Thursday, March 5, 2015

DJ-ASL Poetry Performance at Lovin' Cup

On Saturday, February 28th, 2015, I performed as DJ WildPoet at Lovin' Cup in Henrietta, NY (Rochester). It was for the 7th year of Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam, which enables deaf/hard of hearing and hearing poets/performers take turns on stage throughout the event. The unique approach of the performances, using American Sign Language and English, the deaf and hearing worlds together, appears to become popular. The audience was jammed. Great poets and performers such as Vicki Norquist, John Roche, Eric Epstein, Dangerous Signs (ASL performance group), Lori Nolesco, and more plus few more joined during the open mic at the end of the event. 

As regards to my performance, I DJed the music during the warm-up when the audience came in from 2 PM to 2:30 PM - mostly playing famous musicians like Blondie, Daft Punk, and etc. Afterwards, when Dangerous Signs were called, I jumped in and performed my original electronic music/poem titled "Blade Grey Sky" through my DJ device, but there were no sound manipulations or tricks, just regular playing. The group acted and did physical movements while I translated the words along the tune. 

Here is a photo of myself and Dangerous Signs during "Blade Grey Sky" performance.

When I was up to perform by myself, I translated my original poems titled "Rebellion" and "Where's Molly?" into ASL and manipulated the sound effects with my DJ device. Lastly, I translated Bjork's "Pluto" song into ASL and did the DJ sound effects. To my surprise, the DJ device or my laptop, somehow, messed up the playing and I had to stop. I informed the audience that I will return to do that song when it gets fixed. Later, I returned with a solution and was able to perform the whole Bjork "Pluto" song successfully. 

Here is a YouTube video of my DJ-ASL performance of two poems "Rebellion" and "Where's Molly?":

All in all, the president of Just Poet, came over to me and asked for my contact information. I gave him my DJ WildPoet business card and he gave me his business card. He is interested in contacting me for future performance. This is a good networking opportunity. 

I shall thank Lovin' Cup for providing the space for the show and John Roche for collaborating with me. I also shall thank Miriam Lerner and the interpreting students for interpreting the hearing and deaf/hard of hearing performers' work throughout the show. Lastly, I shall thank the hearing and deaf/hard of hearing performers for taking their time to show their creative work. 

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