I may be speaking a bit prematurely on this but I'm bored at work and excited about the potential of this new wrinkle that's come up.
I mentioned a couple of days ago that I wasn't feeling the idea of continuing louder than words after Eric heads west. One of the keys to the show was our tight relationship that allows us to smacktalk each other without offending.
After some solo thinking on it, I asked Omar - one of the few people I share a similar rapport with - if he'd be interested in stepping in. He was, but more importantly, he offered some great - if belated! - feedback on the format itself. Similar to what several others have said, he basically felt there were too many hosts and that it should have more of a Bill Maher-driven, Politically Incorrect format. From the beginning, that's pretty much what Bob was looking for, too - me in the driver's seat.
While I'm not a particularly modest person, I'm not an egomaniac either, and I've continually balked at the idea of centering the show around me. I realize, however, that the control freak in me will never allow anyone to be a full partner in anything I do. It was most apparent during the first night of the show which by all accounts - and the videotape - I completely dominated. The second show was a bit more balanced as I pulled back, but at the same time, it felt a lot less dynamic. At first I thought that was a result of the lack of friction between Bassey and Patricia as opposed to the inherent polarity of Taylor and Roger, but now I'm thinking otherwise.
That said, I still like the idea of regular co-hosts I can count on to participate and not clam up or go into rope-a-dope mode when things get interesting. A little bit more than an Andy Richter, a little bit less than a Kelly Ripa, I suppose?
To spice things up even more, this morning I got a surprise email from Bassey, saying she'd love to be a regular part of the show, too! I've gotten similar offers since the first show - Taylor Mali, in particular, who I think owuld steal the idea if I decided to can it! - but none have been as appealing as the prospect of working with Bassey on something.
Me and Bassey and Omar?
Makes me giddy thinking about it!
BUT - and this is a big one, the kind Sir Mix-a-Lot would appreciate - Omar posed an important question that I haven't yet been able to answer, and that is the question of WHY I'm doing the show to begin with.
Is it simply a response to my personal issues with louderARTS? Or the larger national poetry slam scene? Do I just want to dis the people and things that annoy me, like an onstage version of this journal?
Or, am I actually trying to accomplish the rather high-minded goal that Bob has put forth for the show, offering a "LIVE & in yr FACE" critique of poetry?
The latter option is the only legitimate one. It's also the most intimidating and, even on a monthly basis, requires the kind of committment I'm not sure I want to give it. There's also the question of how appealing that angle is to a general audience.
Of course, answering this question becomes a lot more palatable with the prospect of having Bassey and Omar in the mix.
And, you know, offer some feedback.
Because everything I do, I do it...for you.