Thursday, April 09, 2009

Soldiers performing at the Rubber Chicken Poetry Slam is a great thing

Working as co-producer of the Rubber Chicken Poetry Slam, I've had the chance to work with and watch a bunch of talented poets, musicians, comedians, and other performance artists. The variety of styles has been matched by the different backgrounds of people who come to the slam — high school and college students, retirees, teachers, homeless, and soldiers.
The Defense Language Institute and Naval Postgraduate School has given us a lot of talent, in waves, since most are stationed for a period of time before being shipped off to their next stop.
Wednesday, one of our most recent talents, Britton Miller, performed his last show before being shipped off on assignment to Afghanistan.
Miller is a local guy, having grown up in the East Bay in Pleasant Hill, where he attended College Park High School with Herald copy editor Ryan Panlilio. Stout yet unassuming, Miller carries the debonair presence of a young college professor, but his everpresent backward cap gives him the youthful charm of a So-Cal frat boy.
For the past 10 months, he's dutifully attended the slam, guitar always at hand, eager to share a song.
That's the attitude a lot of the soldiers come in with, just happy to be in an environment where their talent is appreciated. Working with these guys who may have to answer a call of duty I'm not prepared to take has been a great learning experience.

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