I’ve been blessed with some amazing opportunities this year, allowing me to meet special people, who I’ve loved coming into contact with. One of those opportunities was Rallying Cry, a project put on by Apples & Snakes, which culminated in a spoken word show. Being part of Rallying Cry was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, pushing me further as an artist. However, what made the experience so beautiful were the individuals involved, who I loved spending time with, especially during production week.
I had the pleasure of being mentored by the wonderful Zena, who I was also mentored by earlier this year when taking part in The Writing Room (also delivered by Apples & Snakes), another amazing experience shared with beautiful people. Zena is a beautiful soul, with a pure heart and great energy, who gets the best out of those she works with. Working with her has definitely made me a better poet. Zena is also one of the best people to be around, full of joy, love and laughter. I hope that I will not only continue to learn from her, but that she will be in my life for years to come.
Zena not only mentored me, but she mentored the beautiful Antonia, Daisy, Hansika, PJ, Sarah, Oakley and Marissa. I loved embarking on this journey alongside them, where we all learnt and grew. Each of them are doing awesome things in their own right and have brilliant things to say.
I already knew Daisy from Croydon, and we went through The Writing Room together, but I got to know her a lot better through this process. I’d also originally met Hansika and Sarah through The Writing Room, so it was amazing for the four of us to carry on our poetic journeys together and really become friends. I developed a special bond with Hansika, as we shared the room for our performance pieces, and I could not have asked for a better “room-mate”. I loved our conversations and having the opportunity to rehearse together. It turned out that we were linked by University of the Arts London, having each attended one of their institutions (I went to LCF and she went to LCC – if you know, you know).
As well as us emerging artists, there were established artists featured in the show – Joelle, Chiedu, Roger, Hannah and Francesca – who are all ridiculously talented, but down to earth and lovely to be around. I clocked that Roger was Trini straight away, but I doubted myself and decided to ask where he was from. Once I told him I was Grenadian and Jamaican, he took to calling me ‘Grenadian’, which I loved, as my Grenadian side is often overlooked.
I felt like I especially bonded with Chiedu and Joelle though. Chiedu is an awesome person who I had some awesome chats with, talking about where were from in the UK, the poetry and music scenes, and a number of other things – I felt at ease speaking to him. His piece also brought me to tears, touching on certain things relating to people I know and love. Joelle is one of the strongest, supportive and lovely people you will ever come into contact with, bursting with energy and possessing a wealth of knowledge. I loved when she would vent to me and I would just stand listening, giving her the chance to get it all out. She’s someone I see quite regularly now and always enjoy engaging in conversation with – she also gives great hugs.
There is no way I could have grown and taken my performance to where it was without my incredible directors, Rob and Maya. They challenged me, supported me, advised me and more. Rob came up with the amazing concept for my piece, which I never would have come up with myself. His mind is weird and wonderful, his being is energetic and enthusiastic. He made me laugh, feel safe and feel prepared – he was amazing to work with and I wold love to have the opportunity to work with him again. Maya did a significant amount of one-on-one work with me, encouraging me to dig deep and really feel the words I was saying. She made me think deeper about how I deliver my poetry and she made me a better artist, within a short space of time. I mean it when I say that my performance would have been a lot less effective without her.
Then there was the stellar and beautiful Raffi, the actor who stepped in and did a phenomenal job as the person who had a gun to my head,who I really loved working with. The Trojan that is Bethany, who did the most amazing job with props, room layouts, and all other design stuff, and is also a proper lovely person. The equally lovely and crazy organised Maria, who ensured we all kept to time and knew where we should be.
The brilliant team from Apples & Snakes – Lisa, Natalie, Divya and Tobi – who supported, planned, produced and most importantly, got the word out there. I am incredibly grateful to Tobi for informing me about this opportunity, and most of all to Lisa, who even made this a possibility.
There are also others that I haven’t mentioned or named, but I want to say that everyone involved in this project is incredible and I enjoyed being in their presence. Thank you to Apples & Snakes, and to everyone involved in Rallying Cry, I love you guys.