Marc Kelly's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Crazy Babbling Sunshine

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Chicago, IL

  • ON DVD:

MARC KELLY SMITH

Founder
Poetry Slam Movement

“You feel that destiny, and you don't know what it's all about, but believe in that destiny.”

INTERESTS:

Acting & Theatre Writing

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Confidence Inspiration Passion Conflict Family Self-Reflection Values Opportunity Success Community Pride Beliefs & Faith

FOUNDATION:

Being Creative

TAGS:

art, believe, career, Chicago, child, comfortable, confidence, destiny, ego, encouragement, family, famous, happy, mind, passion, poetry, rejection, service, success, successful

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Grew up feeling like he was a sensitive kid, but was raised in an environment that didn't encourage artistry or emotion.
  • At the age of 19, he knew he wanted to be a famous poet, but he also knew he didn't want to follow any traditional routes.
  • He married at a young age, and his wife worked full-time so that he could focus on his writing.
  • After receiving hundreds of rejection slips, he decided to get a full-time construction job and push poetry to the back burner.
  • He still sought out poetry readings whenever he could, but was always dismayed in the lack of emotion in the performances.
  • Developed his own open-mic poetry night, where he'd passionately bring his words to life on the stage.
  • Says there was initially some resistance to this new form; some of the traditional poets felt like he was making a mockery of the art.
  • But his emotional performances, which he called "poetry slams," grew in popularity; today, he is credited with founding the poetry slam movement.

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