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Monday, 22 August 2011

INTERVIEW: Teju Chosen

short.
sharp.
facts.


Name:
Teju Chosen

Repping:
The Kingdom, trying to do my best, to walk the narrow road when satan puts me to the test.

Birthplace:
London, England ... Hackney Hospital in fact (now closed down).

Lives:
Goodmayes, Essex

Performance Debut:
The Word, Brixton. I was so nervous, I was there reading my poem by candlelight and the paper was shaking in my hands. The feedback was great and that encouraged me to continue.

Awards/Accomplishments:
Poetry Calendar for the Millenium, play co-written for Shared Experience Theatre "We Can Dream in Colour", play commissioned by ICAN (International Chartered Accountants of Nigeria) "Oko Mi Da?", Devised play with National Youth Theatre about the French Revolution "Off With Your Head". Won a scholarship to do a Masters in Screen at Stage Writing at the London School of Film, Media and Performance (currently in first year).


Q&A


Describe Teju Chosen in 5 words:
Spiritual, Dynamic, Funny, Loving, Entertaining!


What’s your favourite guilty pleasure?
Cakes and biscuits and lots of, but I am so cutting down. I am so cutting down!


If you were a fruit what fruit would you be and why?
A soft hearted banana.


What came first, the chicken or the egg?
Both, really. Is that right? If the egg came first, then who laid it. If the chicken came first, then how? Good question.


Favourite word?
Wisdom. Because wisdom is the principle thing. In the Bible it says, "... my people perish because of lack of knowledge". Hosea 4:6


Least Favourite word?
Can't. My mother never allowed me to use this word in the house. "Don't say
can't, say I shall try", she would exclaim.


Sound or noise that you love?
The ocean. The soothing sounds of the water hitting the rocks.


Sound or noise that you hate?
Rain on my wood door and double glazed windows.


If you weren’t doing the profession that you are, what would you be doing?
Oh dear, this is a tough one, can you come back to this? Er well I guess I'd be a Philanthropist.


Since it’s supposed to be “summer”, what’s your favourite thing to do in the park?
Praying whilst on the swings, in the morning.


ONiT! Is very excited about your forthcoming one woman show, Choices & Voices. What can the crowd expect?
AN EFFERVECENT ECLECTIC MIX ... Performance Poetry at its very best, Jazz music that will make you close your eyes and imagine you were somewhere else, a journey into my state of mind, familiar characters that will make you laugh at them, but maybe later with them, contrast, the breaking down of the fourth theatrical wall, edutainment and the flipping of the script. In a nutshell, something very different.


As a Poet, how did you make the transition into writing and performing a one-woman show that also features comedy and drama?
It's always been in me. Started off as an Actress and lack of work sometimes led in me and a few others along the road of creating our own stuff and performing them at Fringe places. This was way, way back though. Now I have revived my playwrighting spirit and am currently doing a Masters. I think I mentioned this earlier.


We know that you’ve performed internationally, which non UK performances have you enjoyed the most and why?
A Show that I put on with a few other Londoner's in a South African joint called "Jungle Connection". It featured London and South African Poets, Drummers and Singers and was a great cultural exchange. I loved the clicking that that was incorporated into many of the songs and poems ... was awesome experience and the air of South Africa just screams art.


Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
Not really, just breathing deeply and being alone.


Who and/or what are your greatest influences?
God, The Bible, my parents, life, Mayo Angelou, Nikki Giovani and Gill Scott Heron.


Is there an artist or performance that you’ve recently seen that blew you away?
Yes, LyricalFlo. Some real good stuff. Love the singing combined with the poetry. These two are real divas. Also Dominic Coates - saw his video online, great stuff. He's doing something really different and saying what needs to be said.


Let’s pretend I’ve just given you £6,000 for you spend on a dream holiday. Where would you go and how would you spend it all?
Hmmm, been to most places already, done the cruise thing, done Disneyland. I think it would be somewhere in Africa. I have been to South Africa a couple of times, so maybe Jo'burg. Haven't been back home to Nigeria in a while so probably there. I'd buy a standard class ticket and stay with friends/family. I'd spend time visiting orphanages and seeing how I could help and what I could put money towards. I would like to also sow seeds in to the lives of some aspiring young people who would otherwise not get the opportunity to fulfuil their dreams. I would like to pay for school fees etc.


