I am a faithful Voice Box audience member. I love going and listening to everyone perform and express themselves; you can learn a lot about a person when you give them a mic. Some people sing and others read poems or lyrics of their own or that of those they admire. Whatever they share it reveals a piece of them, sometimes bold and blunt and sometimes subtle or masked, but always a piece of who they are and what they believe.
There is a ton of talent at Voice Box. fiction and non-fiction writers, poets, musicians and hip-hop artists; it’s a very diverse crowd as is the subject matter. While I have heard some really wonderful work at Voice Box, I can’t help but be struck by the hopelessness there also.
Last night was the second time a poem was read about how Voice Box was the constant highlight of a persons weeks and the umpteenth time I listened to a rant about the disappointment and failures of love. I’ve heard anger and seen tears, I’ve listened to confessions of pain and loss and I’ve watched smile after smile mask sorrow, confusion and fear. Girls laugh as they refer to themselves as sluts and guys cheer for the one who is talking about booze and women. Real emotion is suppressed and the crowd goes wild at the mention of substances where joy and dependence can be found. Talent is lost behind anger or the hunt for a strong reaction and the one line that the crowd remembers is often the one that hides or diminishes the honesty of it’s author. So many voices are grasping for happiness with clenched fists, so many voices are drowning in loneliness.