All posts by palmisanoea

Poetry (and awkward silence) Night

On October 23, I attended Poetry Night put on by the Cougar Activities Board at Kudu. Basically, at this event College of Charleston students sign up to read some of their poetry, then a panel of judges (but not that formal) choose the five or six “best” poets. These poeple then have to write a poem about a silly or strange topic submitted by audience members (each poet has a different topic) in about 10 minutes. They then read their poems to the audience and a winner is selected. I went to a Poetry Night last year and it was great, so I was excited to go to this one. Unfortunately, plenty of poetry-lovers showed up, but not that many poets. Only five students signed up to read, so about twenty minutes in there was no one left to read. This was obviously not expected, and we took an awkward break, waiting for more people to sign up to read. Luckily, a few extra people let their friends talk them into reading their poetry off of their phones, some of the poets who already read then read additional poems, and one girl even sang a couple of her songs (a nice comeback). Since so few people read, the judges said all of them had to option to read again. I particularly enjoyed the special-topic-poem written by (and VERY well performed by) Derek Berry. Yes, it was so good that I remember his name. His topic was masturbation, and his entire poem was about “him writing poetry” but was actually a giant innuendo for masturbation. It was brilliant. (As was the food and coffee!)

From a management perspective, everything ran rather smoothly, however, I think the event could have been better advertised, particularly in regard to what exactly the event was. I could tell CAB used the same flyers from last year, they just changed the date. That seemed a little lazy to me, like they expected everyone to know exactly what their Poetry Night is like. I remember going for the first time last year and being completely surprised by how they ran the night. I feel like CAB should put a mini description on their flyers similar to what they have on the Facebook page; not everyone knows to check, or feels like checking online for this information. If CAB had done this, maybe more people would have shown up to share their poetry, and not just for the free food and drinks. If anyone is interested in going, it’s a really fun experience and I definitely recommend going! And read some poetry! There should be another Poetry Night next semester.

To The Theatre!

On October 7, I attended the play As it is in Heaven by Arlene Hutton at the Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simmons Center on campus. This was the first play I’ve seen since I’ve been in Charleston, and it left quite an impression on me. To be honest, I had only minor interest in seeing a play about an 1838 Shaker community in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, but about ten minutes in, I was fascinated by the plot and enchanted by the songs. Though the play is not defined as a musical (the program says right on it: A play about The Shakers), there was a lot of singing (and it was absolutely beautiful). I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of acting and singing by the actresses in the production; they blew away my expectations for a College of Charleston production.

From a management perspective, the event had some organizational issues. First, the house was opened about 5 minutes late. Then, the ushers were clearly not properly prepared for their job. People were being seated in the wrong seats and having to be moved when their seat’s true ticket holder arrived. This resulted in the play starting fifteen minutes late. For those of us that show up to these sort of events when the doors open, we had to wait in our seats for forty-five minutes for the play to start. That’s heading towards the ridiculous. Whoever was managing the ushers should have been better prepared. However, regardless of the seating issues, this play was phenomenal, and I would recommend it to anyone, particularly my fellow music lovers!

Ups and Downs On the Hands of a Crowd

On August 22, I attended a concert at the Music Farm. The bands playing that night were Less Than Jake, Badfish, and Shipwrecked Losers.

I didn’t know what to expect from the show because I’d been to the Music Farm for a show before and it was not as rough as I was expecting. I knew that the headliner, Less Than Jake, usually invites a more rowdy crowd, but after my last experience at the Music Farm, I didn’t know what to expect.

As it turns out, the crowd was very lively and a bit rough at some points. The opener, Shipwrecked Losers, was a very young band and local. They played well and put on a great show; their crowd interaction was superb. The second band, Badfish, played well, but their set was very long and a little monotonous. They lacked adequate crowd interaction for a truly good show, in my opinion, but the crowd loved them anyways. I did find it very impressive that when one of the guitarist’s guitar strings snapped, he kept playing anyways and simultaneously put on a new string and tuned it. When Less Than Jake come out, I was beyond excited. I’ve been listening to them since I was a kid, and I’ve seen them once before a couple years ago. They did not disappoint, and the crowd was great (just rough enough not to be boring, but not so rough that it took away from the show). I would definitely go again.

After discussions in class, I noticed a lack of organization that could have been avoided had the management been more aware. There was only one security guard in front of the stage behind the barricade. Not only was he young and alone, but he was not prepared for crowd surfers. When the first one came down during Less Than Jake’s set, no one was there to catch the crowd surfer and he hit the front of the barricade and then the floor. When the security guard came back to the middle to investigate what happened, another crowd surfer came up. Instead of allowing the crowd surfer to come off of the crowd and help him down to the ground, the security guard looked confused and pushed him back onto the crowd. Eventually, another security guard came up and explained to the first security guard that he was supposed to help the crowd surfers down. This was a big mistake on the Music Farm’s part. Someone could have gotten seriously hurt, all because they did not properly prepare for the kind of show they were hosting.

Even with it’s hiccups, I would recommend attending a show such as this to anyone, well, to anyone who enjoys ska music and getting jostled around.