 2007

a long and interesting post (really!)

i've made notes for this, so that i wouldn't forget anything. basically, this post will be about last night's slam in the zurich schiffbau. i was surprised to see as many young people - not only because the weather was grand, but also because of the rather expensive admission charge of CHF 20,- (approximately € 13,-). the line-up was grand, though, including national champions like lara stoll. the event itself had a much higher budget than the two smaller slams in munich and freiburg i attended previously. of the twelve contestants who performed, only four were women. this is normal, pauline confirmed. interestingly, my mother, who accompanied me last night, noticed that female slammers approach language in a complete different way; all in all, she said, there was a lot more wordplay and creative use of language (as in: technically) among the female slammers. the topics of choice were somewhat more serious, too. my text gewissensbisse, for example, deals with a serious topic (cheating) and raised laughs only in freiburg so far. in zurich it was greeted with demure silence and earned me less applause than the more obviously funny pieces of my fellow contestants. i've been told a couple of times now that this may be due to my rather stern deliverance. i'm sure this is true, yet the irony in gewissenbisse stems from the overstated and hysterical reaction of the female protagonist who goes ballistic and who takes her random speculations all too seriously. i have to say i'm not too willing to alter my performance just so the audience will like me better. while i'm sure winning a slam would feel awesome, winning is not why i partake. i partake because i like to put my words out there and because i like talking to people without being interrupted for up to seven minutes about whatever topic i fancy. listening to harry kienzler from tübingen, who won the slam but doesn't have a blog or homepage, and all the other more experienced excellent slammers, i understood how much work lies before me if i want to pursue this. learning my text by heart alone took me what seemed like forever; those of you who know me personally know what big aversion i have with regard to repetition and learning by rote. speech or voice training, on the other hand, which seem to be common tools, too, appeal to me more. many slammers seem to have their roots in acting - see simon chen, who delivers his texts absolutely professional and extremely listener-friendly. the slam was moderated well by rayl patzak and ko bylanzky who give their version of the evening here. you'll notice that i'm listed there with a stage name, annina van arx. honestly, i'm not sure whether i should stick with it. it's an altered version of my grandmother's maiden name von arx, that i thought of a while ago. following various pieces of advice, i took it on as a stage name for the slam yesterday night. while i got mostly good reactions to the name, i'm skeptical. i've always been concerned about authenticity, so 'hiding' behind a pseudonym feels awkward. perhaps i'll just have to get used to it first?

after an edifying evening, then, my personal highlight of the night waited in my electronic mailbox: joachim sartorius praised my translation of his poem So viele Wörter ich jetzt esse, stating he liked it very much. needless to say i deeply, deeply appreciate his commendation. for the original and my translation, see the post of 19 april 2007 below below or listen to it here.


Anonymous said...

Nice page! I've put a link on mine.
Blog on! See ya, Tommy.

Wuschel´s Welt said...

following the links from blog.claudio.de, i found your page and am very glad to read sentences like "winning is not why i partake". being a more serious writer myself, i am glad that there are more writers who stick to the old saying: "The points are not the point - the point is poetry"-

Greetings from Franconia - if you should come around, drop a few lines at www.frankenslam.de!

Anonymous said...

I've a beautiful podcast of sartorius. I'd like to send it to you, but don't know how.