Leaving The Burning Building – The Toughest Piece I Ever Won With

For those who haven’t heard the great news, I just recently won the No Ifs No Butts Tobacco-Free Poetry Slam. Yeah, I imagine it sounds like something straight out of a sitcom, but I guarantee I took it completely seriously.

Seriously enough, that the night before the slam I was close to tears about the thought of even entering. Serious.

Me, performing my piece "Burning Bodies" at the Tobacco-Free Poetry Slam

Me, performing my piece “Burning Bodies” at the Tobacco-Free Poetry Slam

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The Body Barrier Chronicles – Faith Ain’t Straight and Narrow

Shawn Smart and I just finished ‘2 Creations’, and I must say it truly was a spiritual experience… The production tested some wills, had it’s own fair share of trials, almost made some folks sin their souls, and at the end the entire play came down to faith. We had never done a full run of the play, had no idea of some of the cues, never even had a real dress rehearsal. But at the end of the day, when the lights were on and showtime began, it was a blast.

That’s the first lesson I’ve learned from directing – have faith. Continue reading

The Body Barrier Chronicles: Faithful Play, Faithless Director

The ticket for my play '2 Creations'. If you're interested, I've got some!

The ticket for my play ‘2 Creations’. If you’re interested, I’ve got some!

When I jumped on board a project to write and direct a Christian play with a mentor and friend of mine, I knew it was going to be hard. I signed on, because it was already something I was doing as a personal project – ‘Body=Barrier’. I was excited to see whether my own writing was up for the challenge, and whether I could direct something that was not only outside my experience but was an experience that I rejected in my own life so long ago.

Turns out that’s not the problem at all… Continue reading

The Hardest Performance I’ve Ever Done

So I’ve acted for Secondary Schools Drama Festival. I’ve co-directed a play all the way to Naparima Bowl. I’ve performed in front of strangers, at schools, in auditions, and even at Queen’s Hall. Who would’ve thought that my hardest performance was one that, for the most part, I didn’t even intend to do.

Me on stage at LiveArt Bistro’s Open Mic on August 18th.
(Photo courtesy Oneka Morris)

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The Opener

So, on July 14th I performed yet again for the LiveArt Bistro’s monthly open mic event. This time I was listed as one of the night’s featured performers, and opened the show with two pieces on ‘Cultural Emancipation’.

It’s tough as hell to open a show. The crowd’s cold, and you have to warm them up for the other performers. You’re not going to get the kind of applause that you really want, unless you’re truly on fire in that first three minutes. I’m still a very young performer, and my pieces are definitely not the lightest and most entertaining. They’re actually a lot more on the somber side. So for me, the average audience is either in thoughtful gaze or disgusted grimace. That feels different when you’re the very first performer.

Nevertheless, I heard it went pretty well. So here they are, for those who missed it.

PS: That actually is my favorite t-shirt. And someone really did comment on my tumblr blog saying that I sound gay. I was gonna write a poem for that guy. But I thought he probably didn’t deserve it.

Applause for Brace Fetishes

Brendon at Live Art

Yours truly, Brendon O’Brien, performing ‘Brace Fetish’ at LiveArt Bistro’s open mic night.

On Saturday night, I performed at an open mic night at the LiveArt Bistro neat the National Academy for the Performing Arts. I came dreadfully late, to a completely packed crowd, and at first had decided that I didn’t want anything to do with an open mic that I naturally didn’t prepare for. Continue reading