Performance… But is it Art?

One of my things is anonymity. Call it a gimmick if you like. I prefer to call it an integral part of the reading experience. Where my writing is concerned, I don’t want the reader’s opinions of the work to be coloured in any way by the kind of judgements my mug gurning all over my Facebook and MySpace page and the back covers of my books may inspire. It’s oft said you should never judge a book by its cover, and similarly, you should never judge a book by the appearance of the author. Being an ‘invisible author’ lends itself well to projects the THE PLAGIARIST. It also helps to allow me total freedom to write without having to worry about anyone coming over to me in the pub and giving me grief about the slating I gave their mate’s band the other week or whatever.

However, I also appreciate that this approach can, at times, prove to be an obstacle to the promotion of my work. Public readings, especially open mic nights, can be extremely useful for getting literature to different audiences. Not everyone uses social networking: not everyone has the same interests listed as I do. There are countless people who are potential readers, but just don’t know that what hey need is my writing, a spot of Clinical Brutality, or whatever.

I’ve done a handful of spoken word evenings in recent months, with varying degrees of success. Even when not performing, I like to attend to listen to what’s out there. Some of it’s extremely good.

The Takeover Festival, currently on at the Theatre Royal in York is holding an open mic night on Thursday, March 17th, and it promises to be good, not least of all because the King Ink guys will be there. Will I be there? Almost certainly. Will I be reading? Quite probably. Might I get someone else to read on my behalf while pretending to be me in order to retain my anonymity and to confuse the hell out of anyone who might have seen me read before? Possibly….

Takeover Open Mic is at 7:30 at the Theatre Royal, York. Tickets are £3, or £2 for performers. For more details, go here: http://www.takeoverfestival.co.uk/index.php/open-mic-night.html

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