Urban Grind, Hillcrest
the January slams..
ok, so welcome to the 2002 season; tonight was the first of eight qualifying slams.. and man o man, looks like we're in for an exciting slam series, based on the enthusiasm of the house tonight! we had 19 signed up to slam tonight, which means we automatically
go to an elimination system, wherein only the Top 8 go on to the second round- I don't like having to limit things this way- but we got to, otherwise we're gonna be scoring til 11 pm, and 4 hours is just way too long for any poetry event, we feel.. plus we got to think about the staff of the urban grind as well.. so let's intro our judges, shall we.. fulfilling his community service for winning one of the november slams, it's the spokenword swashbuckler hisself, jimmy jazz; also judging with him- the producer of his latest CD, his name is cecil.. write jazz through his website (just click on his name) and ask him where you can get a copy of the poem he read for us between rounds called "the red jeans".. getting one of the mandatory two judging's for team-qualifying out of the way tonight, say hi to "past 2nd-placer" rita grant.. and we were pleased that audience-members claire & kelly volunteered to judge tonight for us as well.. we also had a volunteer step up to the plate to be our sacrifice.. since this is our season-opener, I guess we could say he threw out the first ball.. his name is sammy d, he free-styled a piece for us, took two 9's, a 10 and two 4's?! hope he comes back and signs up to slam, he was pretty good, improv'ing like that.. so here's the list of folks who made it to second round tonight.. wait- I got to make sure I give a shout out to our round 2 emcee for the night- it's kimberly dark, who was present at the very first sd slam back in april 1999, and has won more slams here than anyone else, although she's not counting.. (but we are)! ok, second round people included
joey gunne, a crowd favorite tonight- oh, he's got stage presence, that's for sure.. of course, bein' a 6-foot plus dude, he's got presence just standing there at the mic! seriously, hope we hear more from him over the next few months.. sd slam veteran ragnar came out with a 45.7 after two rounds.. ara thorpes slammed her first-time ever, put out a powerful piece about a rape & a handgun, in that order.. she ended up with a 47.7 cumulative; chris mosher pulled down a 49.4 cumulative.. and at her first sd slam, and just shy of earning herself 1 qualifying point, it was sam.. she rocks, and we're all hoping she comes back again; sam, give us more! ok, in 3rd place tonight, with a 52.3 cumulative, and at her first sd slam (as a performer), the fabulous jennifer joseph- she earned herself 1 qp.. in 2nd place tonight, with a 53.35 cumulative, and earning 2 qp's and $16- the man with the mighty entourage, vejea! and in 1st place, with a 56.95, give it up for matt weatherman.. matt got hisself 3 qp's, put $24 in his pocket, and now owes us some community service at the judges' bench before he can slam again for that last "qp" (qual point) he needs to try out for team san diego.. thank you everyone for coming out to the slam tonight, and allowing us to put $41 more into our slam fund; we're buying us a second amp so even the quietest poets can be heard up there by the front doors, so every dollar is appreciated, folks! extra special thanks to dave blue for score-keeping second round- he's one of the hardest working poetry people we got, I swear! and thanks again to kimberly dark for her emcee stylings at the mic for second round tonight.. she'll be back again someday as emcee, doncha worry!
next slam is sunday jan 27..
sro- standing room only.. such was the situation at the 2nd of 8 urban grind qualifying slams tonight.. we began signing people up around 6:45 pm but quickly realized that something different was in the air tonight when we bypassed 20 names in the hat and saw that the sign-ups line was still at least 15 deep.. meanwhile I'm noticing that more and more people are trying to get in through the front doors and there's no empty seats
left.. so my forever-helpful co-emcee lizzie wann took over the sign-ups while I ran outside and stole as many chairs as I could get from the outdoor patio area.. we began making impromtu rows of seats anywhere we could fit them! so here's where we messed up tonight.. we started the slam with 31 names in the hat, in no particular order.. see, we've always had a contingency plan that if we got more names than we had time for, we'd split the names into two separate hats- one hat for slam first-timers, and one for slam veterans.. and we'd draw twice as many names from the newbies pile as from the vets pile, ensuring that as many new voices as possible would get heard.. any veterans not pulled would be implored to come back next slam and try again; BUT.. this system doesn't work for a qualifying slam, wherein you want to favor your veterans who are trying to earn points.. in the future, we will start signing people up no earlier than 7 pm- and each person will be numbered 1-18, in the order they appear in the sign-up line.. this ensures that people there earliest get to slam, and folks running late may have to come back and try again next slam.. anyway, so we over-optimistically figured that maybe we could get through all 31 names tonight someway, somehow.. by 9 pm it was evident that wasn't gonna happen- we were sore in need of a break, and there were still 12 more names to get through.. I know we broke a coupla hearts, but at 9:05 we called a break, and were forced to write off the 12 names still left as necessary casualties.. round 1 was over with a whopping 19 poets having had a turn up at the mic.. before I give you the list of the Top 8 who went on to round 2, let's meet our tireless judges for tonight.. fulfilling their community service for winning past slams, it was scotch & matt weatherman; we also had audience volunteers amber & friend, and completing the pentangle, joe stein.. and now for our second round poets- "bolts" aka tom p reprised, albeit slightly edited, his "ken doll" piece.. we also heard from jeremie zulaski & ha phan; rob tavakoli found his voice tonight, scoring a cumulative 50.27, thus earning himself 1 qp towards team-qualifying; kimberly dark gave us an extremely powerful piece about not fearing death- "for you see, I have already met death, for I have stood here like this, before each of you".. or something like that- so how bold is *she* to tackle such a subject at a slam?! thanks kimberly, for blessing us with your presence, and for always challenging and enlightening us with your words.. she also earned 1 qp, as did jimmy jazz who asked for a moment of silence before launching into an elegy for his uncle- another brave piece for a slam; I am so digging on these poets who help bust that ol' myth that there's only a certain style of poetry that scores high at slams.. in second-place tonight, with a 53.02 score, earning 2 qp's plus $19- one of the members of "the able-minded poets" shannon perkins.. and in 1st place, with a cumulative 54.5, earning 3 qp's plus $29, it's soon-to-be-a-new-papa michael klam.. thanks to all who showed up tonight to support the san diego slam, and for the $50 we were able to put into the recently-depleted slam fund (we spent $110 on a second amp plus the cable).. if you didn't get to slam tonight, please make sure you arrive early for the next slam and get in the signups line before you order up food or drink.. thanks as always to dave blue for score-keeping, and to lizzie wann for sacrificing as well as emceeing second round tonight..
next slam is friday, feb 15- it's the 3rd of 8 qualifying slams.
and faithful servant,
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