Monday, February 24, 2014

VSWF Spotlight: Mighty Mike McGee

There’s a reason they call him Mighty. Mike McGee is returning for the second year in a row to the Victoria Spoken Word Festival, and in addition to performing at the festival launch party he’ll be hosting the Friday Festival Ensemble Showcase with his poetry twin, Dave Morris.

There's a reason they call him Mighty.

You've been known as a stand-up poet. What's inspiring you these days?

Oddly, my most recent comedic inspirations have been very heavy subjects. Lately I've been reading up on a lot of predatorial abuse, social justice and equality issues. Very socially political and frustration-inducing stuff.

Being a white American male, I have been trying very hard to answer to that with myself, to see how I perpetuate racism, sexism, misogyny, and to confront all of my prejudices directly. I know this doesn't sound like the work of a comedic poet, but I believe it should be.

A number of very intelligent comedians and writers have been inspiring my work. Since I have a knack for finding the humor in the headiest situations, I am trying to find a finer balance between comedy and poetry. How to make people laugh without hurting others in the process.

How would you describe spoken word to someone who has never heard or seen it before?

To me, spoken word is an umbrella term for any sort of writing intended to be said aloud and emoted, like stand-up comedy, presidential speeches, and poetry. Spoken word poetry is a beast!

Others may refer to it as performance poetry, and that describes it well for those who've never experienced it. It usually performed by someone who has a lot to say, either spiritually, lovingly, angrily and/or politically. It's an uncommon outlet for everyday people to be a big bigger and badder than they might be at home, work or school.

Everyone who attends a spoken word poetry event will hear and see something that resonates within them—and they won't spend much to be there!
Mike and his twin Dave Morris hosting last year's Showcase.
You were part of last year's festival - what is it that brings you back to the Victoria Spoken Word Festival?

BC Ferries! Kidding.

I am thoroughly drawn to witnessing the dynamic generated by eclectic groups of skilled performers to truly work together. Last year's VSWF had all of that and more. It was a true festival of spoken word. I had such a good time just watching the poets and performers putting together that final show that I am really looking forward to what this new crew will create.

Plus, Victoria's audiences are some of the most loving and passionate crowds I've ever shared the room with.

 Mighty Mike McGee performs March 4th, and hosts shows throughout the festival. Find out more at

Get a festival pass online at Ticket Rocket.

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