What’s been your best or worst performance experience so far?
Er, can't remember but I'll have a real long think ... wait a minute ... Well not had a bad performance, but a bad workshop situation in a Prison. I was getting the inmates ready for ... oh dear, forget that, I've just remered a bad performance ... oh dear, can't mention that one, not fair on the other person involved. Okay then, back to the prison workshop. I was trying to get the guys to do some positive stuff for an upcoming performance and they weren't listening. Just weren't having it. They wanted to do their slack raps and mceeing. One even said to me, "You don't like mi s*!& do you?". With the group I had the month before the writing was so inspiring and thought inducing ...


Describe your performance style.
Very me, I just do me. Effervescent, eclectic, bubbly, dynamic. I am different when I do different poems. Sometimes very vocal and in your face, sometimes sultry.


Lastly, where can we find you outside of the stage?

And just keep looking. Also look out for my book this Autumn, Prolific Perspirations from a Poet's Pen. I will also be working on my sitcom and putting a preview on YouTube. It's called, No Pay, No Paper and it's set in a Nigerian Law Firm.


Catch Teju Chosen's one woman play, Choices & Voices, as part of the Camden Fringe Festival, on Tuesday 23rd August 2011

















Friday, 19 August 2011

NEWS: ONiT! To Represent Award Winning Poet, David Lee Morgan

ONiT! To Represent Award Winning Poet, David Lee Morgan

ONiT! PR is pleased to announce the addition of passionate poet and street musician, David Lee Morgan, to its roster.

A scholar of words and student of life, David cites being a poet, novelist, political activist, street musician and playwright amongst his arsenal of talents. Son of a journalist and a well respected voice in his own right, David has been invited to showcase his work across the world via various platforms, including the Mumbai Resistance during the World Social Forum in India, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London and at venues across Europe and North America.

A multiple Slam winner, David says "I've been writing all my life. I've never done well with gatekeepers, but when I've been able to get my work in front of an audience I can usually connect. Slam poetry has given me a chance to do this. I think ONiT! PR will help me take this to a higher level."

Founder of ONiT! PR, Sidel Stewart, is excited to be able to count David Lee Morgan as a stellar artist within its intimate stable, “David is an extremely passionate writer and poet who strives to leave an impression with his work. His performances are always heartfelt and provocative; two key elements that will ensure he remains on top of his game in this industry. ONiT! is looking forward to assisting with David’s journey and being a part of that success.”

David Lee Morgan is currently available for performance bookings in London and the rest of the UK.


-ENDS-

For full Biography and Press Shots on David Lee Morgan, please visit: http://www.onitpr.co.uk/david-lee-morgan

Thursday, 4 August 2011

NEWS: ONiT! To Represent Lyrical Dynamo, LeeN


ONiT! PR is pleased to announce that exceptional lyricist, Jesse-Lee ‘LeeN’ Norville, has joined their roster.

A freestyle maverick and opinionated lyricist, LeeN serves his audiences gourmet meals from the raw ingredients offered, culminating in clever, conscious and creative rhymes. LeeN who has toured in Europe with the NuMC’s, also performed an improvised set with Beardyman at Channel 4’s Underbelly and has won many a freestyle challenge, including one by Chester P. His artistic and innovative skills double up in the form of Music Producer where he has worked on projects with artists such as Serocee, NuMc’s and Klarity.

LeeN says, “I'm looking forward to working with ONiT! PR. As ever, I intend to exploit my lyrical abilities to edutain current and future diverse audiences - it's always interesting to see what topics they’ll come up with. I'm building a good relationship with ONiT! and look forward to more good things in the future.

ONiT! PR Founder, Sidel Stewart, is thrilled to be working with an artist who sits just outside of the Performance Poetry bracket, “LeeN is a creative force to be reckoned with and constantly blows audiences away with his lyrical dexterity. It’s fantastic that he has chosen to work with ONiT! to raise his profile and assist with the administrative side of his creative journey. We’re excited about LeeN's future.”

LeeN is available for bookings, ranging from MC/Lyricist based performances, to creative workshops with young people.

-ENDS-


For full information on LeeN, visit:

http://www.onitpr.co.uk/leen


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