A few weeks before Christmas 2011, I bumped into a punter at Horse MeatDisco who told me: “Hey, didn’t I see you perform in Edinburgh last year? I bought your booklet, remember? You were amazing!” I already alluded to this punter earlier in this blog: http://ontheflesh.blogspot.com/2010/08/ending-on-high.html
This interaction prompted me to look back at what I had written here at the beginning of 2011 and try and figure out how many of the goals I had set myself back then I had actually achieved – how and to what extent. The goals were perhaps too ambitious. First and foremost it is obvious that, early on, I gave up on my intention to bring my Edinburgh show (In the Name of the Flesh) to other festivals or venues around London. I was feeling exhausted at the beginning of the year and the prospect seemed like too much hard work to me at that point – so I did not even attempt it. Another planned activity that did not progress as much as I had anticipated was the creation of new videos. In 2011, I preferred to focus my creative efforts on: hosting and promoting my poetry events (Glam Slam UK and Velvet Tongue) and writing.
Keeping that in mind, I list here some of my highlights of 2011:
- My erotic literary soirée, Velvet Tongue, which I started in February, went from strength to strength, with great audience and press reactions -- Velvet Tongue is back with a vengeance in 2012: http://velvettongueuk.blogspot.com/2012/02/january-velvet-tongue-thanks.html
- The success of the 4th (and final) edition of Glam Slam UK was impressive, with unprecedented audience numbers, excellent contributors and a transatlantic flavour (as it included the participation of the creator of the original Glam Slam in New York: Emanuel Xavier)
- I was interviewed for the Gay and Lesbian section of London’s weekly, Time Out: http://www.timeout.com/london/gay-lesbian/article/2601/naked-poet-ernesto-sarezale-interview
- A musical rendition of my sonnet “The Fall” appeared in Othon Mataragas’ award winning album, IMPERMANENCE (Nov. 2011), sung by Ernesto Tomasini. The track based on my poem has been mentioned as one of the highlights of the album in various reviews, whether in English (in England and Scotland), in Greek, in German or in French
- I won First Prize in Tally Koren’s lyrics competition as part of her ‘72 Days’ project, with a poem entitled “72 Words”.
- I continued to develop new material for my forthcoming one-man show, “The Pornographic You”, some of which I tested in stand-up nights and even led me to winning a (crazy) comedy “competition” (Comedy Heat's 'Asylum!'): http://vimeo.com/27540585
- I was invited to pose for The Naked Muse Calendar 2012, a "naked male poets" calendar produced by Wild Women Press to raise money for JDRF, a charity that supports research on type 1 diabetes. My photograph, taken by Julie Cook, appears in the month of July next to Gill Hands’ poem, “Fetish Negotiation.” The calendar was featured by the Independent as one of the 10 Best Calendars for 2012
- I was also photographed by Magnus Arrevad for his Boy Story project
- One of my poems (“The Aftermath”) was chosen for “See what you say,” a project combining poetry and photography organised by the University of East London. Two female photography students created wonderful photographic sets to illustrate the poem.
- I finally managed to perform my poetry in Madrid, at a literary event in Bukowski, a bohemian, literary pub in the artsy/alternative neighbourhood of Malasaña
- In London I performed at many wonderful poetry, comedy & cabaret events throughout the year but two of my highlights have to be:
o My performance at Ronnie Scotts, on the same bill as the legendary Michael Horovitz, for Jumoke Fashola’s Jazz Verse Juke Box
o Performing alongside Erasure’s Andy Bell at Paul Burston’s queer literary salon, Polari, in the Southbank
- I also did quite a bit of writing throughout the year: blog entries, poems and fiction pieces, some of which will be seeing the light soon
- …as well as countless drafts (for poems, plays, short stories, scripts performance pieces – e.g. The Couch) on which I intend to keep on working…
As regards 2012, my plans include:
- a stronger focus on writing (poetry, fiction, performance material) and on publishing
- a consolidation of my erotic literary soirée, Velvet Tongue
- further developing my forthcoming one-man show, “The Pornographic You”
- …and other bits and pieces still to be defined