For the entire month of February both of my books, “Another Endless Knight” and “The Rules Of Poetry” will be available together FOR ONLY 15 DOLLARS!!And that’s practically…FREE!! (Well it is $15 but…ya’ll get the point, lol.) February 2022 marks the FIFTEENTH year anniversary of “The Amplifier” a spoken word piece that inspired poets and audiences alike. The concept of the piece is simple. Nobody can tell YOUR story like YOU can. Shouts out to those who continue to show respect to a piece that started a movement.”Another Endless Knight” is a collection of 80 poems, short stories, and rhymes plucked from my books over the years while “The Rules Of Poetry” is dedicated to the future generation on steps they may want to consider while engaging a crowd.Signed copies from me to you.Inbox me for yours today! #AnAmplifiedYear
As this year comes to a close I am extremely thankful for the blessings and opportunities it has brought me and my company. I also made the decision to return to school majoring in a degree that will eventually lead to me teaching what I do on the college level in the future. And I had to return to my alma mater FSCJ because there is no other place that would make sense. The campus looks the same as when I graduated years ago…the peaceful breeze flowing through the trees…everyone just minding their business going to and from classes…this was the perfect “writing weather for me.” Many days, (when I should have been in class lol,) I would sit on the benches with my composition book and pencil just taking in the scenery and crafting a poem or two. I also met many people at Kent Campus where we found out how much we had in common and that is why we remain friends to this day.
Although the campus may look the same, I understand technology has changed significantly. The way information can be sent and the different forms of media that be used to get a person’s message out is in a class of its own. Gone are the ways of traditional face to face meetings in venues faced by gatekeepers you had to either impress or “play along to get along” with. At the push of a button your words can be sent across the world to those who need to hear it most now, leaving the former gatekeepers powerless to stop the creativity from flowing. That is one of the many reasons why I decided to “return home” as I call it…to the place where I found my craft…or actually…where my craft found me. Hopefully I can inspire others while I receive inspiration from all the people I will meet along the way in this new and exciting journey I am embarking on.
If someone would have told me back in Highschool that the future me would commit himself to being a writer and a motivational speaker I would have laughed and said, “who me? You must have the wrong guy. I can’t talk in front of people…that makes me too nervous even thinking about it.” But you never know what life has in store for you and that is why I am honored to go back…back to where it all started.
Speaking to the youth is something I really enjoy doing because it involves taking time and understanding their point of view about the world around them. I currently partner with Hope at Hand, a non-profit organization that provides art and poetry sessions to vulnerable and at-risk youth populations. https://www.hopeathand.org/ In a short time working with them I have seen how powerful a message it is to send to the younger generation that there are people who have been there and understand what they may be going through…and are here to help!
Being a youth can be challenging especially in the teenage years where everything seems awkward and they may not know where they fit in. In many situations, this can lead to a young person mixing in with the “wrong crowd” or ending up in dangerous situations. To me that is why there should always be a door open and a person there to let them know they are not alone.
I remember before I really got serious with writing poetry, I had an 11th grade teacher named Ms. Korn for creative writing. I really enjoyed her class but she would always give me C’s on the papers until one day I asked her, “on your comments you said this was a great paper…but then you give me an average grade. Why Ms. Korn?” She replied, “I’m glad you finally asked that question. It is because this assignment was given weeks ago however I just saw you write it in the hallway a couple hours ago.” She then told me something I will never forget…that it is important to put in the work to get what you want out of life. If you can write like this now…just imagine if you really put in effort and tried!
After that moment I began taking her class seriously and using all the time I could to complete the assignments and get the grades “I deserved.” It was a year after I graduated from highschool that I really began writing and performing my own works, but I will never forget my very first mentor. Hopefully, I will be able to inspire others just like she did me.
I’m excited that this November motivational and wellness speaker Kimberly Michele will have her first speaking engagement in the college market at Coastal Carolina University! She actually travelled with me to the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) in South Carolina last month and had a chance to network with students and faculty members explaining what she does. Kimberly deals with wellness and inspirational topics for audiences big and small and uses interactive games as tools to get everyone on the same page and ready to connect. She is also a firm believer in meditation using yoga as a way of self-reflection and channeling a sense of inner calm and focus. https://kimberly-michele.com/
I think one of Kimberly’s strengths, (and also a belief system this company is built on,) is that true belief in oneself is something people pick up on instantly and will get them far in life. This being her first college gig she still does not know exactly what to expect but is ready to find out and that is what’s most important. I spoke a while back after reading an article on how public speaking is the #1 fear for most people and the reason why is because there is nothing worse than feeling alone with no one who can relate https://www.verbling.com/articles/post/public-speaking-the-worlds-greatest-fear. A trick to remember is there will ALWAYS be someone going through what you are going through and maybe the message you share will inspire them to seek and utilize their own positive outlet. The only way you will know is to try it. Public speaking for me was the same way before I realized, “hey someone did come up to me afterwards and tell me how what I said touched them,” then slowly but surely, I met others who said the same thing. You can compare this to a domino effect where all it takes is a little nudge for everything to go into motion.
Gaining the courage is a process and like any other process there are steps…in this case the first step is telling yourself, “I can do this.” The only thing to fear is fear itself in my opinion because I would rather be scared of not accomplishing anything in life rather than fear what “might happen” if I try. I’m proud of Kimberly and very confident she will do a great job and be welcomed back to the university to motivate and teach in the future.
This year I had the privilege of launching Get Amplified Entertainment which is a company geared towards providing a platform for spoken word artists, poets, lecturers and motivational speakers to both entertain and educate others on how important it is to find and utilize their respective positive outlets. This has been a dream of mine for a while now but sometimes it may take time to manifest these dreams. Rome wasn’t built in a day and having a strong foundation is key to a long lasting and successful business.
I am very excited that this will also be Get Amplified Entertainment’s first official representation at the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) which specializes in providing quality planning for students of higher learning across the United States. www.naca.org I have been a member of NACA under my spoken word name “KnightKrawler” for about 9 years now but this time it will be in the capacity of the agent and not just the artist. That time has really taught me a lot, not just in performing in front of larger crowds, but also the time and effort it takes in “preparing for the show.” From scheduling flights; arriving at the venues; attending mandatory soundchecks etc…there is a lot that goes on just to get on a stage…and all of this has nothing to do with what the artist will do once they are on there. I believe now I have a chance to show others, (especially a younger generation who is passionate about their craft,) how to hone their skills and really give it their all for something they love.
There was an old saying I heard years ago, “when you do something you love…it feels as if you are never working a day in your life.” I believe the opposite, lol. When it is something you enjoy doing you have to work harder to make sure the demands of the path you chose does not diminish the passion you have for your craft. Work ethic and drive do not change because the objective is directed towards something a person likes…in actuality…that could cause them to be lazy and idle. I relate this to the tortoise and the hare story. The hare was so confident he would win against the tortoise, (because he was naturally faster,) that he took a nap while the tortoise pushed on. When the hare woke up it was too late to beat the tortoise. Although this is a children’s story, I think its lessons hold true for people of all ages, “practice and hard work makes you better,” and “slow and steady wins the race.”
Lol I recently had a student of mine reach out to me telling me they still remember my performance at their university of the piece, “My Roommates Stealing My Stuff.”
“It still makes me laugh to this day,” they said. I decided to repost the piece. Hope ya’ll enjoy.
This coming Sunday I have the privilege of performing at the 40th year anniversary of the Jacksonville Jazzfest! Hope to see you there. We got a show for ya’ll.