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How do you write a good poetry slam text? - "Beginners are often too selfish"
Tobias, at the poetry slam, written texts are presented on stage. In the end, the audience decides on the winner. Which is more important: text or performance?
That is actually in balance. But the content is more important, especially for beginners, because the audience understands if you stutter something or are unsure. If you have a text with depth, the content can still be impressive.
Is it easier to write funny or sad texts?
That depends on the character. In my opinion, laughter is the easiest of all emotions to generate. Jokes always work. But if the audience is to be made thoughtful or sad, authenticity is important. At the same time, the audience must not be blackmailed emotionally. If someone starts his lecture with "My mother died and I dedicate the text to her - ...", but the text is really not good, the jury still does not dare to evaluate objectively. Also because then she would appear cold.
What tips do you have for writing texts?
In my classes, I always recommend a scribble sheet. Then write all the terms, idioms, metaphors and keywords on the topic as brainstorming. And then put them in a stringent order with a red thread.
What mistakes should you avoid?
There are three typical beginner mistakes: The first is that you are too selfish and only tell banalities from your own life. The audience gets the impression that one does not perceive the world around them. The second mistake is that situation comedy often doesn't get across properly. You only notice that on stage. And the third mistake is an overly contrived emphasis because it is supposed to sound lyrical or artistic.
So is authenticity the most important thing?
Yes, you either have to be real or have a good stage identity, like Lisa Eckhart from Austria. She always wears a super fashionable costume and appears like a fictional character. Costumes are not allowed at the poetry slam unless you walk around like that - and that's the case with her.
What makes an appearance good?
There are many factors. You should know your text well and it should suit your own speaking speed.
Do you prefer by heart or with a text sheet?
There is actually no clear preference. Memorization seems more professional, but even the former German master Patrick Salmen reads his texts consistently. Me too. But if you don't have to read, you have more opportunities to interact with the audience.
What can you learn from other slammers?
You should learn the cleverness, but develop your own style: not be the next copy by Jan Philipp Zymny or Theresa Hahl. You should think about what you want to communicate yourself - and how? Rhymed or told?
Not only did you slam, you rapped as well. Did that help you with the slams?
The stage experience, i.e. presenting texts in front of an audience, was already there. Both are performance variants. But slamming also helped me with rap in the other direction.
Poetry slam is like speaking training. I learned to speak more accentuated, and especially through moderation, how to interact with the audience. When slamming, I'm not tied to the current beat, but can react spontaneously to interjections. The feedback at the poetry slam is not that one-sided either. In rap, the audience is more critical, but also often simply anti-stranger to strangers from other cities - that's not the case with slam.
Poetry slam is a young format. Why is that? Why are most slammers under 40?
Poetry slam is a format to try out, and young people want to try it out. Older people are often consolidated and this is also reflected in the texts. They experiment less.
Tobias Kunze, 30 years old, started writing texts about his band Big Tune. For 15 years he has been slamming, giving workshops and performing as part of the “Nachtbarden” reading stage. On Thursday he comes to Faust with his solo program “Der Schwung der Wucht”, Zur Bettfedernfabrik 3. Admission costs 9 euros and it starts at 8 pm.
Interview: Theresa Kruse
Hardworking and successful
Ninia LaGrande has a lot to do: She moderates the television shows “Ninias Fashion Mag” and “Ninias Style of the Week” on RTL. She is a blogger and writes on ninialagrande.blogspot.de about politics, feminism, fashion and funny everyday stories. In 2013 the site was named the second best diary blog by the “Golden Blogger”.
She is currently writing on the follow-up to her volume of short stories "And very, very many stupid!" In the first part, she tells in 34 short stories about the unsuccessful attempt to be normal with a height of just 1.40 meters, about visits to the gynecologist and life in the big city. Together with Tobias Kunze, she is one of the night bards, the monthly reading stage in the Theater am Küchengarten.
Actually, the 33-year-old is called Ninia Binias and comes from Braunschweig - she started with poetry slams. Despite her job and other obligations, she doesn't think about giving up the slams. In 2015 LaGrande represented her hometown Braunschweig at the German Poetry Slam Championships. In 2017 the championship is to take place in Hanover - the 33-year-old is currently helping with the organization - as if she otherwise wouldn't have enough to do.
The young talent
Anyone who asks Hanover who is the best young slammer in town almost always gets the same answer: Johannes Berger, 21 years old and winner of the 2014 German U20 championships.
Despite his age, Berger himself is almost established in Hanover's slammer scene. Together with Patrick “Stoffl” Büttner, the hip-hop lover organizes the U20 slam “Spam” and Jazz’n Poetry in the Faust cultural center.
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