On meeting my idols

If there was one word I could use to describe my experience of last night it would be humanising.

Seeing Phil Kaye and Sarah Kay perform at EartH was quite possibly the best night of my life. I felt present, I felt grateful, I felt at peace, but I still cried so many tears.

These are the two people I’ve loved for my entire adolescent life and now the beginning of my adult life too. They’re the reason I became a poet and a lot of the time when I write I can hear their voices in my head. I think this is what they would say or this isn’t something they’d write. I strive to be just like them, and their show was breath-taking and I loved every minute.

But what I loved about them changed. Of course, I knew they were amazing people. I love the way Sarah Kay always seems so grounded and at peace with herself, and how Phil Kaye makes everyone laugh and is able to really control a crowd. But seeing them on stage and seeing them in real life made something click, that they are human. This sounds like an obvious realisation, but for me, they are my idols. Quite literally sitting in the front row I was looking up at them perform after looking up to them for so long, since this was their first London show ever.

I’m sure they don’t want anyone to remember this, but I do – lol! I was sat right in front of the staircase and Phil Kaye was returning to the stage and tripped up the stairs. The next time Sarah fell up too. Both my idols had fallen up the stairs like normal people?? They weren’t perfect performance poets who just floated through a show all easy-breezy? No, they weren’t. This was a great realisation to a performer who has messed up a lot on stage due to anxiety and stage fright. I realised that there is no messing up on a stage. A stage is a safe space because you are in control of it but ALSO sometimes you’re not and that’s OK too!

Another thing that was mentioned during the show is despite being probably the world’s most famous performance poetry pair, they were sleeping on the sofa of a friend of Sarah’s apartment while doing their shows in London. This may have just been because of convenience or cost-reduction, but it felt like a good reminder that we are all sofa-sleeping humans.

We’re all connected, we’re all human. And to borrow a line from Phil Kaye’s ‘Beginning, Middle and End’, the poem I have lived my life by and inked into my veins (not permanently, yet):

we are all great stories.

(finally, shout-out to the person who screamed ‘let’s go’ at Phil in the crowd)

(PS: The poor photo is ‘cos I was trying to be present and turned my phone off as soon as they came on stage, which is when I took the pic)

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