Berkeley showed me how to Speak Easy…Throughout my creative career, I have manifested a vengeful way of doing things. Feeling always that I have something to prove. The reason why I perceive things in this way is layered by many things. One of the layers comes from being exposed to the “Survival of the Fittest” mentality omnipresent in the hip-hop culture, where many of my skills were sharpened. Another layer comes from growing up a momma’s boy, learning fast that being soft was not going to get you any passes on the streets of New York City. The streets of Berkeley seemed oddly familiar to me as I navigated my way to the venue. On this night, I was the feature poet at the “Speak Easy” hosted by Bri Blue & Bo Live. A place that embraced my art as valuable and my spirit as family. (I was not used to this) Typically I am regarded as the outsider. (mostly because of my transient lifestyle of moving to another state every few years)

So when it came to writing a show for the Speak Easy feature, of course I wanted to do well, however I noticed I didn’t have that fire in my belly to do anything over the top. I just wanted to have a conversation with the audience. I simply wanted them to know who I was, and that is exactly what happened. It was one of the most versatile shows I have ever done. I connect with the audience on many different levels and will remember that I had the best seat in the house. I saw in real time reactions to certain lines, laughter to certain phrases, they even sang along when I sung “Grand Ma’s Hands” during one of my transitions. The vibe was so harmonious, I felt no resistance what so ever. Thus I never felt the need to be overly expressive, too loud or too intense. From the opening bar I spoke easy, calm, assertive of course but not overly aggressive or angry. I was totally in a peaceful pocket before during and after the performance and this indeed is my moment of zen. I find it ironic that I learned how to “Speak Easy” at a venue that has the same name. To Bri Blue, Bo Live and the divine spirit some call God. I thank you for the inspiration and the opportunity.

P.S. This event and my performance was filmed by the Art Institute of San Francisco. Subscribe to this website and you will be notified as soon as it goes up.

– LaMont Anthony Wright aka GB.