Spoken Word Jt. - Jungle Stripe
 
Never underestimate the power of rejection- I was performing a poem similar to this one (Jungle Stripe) live on-stage at Jazzbones in Tacoma, WA on 6th Ave, that the crowd was not receiving very well. However, after finishing one person came up to me telling me how much she loved my piece (Stella H.)- and introduced me to a hybrid Spoken Word/Jazz Band by the name of RADICAL JAZZ UPRISING, founded by 2013 Tacoma Poet Laureate- Lucas Smiraldo (aka "Vanilla Soul").  I quickly vibed with the group, joined and performed with RJU from 2003 -2005, at various venues throughout the Puget Sound Area in W. WA. Most rewarding from this experience was the opportunity to work with young people, conducting creative writing clinics/workshops and live performances @ Shakabrah Java (Residency), 1st-Nite Tacoma (New Year's Eve), Tacoma Art Museum, King County School District, White Center Community Center (W. Seattle), Stanley Elementary, Psalters Pt. Elementary, Curtis H.S. and Clover Park H.S. I also was a finalist in the HBO Def Poetry Jam Competition Audition that came to Pierce College around that time.