Image via WikipediaPhew! We soared through a lot of "firsts" last night. My first time emceeing an event, Writopia Lab's first event in Northern Westchester, and Northern Westchester's first Open Mic night. It was a roaring success!
I had been a little worried that the Borders in Mt. Kisco might have forgotten about us, due to a communication breakdown, but my fears were proved needless as Sean and Brian were setting up a microphone in the café when we walked in. Sam Kopf, from the Chappaqua Patch was there to cover the event, and we chatted while my husband helped the guys get the space ready.
My plan was to have the younger kids read first, followed by the teens and then open it up to the kids in the community, if any had shown up wanting to share their work. My expectations for this were very low - as I said above, this kind of an event is also a "first" for out here, and people tend to need to hear of something at least three times before it gets on their radar. So I brought along a copy of the ARC of EDGES and I thought it would give me a good opportunity to practice reading myself!
The big surprise for me was my 8 year old son, Finn. When I explained the concept of Open Mic to my kids, that it was not limited to only my students, but open to all, Finn said: "I'll write something," and spent the next hour in his room writing a series of poems, about the seasons of the year. He followed it up with a poem called, The Old and the New, about his experience moving from NYC to Bedford.
Public Speaking is on the top ten list of fears adults have, and these kids rocked it. (Of course, I was nervous too - unscripted!) Finn began the evening by reading two of his poems, and I then started introducing my students. I may have talked too much in my role as emcee, but it was obvious that I am in-love with teaching and so proud of the kids. (We'll see what Sam says in her article!) We had poetry, humor, realistic fiction, non-fiction, and then a gritty period piece set on Alcatraz. We had a great crowd, but when I asked for volunteers, nobody raised their hand as I expected. Fortunately, everybody was enthusiastic about my reading an excerpt from EDGES. That was so much fun!!!!!!
Borders was very happy with the vibe and said I would be welcome back to do more events, AND they will stock EDGES so I can have a publishing party and do a book signing! (Last post I shared my frustration and disappointment that the Borders is not taking EDGES at first, and Barnes & Noble only in NYC.)