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Create a persona or image.

Les Barker has created a persona of a lovable and harmless creature so that he can get away with things that others cannot. Les uses various tools to keep this persona in place, including: wearing a cardigan sweater, speaking with a soft voice, mannerisms and posture. Think of some famous pop stars that are more famous for their image than for their actual work. Madonna and Eminem are two examples. Both have tended to go for shock attention over time. Eminem’s persona is somewhat of the antithesis of Les Barker’s. He is out to shock, offend and annoy. The short, bleached hair, the clothing, and so forth all support these aims. Because of Eminem’s image, he might have trouble saying, “Isn’t it a wonderful day?” without people wondering just what he means by it.

Establish a persona or personas for delivering your poetry. You might have different personas for different venues or types of poetry. Or, you might stick to one persona because it is easier to manage and be consistent with. Decide on the qualities that you would like to have for your performances and choose clothing, hairstyles, and mannerisms that support those qualities that you wish to have perceived by the audience.

:The author of this tome has an alter ego known as The Dread Poet Roberts. “Roberts” has a legend, or story created to explain his existence. He was found some years ago injured and with a severe case of amnesia. Ever since, he has worn a mask to hide the disfiguring scars from the accident, and he has spoken only in verse. “Roberts” is flamboyant. He dresses either eccentrically or in tuxedo and cape, always wearing a black hat and leather mask. He is available for parties and events where he reads poems custom-written for that occasion. This is one persona used by the author, usually for delivering doggerel and humorous verse. For more serious poetry, he leaves the mask, hat and “Roberts” behind.

 
Tip Origin: Les Barker

 
Status: Complete

 

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