I had the opportunity to attend a meeting for an organization called ‘Verbal Mayhem’ a few weeks back. ‘Verbal Mayhem’ is an organization dedicated to the performance of spoken word. Taken directly from their Tumblr blog:
“Verbal Mayhem is an official Student Organization at Rutgers University-New Brunswick NJ . Mayhem is both an open mic that meets every Wednesday during the school year at 9pm, and a performance collective where performers go to other events under the name. Open to the general public, the goal is to provide a platform for poets, emcees, and singers etc to express their craft and network with others in the arts. This tumblr will serve the same purpose, please feel free to submit your art and enjoy the work of other artists.”
The meeting format for Verbal Mayhem was atypical to the structure one would expect for a regular campus organization. The meeting was broken down into two parts called ‘rounds’. Individuals could sign up to perform their spoken word pieces on a sheet that went around before every round. About 4-5 people performed each round and an intermission was laced between them. Everyone who performed seemed genuinely comfortable expressing themselves, even when their pieces were extremely personal.
The atmosphere was very different ambient and reflective, which is to be expected. Verbal Mayhem is a place where spoken word artists and those who appreciate the art of spoken word, can come together and bask in it. There was a sense of community that even I felt included in being a first time attendee. All members were active in ensuring the meeting ran smoothly. This is a testament to how strong of the relationship they must have with one another.
All in all, my experience at verbal mayhem was one to be remembered. I will be returning for more meetings next semester. This organization is true testament of what a collaborative organization should be like.
You can view their site online at http://verbalmayhempoets.tumblr.com/