By Alyssa Herter

Western Herald

With great enthusiasm, Kinetic Affect performed their show “Speak it Forward” to a small crowd at the Farmer’s Alley Theatre, last Friday.

The spoken word poetry duo Kirk Latimer and Gabriel Giron are Kinetic Affect, and this performance also featured musicians Steve Lieto, Megan Dooley and Micaela Kingslight.

“Speak it Forward” features a series of 11 original poems strung together by the theme “What if life only lasted one day?”

The sequence begins with poems reflecting on the way children see their world and ending with deeper thoughts on a life lived to the fullest.

“I’d never seen them before. I really enjoyed it,” Miranda Rosenberg, a senior majoring in English and women’s studies at WMU, said. “I feel like a lot of the stuff they said is stuff that’s happened or been very important in my life recently.”

“We wanted to take a number of poems and a number of musical pieces and tell the story of if human life really just lasted one day, what would that day be like and how would most people live that day,” Latimer said.

The show confronts the audience with ideas as basic as child-like imagination, and as complex as learning from the pain of a friend’s suicide.

“The purpose of this show is to provoke community members and especially students to share their experiences,” Latimer said.

This purpose was encouraged at one point in the show when Giron and Latimer challenged every audience member to write their most personal inhibitions on index cards, leaving the cards anonymous; the duo read each person’s comment.

A show of hands revealed that each audience member could somehow relate to another person’s struggle.
The exercise enforced the point expressed in the poem “I Am That Wall,” which talks about negative effects of shutting others out of our personal lives.

“Imagine being able to take that wall, that façade that we all build and having enough confidence to drop that and allow people to see you for who you are, not how you want them to see you, and live in the moment all the time. The better things get the harder they get.

“In the long run we want the audience to walk away going ‘I don’t know if I can walk by another human being and be in just plain survival mode anymore. I want to be there with that person,’” Latimer said.

Audience members said the show hit its target.

“I think everyone can influence each other and all age groups even. It’s super valuable I think if people are perceptive and receptive it’ll change their mind sets, people actually need to listen to it … they were talking about all of these things money, negativity, closure, not being opened to things, take all of those things and those are the things that need to be changed about peoples mind sets,” Rosenberg said.

“I saw two of the acts they did here previously, and they’re always good, a little different every time,” Sean Stoto, a WMU freshman said. “Its always really dramatic, always different.”

Kinetic Affect performs “Speak it Forward” again at the Farmer’s Alley Theatre, Jan. 23 and 24 at 8 p.m.

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