Do something every day that scares you. Or if you don’t, make an exception on Wednesday 25 November.
My thing that scares me that day will be performing spooky spoken word (spooken word?) live, on stage, without notes, props or effects. Your thing should be coming along and letting me (and a freshly risen host of other performers) frighten your socks off.
The occasion is Blackshaw’s Scare Slam at the Horse and Stables pub in London (easy fleeing distance from Lambeth North and Waterloo stations). I’ve performed spoken word with Blackshaw before – I read William Hope Hodgson’s The Whistling Room as part of their Hallowe’en Tales event last year – but that was someone else’s story, and I had it written down in front of me. This time I’m challenging myself, not only to perform without notes, but not to write down the story I’m telling in any form. I don’t want this to be a prose story I’ve memorised (however roughly) – I want to try my hand at telling off the cuff.
Helen Johnson devised the whole event to carry on the tradition of chilling stories for the chilly season, and I reckon it’ll be a (wintry) blast. Plus the whole thing is being recorded for broadcast on the Blackshaw Arts Hour, Blackshaw’s show on Wandsworth Radio – and will be preserved in the Blackshaw Arts Hour podcast feed. (I co-present the Blackshaw Arts Hour, and I was there when Helen pitched the idea of the Scare Slam, but on the night I’ll be judged by applause just like everyone else…)
If you feel like taking the stage yourself, you can either put your name down on the night open-mike style or sign up in advance (ie now!) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeting @helenaimeej.