Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Our poetry sucks

We just recently had this knowledge dropped on us. Luckily, we've come to terms with it just in time for next week's special guest Darren Ohl! If you remember that name from Speakeasys of old, you'll want to drop by and welcome him back on his short vacation from the wilds of Oregon. If you don't remember that name, you'll just have to chew on this: Darren will be doing a special charity tribute to Glenn Beck. I'm trying to keep my expression really, really straight for that statement. If you'd like to see my poker face break down, drop by next Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 9 pm and say hi to Darren. Regular open mike takes place as usual.

And hey! In the meantime, you'll still want to hit up the Artists and Writers Pub Crawl on Saturday, Dec. 12. Your hangover should be just about settled by Tuesday so you can come and tell us all about it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Speakeasy Holiday Toast-Off: The Rules

It has rules?

Anybody who remembers the last one might forgiven for thinking not. Despite the rampant heckling, the drunken blasphemy and the general chaos, we're doing it again. The next Speakeasy Toast-Off will throw down at Will's Pub on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 10 p.m. Interested in competing? Curious about boring minutae? Here's what you need to know. The rules that follow, with a few house exceptions, are the brainchild of competitive toasting's founder (as far as we know), Christian Drake:

GRAND PRIZE: Ornate beer stein, a $20 gift certificate to Total Wine, and goodies from behind the bar at dear old Will's Pub. The top two competitors will have their bar tab taken care of for the duration of the match. There's your hook.

- Sign-ups begin at 7 p.m. - see the bald guy sitting behind the Poetry Vending Machine table at the Arte Faire, taking place prior to the Toast-Off from 6-9 p.m. We'll take first come, first served up to a max of 8 competitors. Format will be head-to-head elimination.

- Rounds will consist of three toasts on a random subject drawn from a hat. The first toaster in each round (selected at random) will have 40 seconds to come up with a toast. After he/she has delivered the toast, his opponent has an additional 20 seconds to come up with his/her own. Competitors must take a healthy swig at the end of each toast (both theirs AND their opponent's). Winner is decided by majority rule of a panel of celebrity judges; best 2 out of 3. Final round will be best 3 out of 5. The winner must finish his/her beer by the end of each round.

- Toasts must be traditional, which is to say they should begin with "May ..." or "Here's to ..." There is no time limit on the duration of toasts, but trust us on this: Brevity will work in your favor.

- No, really. Not kidding on that last one.

Anyone interested in signing up early can comment on this post - I'll save you a spot provided you show up at the venue before 9 pm. Start stocking up on hangover remedies now, true believers. See you there.

Monday, November 16, 2009

All ye faithful

Saddle up! We're back in regular weekly rotation at Will's Pub, every Tuesday at 9 pm. Nov. 17 oughta be a special one: Plenty of new poems, and your first advance news about a couple worthy December events ...

- The Artists & Writers Crawl on Dec. 12. The regular artist crawls have been popularized (to your host, anyway) by Analog Artist Digital World sketcher and all-around class act Thomas Thorspecken, and this latest edition invites the writers to come along and get their muse on. To better accommodate the Speakeasy crowd, this crawl will be a bar-hop through the better dive bars of the ViMi district, including a stop at Will's. Best of all, the whole shebang is free and open to all! Get your details as they emerge at the website.

- A holiday edition of the Speakeasy Toast-Off. If you thought the regular open mike was nothing but a glorified excuse for drinking, you ain't seen shit. Competitive toasting returns to the stage of Will's on Dec. 8 with new celebrity judges and fab prizes TBA.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The calm before the brainstorm

Late update, but no - no Speakeasy this week. That's right, we're taking a break (again) on Nov. 10. Yes, I know. Yes, I feel that way too. Whoa! Put down the claw hammer. Tell you what; what if I said we were scheduled every week after that straight through the holidays? Cool, right? How about if I said we have the second Speakeasy Toast-Off with fabulous prizes and celebrity judges scheduled for Dec. 15, right after the monthly Arte Faire? How's that for some sugar?

OK then. Glad we could all walk away from this without violence. See you next week!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Absence makes the heart grow fonder (and the liver stronger)

Thanks to all who showed up last Tuesday for the scattershot Speakeasy that followed the monthly Arte Faire. Y'all are diehard. Save it up - we're bumped (yes, again) next week, but will return Nov. 3.

Those lucky folks who were there may have seen sketch artist Thomas Thorspecken immortalizing your rants for posterity/police records. Neat, huh? He should have the resulting sketch and some commentary up on Analog Artist Digital World sometime in the next few days.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

We missed you too

Two weeks is way too long. The management's been drinking themselves silly to cope with the missing Speakeasy last week, though admittedly that's what we would have been doing anyway. Anyway: Fully recovered, you can expect spoken word as usual this Tuesday the 13th.

And dig this - the week after, Tod's pet project the Poetry Vending Machine will be a part of the monthly Arte Faire at Will's ... which just happens to fall on Tuesday Oct. 20, right before Speakeasy. Talk about synergy! Get your improv poems at the Faire from 6-9 p.m., then read them directly after. Shazam.

Oh, what the hell, ONE more plug. Also catch Tod performing at the All Hallows 10 For the Fringe benefit (that's IF you can get the rapidly-selling tickets) Oct. 16 and 17 at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center. He'll have a big long poem written specially for the occasion and the guaranteed worst costume you'll see that night.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Taking a sick day

Achtung! No Speakeasy this coming Tuesday the 6th, poetry lovers. Yeah, I know. Will's Pub will still be there to welcome you (provided you've got the cover for the band), but the open mike will be taking a much-needed week off. Save up your juice for our return Oct. 13, but if you're jonesing this week, the management highly recommends you check out Di-Verse Word at Dandelion Communitea. They're a monthly event like Aunt Flo on the first Tuesday. Tell host Shawn Welcome that Speakeasy sent you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Feature time at Speakeasy!

