Author Archives: Scottt

How To Earn $

Sometimes, as a full-time artist you find yourself having to pick up other jobs to help pay for bills and expenses, particularly as an artist living in NYC. From 2004-2014 I could proudly check poet on my tax return, but the sustainability of an on the road warrior drawing income from mic checks and onstage balancing acts eventually took a toll (and tolls) on family, friends and relationships.
Of the 20 some-odd jobs I drew income from over the past two years, few were in my field of expertise, many fell at or slightly above minimum wage, but most somehow tied in to my passions and hobbies, and of those that did not, I promised myself I would find a way to incorporate some form of artistry, performing acts of service with a stylized smile, all the while bringing the same positive, laid back and chill attitude I try and bring to everything I do.
I keep searching myself for the real reason I took these seemingly menial jobs for as long as I have and what they may have amounted to, aside from those few dollars more on date nights, a quartet of quarters for laundry day, that fistful of nickels for my next bundle of bananas or that pack of pennies perhaps better placed in fountains following some wish of a starring role, writing that bestseller, or a pick six win.
But the fact remains I ran, jump, biked, kicked, taped, ate, licked, lifted, persisted and silently screamed away from the word for the latest American Dream deferred, trapped myself on the server shelf entangling in the weeds to cobble together earnings every month to pay for basic human needs. And yes I am infinitely grateful for having any work at all during this period in my life, the sometimes struggling people I’ve met along the way and the more refined understanding of how hard some people work for so little. Moonlighting as this toy of employ may have deepened someone else’s pockets, but deepened my appreciation for the blue collar kings and queens that help make the upper crust’s lives easy as pie.
That being said, I am no longer content with chalking it all up to cash and fear, nor chalk-outlining these past experiences to let them die here. Each month I will focus on 1 or 2 of the jobs I (and some of you) have worked in the past as a springboard in creating something big and something new that will help every artist and creative soul out there to not only profit, but thoughtfully incorporate their love and passions into everything I/we/they do.
 Job 1 and 2: Bike/Car Courier with Postmates and Caviar.
(Sign up for Postmates with referral code scottravent at gmail dot com or apply to Caviar for a free submission to the Delivery Digest Anthology. Earn ~25/hr on a flexible schedule with bike, car or on foot)
Over the course of January 2015- August 2016 this spoke and word poet, adjusted his seat, inflated his tires, and humbly worked as a bike courier for Postmates and Caviar delivering food and goods to people and businesses around NYC. Of the over 500 deliveries completed, not many people know that I would also occasionally write undercover poetry for unsuspecting consumers on the backs of receipts and notecards. I would then slip the missives into the bags in hopes of giving the customer some needed nourishment for the soul with that extra side of surprise. As a result, I am compiling an anthology of food related poetry and prose, a Delivery Digest if you will featuring the work of cooks, couriers, and consumers. Over the next two weeks you can submit via the following link:
The top 50 submissions will be included in Volume 1. For the first few months of publication, the only way people can order the book is through personal delivery by one of it’s talented authors. The book will arrive signed and feature a live performance of at least one of the included pieces with a portion of the proceeds going directly to the author plus full amount of tips. Submit your more performative poems, entertaining stories (500 words or less), song lyrics, and more.
#inspiredwordnyc Courier Mail National Postmates Community Group delivery.com Seamless Postmates #bikecouriers #poets #poetrycontests #poetrysubmissions Poetry Contest National Poetry Slam
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Catching Waivers 1

After many years of doing background work in between poetry tours I am happy to report, I have earned my SAG card. I am extremely grateful I was able to make a living (primarily) as a poet performing in colleges and theaters these past 10 years with MayhemPoets keeping me grounded, humble and whole and thankful for the generosity afforded to me both on the road and while on sets.

I’ve had some memorable experiences and some easily forgettable ones,  where I was simply fed (and paid) to listen to podcasts, write sonnets and read obscure non-fiction I didn’t quite understand.*

We are all aware of the elitism that often comes from SAG toward Non-Union and the frustrations of 10 sometimes 12 or more hour days spent swimming inside a segregated pool of the waived and unwaived. Sometimes catching one on the right day is a stroke of luck and sometimes a stroke of genius. Just know Union or Non, many of you are ridiculously talented. Don’t you forget it, your butterfly will reach the sky!

Others, who may be crawling along at various points in any of the above lanes, learn how to stay in the pool and stay afloat, hopefully engaged in some other semi-related aquatic sport (especially when tides are low).

If you choose to leave the water, let’s say move to a land-locked country cabin with the love of your life, shoot to be each other’s star and capture the most picaresque moments for yourselves. And if you still feel the need to soak yourself in stardust, there’s always the community pool.

