Spoken Word by David Seldow Wins EU’s Got Talent

     When people hear the word “art” they often think of tangible mediums; they think of paintings, sculptures and drawings rather than other expressions of creativity, such as acting and writing. One lesser-known art form is the art of spoken word, which is the performance of written word, typically poetry. David Seldow, sophomore and recent winner of the EU’s Got Talent show, exhibited many elements that contribute to a powerful spoken word performance, such as intonation, rhythm, body language and word choice. His piece “5 Things I want to Say to My Father” was inspired by another piece entitled “10 Things I Want to Say to a Black Man,” written and performed by Falu. He also found inspiration in slam-poet Taylor Mali and Eastern’s own Doxa Zannou. Aside from spoken word, Seldow enjoys other creative outlets, such as guitar, piano and keeping a journal to decompress and make sense of events and emotions experienced throughout the day.

     Spoken word has been an area of interest for Seldow since his senior year of high school, when he was first exposed to this form of poetry. Never a fan of people reading his writing, Seldow found that spoken word allowed him to express his emotions in a form that is heard and seen, rather than read; it allowed him to bring more sentiment to his poems by performing them in a way that enables viewers to visualize what his words are communicating. Other than the occasional class presentation, Seldow has only performed his spoken word on one occasion prior to the Eastern University talent show. When writing, revising and preparing his poems for performance, Seldow says that workshopping is a major part of his creative process. During times when he cannot find the perfect word, he finds himself consulting his peers and professors to help him reveal the exact message he intended. He shares that when searching for the right rhythm and sound, he occasionally listens to rap music or reads out loud while looking in a mirror.

     David chose spoken word as the medium for his message because he feels that this art form creates a moving and powerful visual sensation that leaves an impression on viewers. When asked about how long it took until he felt confident in performing his piece, Seldow confesses that it was not until the moment he found himself on the stage that he felt completely prepared to share it. He feared that people would laugh or not pay attention during his performance, as many people hear the phrase “spoken word” and immediately think it is simply an angsty expression of thoughts. Contrary to his fears, Seldow’s performance captivated the audience and ended up winning the entire show. Seldow admits that he had not planned to audition for the show, but Gough Resident Director Bryce Johnson encouraged him at the last minute to go for it and see what happened. Now, after winning the talent show, Seldow is grateful that God pushed him into taking this chance because he would not have had this experience otherwise.

     When asked what he hoped the audience would take away from his words, David replies, “I hope the viewers saw that there are so many ways to be an amazing father, man and person.” He  says that he hopes people realize they must allow themselves to love in the way that they feel compelled to, and in the way that is encouraged by God. David feels very blessed to have had this opportunity and hopes that he connected with at least one face in that crowded gymnasium.

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