Two big 'ol reasons to join the cool kids at Will's Pub next week:

- Our feature poet, from the wilds of Delray Beach: Casandra Tanenbaum! A whirlwind of talent, Cass is the host of the Monthly slam at Dada and was the chief volunteer wrangler at this year's National Poetry Slam. The fact that this did not drive her screaming into a sports bar for a week-long drinking binge far away from flaky artsy folk is a testament to her stamina and patience. Her poetry? Well, her poetry's a testament to that. Come show her some beer-flavored Orlando love. You will not be disappointed.

- It's the last Speakeasy for two weeks! It's a fact - we'll have a Tuesday off on Oct. 6, returning on Oct. 13. Get ready to pack two weeks worth of jibber-jabber into a one week-sized bag.

That's Tuesday, Sept. 29, everybody. 9 p.m. blunt. See you there.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Settling in

Your host would like to take this opportunity to laugh at you if you've missed the last few weeks. We've had feature poets Lindsay Miller and Doc Luben roll through from Tuscon, a pleasant break from my endless rambling with guest-host Trevor Fraser, and a slam-bang excuse for a hangover in the first ever Speakeasy Toast-Off.

But perhaps all this pomp and circumstance is too much for you. I understand. Might be a little bit much to process on a Tuesday night. Tell you what; we'll keep it low-key and consistent the next few weeks. So far, we're scheduled straight through September every week. No breaks. No buts. No alarms and no surprises. Just good wholesome 'Merican open mike.

So bring a newbie, it's the perfect time to get your feet wet. In the meantime, dig some photos from the aforementioned Toast-Off:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Speakeasy Toast-Off: The Boring Details

It's getting mighty close, kids. Tuesday, July 28 marks the first ever toasting competition at Will's Pub. Maybe the first in the entire history of the planet! Go ahead, google it, nerd. Prove me wrong.

Anyway, the hook alone ought to be enough for you spectators. Interested in signing up to compete? Allow me to dangle these shiny prizes before you:

GRAND PRIZE: Ornate beer stein and a $20 gift certificate to Total Wine. The top two competitors will have their bar tab taken care of for the duration of the match.

There's your hook. Here's the rules:

- Sign-ups begin at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28. We'll take first come, first served up to a max of 8 competitors. Format will be head-to-head elimination.

- Preliminary rounds will consist of three toasts on a random subject. Toasts must begin traditionally, with either the words "May .." or "here's to ..." They may not necessarily be toasts TO the subject, but must incorporate it in some way. The first toaster (selected at random) will have 30 seconds to come up with a toast. His opponent has an additional 15 seconds to come up with his/her own. Competitors take a healthy swig at the end of each toast (either theirs OR their opponent's). Winner is decided by the judges; best 2 out of 3. The winner must finish his/her beer by the end of the round.

- The final round will consist of four toasts, none of which will be judged individually - judges will rule on a winner at the end of the round.

Simple enough, yes? Speakeasy open mike will follow these shenanigans. Looking forward to this one like you wouldn't believe, folks. Someone make sure to stay sober enough to remember it ...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's alive!

Thanks to all the cool kids who've been coming out lately! It's always nice when your host feels like he's earned his free beers.

Many, many cool things happening this month, both inside and out of Will's. As of this post, we're running Speakeasy uninterrupted through July, and there's a couple tangent events that I won't be too proud to plug here. Especially keep July 28 free, and you may want to eat a big dinner. We're gonna dry up some kegs; that's about all I can tell you at this point. There will even be some sort of literary excuse for doing so.

If you want to keep apprised of Speakeasy-related hoopla, your best bet is to look up your host Tod Caviness on Facebook. Please message me in the friend request, though - I'm picky about the invite stuff, my memory is awful bad on Wednesday mornings and them Facebook thumbnails of your face are awful small. You can also drop me an email at valis_jr at yahoo. Either way, I promise to pester you no more than once a week with event invites.

Oh, you want actual content? Sorry; I get carried away. How 'bout this snazzy flier Step Aside Butch made for us? Look for it on your finer Orlando coffee shelves and bathroom floors:

Monday, June 29, 2009

Speakeasy continues to return

Orlando's booziest, kewlest and humblest spoken word night keeps on keepin' on at Will's Pub this Tuesday June 30 at 9 p.m. with their special pre-July 4 edition. Come celebrate our independence with some flagrant abuse of the First Amendment! There won't be fireworks, but there will be fire-WORDS!* Hosted by Tod Caviness.

*Tod didn't write that "fire-words" thing. He would never do that.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hiatus, but the next best thing is better

Poetry people! Stay your plans! A mere two weeks after kickoff, Speakeasy is taking a break. No poets at Will's Pub this Tuesday June 23, just sweet indie music of some sort. We will be back up in it the following week.

But check out this substitute gig: Tod Caviness will be the happy guest host at his old stomping grounds for Real Open Mike at Urban Think Books on Wednesday June 24, starting promptly at 8:30 p.m. Feature poet that night? Sarah Q. Morgan, Philly slammer and flagship poet at the esteemed and unstoppable Write Bloody press. Check her out, won't you? Not because she's single, 'cause she will eat you alive, little groupie. Do it because you need to hear this stuff.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

If it's online, it must be true

We're back, kids. We were already here, to be exact. It's just the Tod Caviness-hosted version of open mike at Will's these days. This'll be a nice little placeholder until The Management gets something 'zazzier up, but for now: all three of you can get your Speakeasy news right up in here.