Living my dream
Hey, everyone! I’m so sorry that I didn’t give any updates the past couple of weeks.. As a reaction to the advice of one of my friends to write about my personal life, I decided to make a post about all the amazing stuff that has happened to me the past weeks and why I wasn’t really capable of focusing on my blog.
As you all know, I love writing and I aspire to become a writer someday. A ‘writer’ as in ‘I have a degree so hire me please’. And of course, a ‘writer’ as in ‘I have books published!’ It would really be my dream come true if (one of) my books were bestsellers..
However, in order to get criticized and sometimes not recognized, I have entered a couple of writing contests in my life. Unfortunately, I was treated unprofessionally. No feedback and actually not even a form of contact with the contest. All there was were some almost automated emails with ‘thank you for entering the contest’ and ‘we’re sorry to tell you you didn’t win’ text in them. And when I googled the stories of the winners, I found myself raging because the stories weren’t even interesting enough to keep me focused on reading them.
And then, some new contest came along. It’s called “Kunstbende” and it basically means “Artgang”. It’s a contest for 13 to 18 year-olds. Well I’m sixteen so why wouldn’t I give it a chance? Exactly. As I got more and more information, I discovered and understood how this contest works; You first have to go to your own region to compete (we’ve got twelve of them in Holland). In order to win, you have to come up with a great piece of writing and perform in front of the judges and the audience. And if you kick ass there, you go to the finals in our capital city Amsterdam to perform with the same story/poem/whatever. And ‘Language’ isn’t even the only category in the contest. There’s also DJ, Music, Dance, Theatre, Fashion and Expo (show your art).
So, since I didn’t want to come up with some story and then read it from a paper, I decided to attempt a Spoken Word poem for the first time in my entire life. I haven’t seen anything more interesting to look at (which involves writing) than the youtube channel of Button Poetry. Neil Hilborn is my favorite Spoken Word artists and this is one of his videos that inspired me the most.
This was my amazing trip with the contest:
I entered the regional contest on the 16th of March, I kicked ass and I won a performance on a festival on the 5th of May in Rotterdam (which you can watch here) and another performance on another festival in my hometown on the 11th of May, I won the chance to publish a book for free, I won a masterclass, some money AND I got to perform at the finals in Amsterdam! I was so stoked because I didn’t think there would be any prices for just being the first of your region. Best surprise ever!
So, the 3rd of May I travelled to Amsterdam in the ‘art-bus’ with other contestants, which was amazing because two guys had their guitars with them and played the blues the whole trip (eargasm!). This is one of their videos, you won’t regret watching it! When we arrived, I fell in love with Amsterdam even though I’ve already been there a couple of times. It’s such a timeless city, I will always adore the buildings there. However, we walked to the ‘Melkweg’ (translation; Milky way) which is a concert building, one of the most famous ones in entire Holland: what a privilige to be there and to get the chance to even perform there! I met the other Language contestants, which seemed pretty interesting, but, you know, I had to wait and see their performance. And when I saw their performance, I was either having trouble with focusing on what they were talking about, having a huge WTF moment because they were trying to be too deep, or actually enjoying their performance. The last option only happened with three contestants, while I considered only one of them as a real opponent (she was really, really good.) My mother and two of my friends were also in the audience, and when I was done with my performance, they all told me they noticed that the audience around them stopped looking at the ceiling of boredom, stopped checking their phone, and like I did more than anything that day, stopped looking or playing with their nails or hands or shirt. A lot of people actually approached me with a huge load of compliments, one lady wanted to have my number and made me cry because of her sweetness, and another one approached me with the question if I wanted to perform at another festival.. She even told me she wasn’t allowed to approach contestants, that only the winner could perform there but that she definetly wanted me there.. Am I dreaming? One of my friends told me she heard people talking about me in the bathroom, and it was nothing but good words. Eventually, I didn’t win anything, I cried for a while, but when I saw that some girl which I found one of the most boring acts won second place, I realized that tastes are different, and if the jury didn’t find me all that great, I knew a lot of other people did. And which made me even more happy, not even the second or third place could perform at the festival, while I, with empty hands but a heart filled with excitement and sadness at the same time, absolutely could and will! Even better, my ‘art mentor’ send me an email to ask me if I wanted to perform at another festival! I swear, I still can’t believe this all happened to me in such a short period of time. It’s really amazing, and I’m thankful for everything that has happened.
My plans for the future are visiting as much as bars and places where Spoken Word is the core of the night, hopefully succeed to perform there once in a while, and write so much more Spoken Word poems, because this has certainly been an undiscovered talent since not too long ago. I’m grateful for all the people that have complimented me on my writing and performing, for the whole contest and their support and enthousiasm, and anyone and everyone who had shown interest in listening to what I had to say. I’m a hundred percent sure of what I want to become, and this contest is to thank for that. If I didn’t try, I would never be where I am now. I came out of this contest a lot more confident with myself and with a lot of new experiences. So, dear readers, I hope this story has inspired you that you can achieve a huge something with some passion and talent. Even though you think nothing will happen, or even that you won’t achieve anything, I challenge you to try it, whatever it is.
Lots of love,