Reading Out Loud – Follow-Up Post

So, as-you-know-bob, I read at Reading Out Loud yesterday. The pieces I chose went over really well, and I had a lot of people come up to me afterwards to thank me for reading.
It’s a weird thing to be thanked for performing someone else’s words.
Not because I’ve never done that. As a singer (who, granted, hasn’t done much singing in the past decade or so), I’ve had a lot of experience performing other people’s work. Part of me is very aware that the performer has as much to do with how the work is received as the writer/libretist/composer does.
And yet… It’s still weird for me, as a writer, to perform someone else’s work and recieve the same kind of praise as I would if I’d written it myself. “When you said you felt [X], it really resonated for me.”
And the thing is, I did feel X. It’s why I chose to read the pieces I did. Because what they expressed was something I had felt, too. Maybe that’s part of why this feels weird. That I’m using someone else’s words to express something I, myself, have felt – like I’m plagerising or something, even though everyone at the event knew I, and the other readers, were performing work by authors who inspired us.
Anyway. Regardless of feeling weird about reading someone else’s work, I’m still glad that it found a home in people’s minds and hearts. The number of femmes (and fems) who talked to me afterwards and said “That bit you read about XYZ? That’s true for me, too.” was significant. I think a lot of us – and there are sooooooooooooo many of us – who don’t get to see our full selves (or even part selves) reflected all around us[1] tend to go looking for things that show us who we are, that say “you’re real” and “it’s not just you” on some level or another.
I think maybe that’s part of the point of Reading Out Loud.
Gods know I lent out all the books I read from, inside of ten minutes after the show ended, and had a few other people ask me for titles and author names so that they could go and look them up for themselves. 🙂
If you want to look them up, I have links to each of the books available here, as well as a bit of an explanaition about why I chose to read works by the authors I did. 🙂
[1] Straight, white, cis people get to see their desires reflected and approved of far, far more frequently. Even when they’re kinky or poly. Even when they’re not conventionally/officially “attractive”.

1 Comment

Filed under Performing, poetry, prose

One response to “Reading Out Loud – Follow-Up Post

  1. Pingback: R is for Reading Out Loud (what I read) | syrens

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