May 5, 2011

My meeting with Ian McMillan and other cool BBC people!

May 4th 2011


So today was the first meeting with the “BBC People” to start work on the Spoken Word Talent Development Project.
I met with Louisa Davies (Director at the MAC) on the train to London. Walking in London towards Arts Council England (ACE) we passed by West Minister Abbey and were horrified to see what seemed to be 5 maybe 6 hundred people queuing outside! Tourists waiting to get a glimpse inside the Church to see whether anything remains from the Royal Wedding!
Before we entered ACE we met with Bohdan Piasecki (who was also chosen for this project), and poets from regions other than the West Midlands there are two poets from the East: John Osborne and Deborah Stevenson and two poets from the North East: Degna Stone and Michael Edwards.
We all finally went inside ACE and met with Ian McMillan, Presenter of the BBC Radio show The Verb. Erin Riley, Producer of BBC Radio 3 and Mathew Dodd, Head of Speech Programming and Presentation at BBC3 Radio. They were all such interesting and inspiring people, I kind of fell in love with Ian McMillan who is funny and witty and has an incredibly sexy voice! We all talked about the project, how they all hope it’s not just going to be a perfectly cut radio show, but something that is young fresh and inspiring to listen to by the audience. For the project each poet was asked to choose a more established poet to work closely with, someone we personally admire and who can help us improve our writing skills, or our performance skills or both, which ever we felt we needed more help with. I chose to work with Aoife Mannix and I am looking forward to meeting her and finding out what we could come up with together, later when the piece is produced, I will perform it on Ian McMillan’s show The Verb, BBC Radio 3.
Ian wanted to see us perform, so each poet performed a short piece, he also wanted to learn a bit about each one of us, so we did a short recorded interview with him in another quiet room, all of these clips of our performed short poems and answering Ian’s questions about ourselves will be incorporated into the program for the final show, so that instead of a boring radio interview where it’s question and answer, it would be more like a magazine style show, bits and pieces, and different voices from the poets, and then the final “big” piece which was developed in conjunction with our mentor poet.
We all agreed that Spoken Word Talent Development Project was a mouth full so we decided to go with “Verb New Voices”.  
Our next meeting is on July 26th at the MAC in Birmingham, until then I will meet Aiofe and will start writing my radio piece so that in our July meeting with Ian and the producers I (we) would have something of a progress.