Perhaps as time passes you find yourself hovering round the kiddie pool, cheering on your Lil Louganis before he or she reaches a new Age of Aquarius. Be supportive, but let your budding Summer Sanders find her own lane, build her own castles. It’s okay to keep your feet wet, but try and keep your Hair out the water while your son or daughter catches breaks.

And to those goggley-eyed, chlorinated clueless newbies, some fortunate enough to ride the big kahuna to the starry shores, you may have somethings to teach, but you still have lots to learn. There may be no lifeguard in live theater, but double take your time if you have to, remember to breathe, then dive in when you are ready from head to toe.

Back on land if you have 12 hours to spend with strangers, sure, make friends but also work. If they don’t want to or have yet to use you, use your time to finish that web-series, polish that screenplay, rehearse that monologue. Take hold of holding and fill in the gaps with beautiful creations all your own.

*Read about some of my on-set experiences in my new collection of stories and poems, “6 Piece-Chicken,” coming in April. (This is a first draft of a longer post)

Happy Chinese New Year

The End of The…

Heigh ho silver linings bipolar steed.
On a miserable-go-round you might need
Ritalin and speed to reverse the weed
Should you put cart before white roan can lead.
In lieu of whinnying go breathe and ‘yay’!
Needleless to say can’t find a haystack
Giddying down, so saddle up this way
And don’t play horseshoes with crabs who pray that
Stirrups break feet of all who meet their Reeves.
Quit it’s a bird complaining, start suping
Up no matter what the next X-ray sees
And improve the mood before Lex losing.
Ride off into the sunrise, see the light
Energize your mind, blind the Antichrist.

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The Billionaire Poets

The following is a excerpted version of a poem commissioned by Poetic People Power that debuted in performance
on July 31st 2013 at the WILD PROJECT.  It is soon to be adapted into a story on an upcoming subscription based website dealing with social issues:

There are times I consider myself a wordsmith and nothing more.  Most of the times I take a stand, I am sitting –
in front of my computer on the coach in my boxers with a cup of carrot juice and some books –
writing up a storm.

I perform this poem as a dream for the wealthiest among us to hold the soul of a poet in their hearts.

I.

Inside the coffeehouse
that they own
the billionaire poets could easily write an ode
to the thousand dollar bill
using their thirty carat diamond Diamante pens,
with the eighteen karat gold nib
filled with the blood of emaciated artists
and unlawful investments.

Instead they fill stadiums
with the organic fruits of their labors,
tossing tomatoes back at hungry crowds
whose sobering cheers defuse the boos
catapulting cant-elopes to expand minds in states
that have yet to change their views.

Next, they attempt to straw-bury the blues
by cherry picking poems from recent news of bloodshed and injustice.
Skittle poems that taste the rainbow of reinCarnation.
Flower poems that shower sweatshops with sprinklers and paid vacations
pushing Daisies to clone Apple products on back order.
Poems that expose factories to roses, color outside lines
and remove all horticultural borders,
just so that after….wards these poets can donate their pages
to minimum wage wordsmiths underperforming for the quarter.

Then they celebrate,
by giving motivational speeches to fetuses,
by cashing reality checks
for any head-in-the-cloud bleeding heart elitists
who may never learn to fly,
and by offering up heaps of 3.14159 repeating
’til everyone gets a piece of the PI…

 

Nasal Passages

Woke up to kind of smell the roses as I went to the ear, nose and throat doc yesterday

to imperfectly hear some of the same options I’ve kinda heard countless times before…

“Yes, your septum is severely deviated and you have less than 25% breathing through your left nostril. Now I could perform ssurgery, but because of your exceedingly small nasal passages, there’s a strong chance your right nostril will then become a problem and well, you’ll be back to square one.”

 Just not a square one that’s equal on all sides

or the same from all angles and made from the image of G-d.

Oh, to have a fully functioning, easy breathy, beautiful under-inflated stated, straight as an arrow schnaz.

‘What are my options?

“Well Scott, you can just deal with it. I too am a mouth breather and know how you feel. You can try breathe-right strips, nightly saline solutions and this here prescription, but none of these will permanently correct your problem. Or  you can get a brand new nose, but it will cost you an arm and a leg.”

 

Really? One sparkly and smooth new appendage to lose two doesn’t sound fair to me.

My doctor recommends a plastic surgeon who can perform a complete rhinoplasty uncovered by insurance in the realm of 10-20k,

so I deep breathe (through my mouth) and leave.

Click for how my NOSE came to be.