Throughout The Poet Azeem's performance of Postera today at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting on West 27th Street in Manhattan, one recurring message was to be true to yourself. And if you're an artist, be 100% true to your art - no matter what - and don't sell out. That message came from an artist who truly practices what he preaches. Azeem has always being about his art first and foremost - dating all the way back two plus decades ago when the NJ born artist began his career in the Bay Area. Today's Postera performance - the final of a few to play in Manhattan this week - was presented as a "uniquely triumphant story of a modern misfit on an alternative path" in life with Chapter III of the film portion titled "The Misfit King" which is also the name of a song by Azeem with the German based Ancient Astronauts under the collective name Band Of Broken Puppets. Today's performance blended Azeem's semi-autobiographical tale with him both on stage and projected onto the stage's film screen via the "visual narrative" collaborative aid of NYC based filmmaker Zak Cedarholm. As well as tracing his own personal journey, coming of age in the 80's and kickstarting his music career in the 90's, Azeem offered his own firsthand political and social observations as well such as how the American crack academic coincided with the rise of the prison complex.
One the many inspiring moments of today's mixed-media show was when the New Jersey born, longtime hip-hop emcee / spoken word artist encouraged his fellow artists to go all out in their creativity. "If you see an envelope, push it!" stressed The Poet Azeem to all his fellow artists. And following the 45 minute performance piece today at the midtown theater the house lights came up and Azeem and his visuals collaborator Zak Cedarholm opened the floor up to questions and discussion. Cedarholm talked about how he initially met up with Azeem a year and half ago and how the two clicked creatively and hence set about making a special type of film together (see trailer below) that even includes some old Bay Area era footage of Azeem. He noted that their ultimate goal is of making full-length movie of Postera. He and Azeem then noted how they hope to tour with the mixed media piece and have accompanying workshops for others to build from it. Azeem said that he would hope that aspiring artists would see this work and that it might inspire them to follow their creative dreams and goals. Now that's what I call giving back and spreading the love and the art.