Aren’t Words Amazing? Especially when someone can arrange them in ways that are absolutely mind-blowing. Need an Example? Think Dante Basco.
Yeeahh, he’s one of those actor types. You’ve probably noticed him as Rufio from Hook, Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender, Jake Long from the Disney’s American Dragon: Jake Long, or…. Well you get the point. Anyway it turns out that he’s an amazing poet and we’re just a tad bit obsessed sooo we interviewed him and he performed one of his first poems “Color of My Blues” just for us.
Yeah, we’re cool like that, so Read, Watch, and Get Inspired!
Mr. Basco… We adore your voice.. What inspired you to start performing poetry?
Thank you… Poetry started for me when I was introduced to the works of Charles Bukowski when I was 15. An acting teacher turned me on to him, it the first time I read poetry that made sense to me. It was the first time I read poetry that spoke of the world that I saw around me. It really made me feel like I can write poetry.
Seeing as you perform a lot of spoken word, do you create poems that are meant to be read in silence, poems that require silent meditation on meaning, that don’t need to be read out loud?
Yes… you know, I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, all the poems I wrote in the beginning were never meant to be performed, I mean “Spoken Word” didn’t even really exist yet. They were just things I wrote, mostly for girls, “to woo woman” as they say. But putting together my book, “Dante’s Poetry Lounge,” I really had to look at my pieces, all the ones I’ve performed and went through all my diaries and sketch books. There’s actually a bunch of poems I’ve written, just abstract thoughts that were never meant to be performed. I think I’m rambling, but in truth, I like poems that can just make you think… really think. One of the problems I have going on with the scene today is there a lot of poets performing poems, myself included, that may not hold up on it’s own on the page, and I don’t think that’s cool… and to think I probably was one the people that help bring that movement en vogue… style over substance… I mean, I’m not trying to diss the scene, there are amazing poets today… I’m just saying…
What type of poems do you prefer?
I like poems about women and sex and heartbreak and adventure and love.
Do you have a happy place? And are we invited?
hahaha… I always think of myself as an LA artist, I guess as much as I complain about it, I’m from LA and Los Angeles is my place of inspiration. I did all my dirt here and I experienced the high and lows in this town, I have to say this is where I find my inspiration… It’s actually a cool place, don’t listen to what all the New Yorkers tell you… & yes, you guys are invited.
How do you define art?
Art is just expression… We all have a different way of going about it, when it comes down to it, artists are just trying to express themselves, it may come out as a song, a painting, a film or a poem, we’re all just trying to say something and people call it “art”.
Do you have any projects you are working on as of now?
Yes, I’m always working on some film or television project. But lately, I’m most proud of creating and being a partner in a production company coming out of Honolulu that dedicated to making films telling the stories of Asian American and Pacific Islanders. We completed two films so far, our first one, “Paradise Broken,” just opened at the Hawaiian International Film Festival to rave reviews, where I play a heroin addict who ends up pimping out his girlfriend in a tale about the dark side of Waikiki. And out second film, a comedy, “Hang Loose,” just completed filming before the holidays.
What advice do you have for young poets/writers?
Write, write, write…. Keep writing, that’s the only thing that matters. If you’re a writer, you should be writing. If you’re really as brilliant as you think you are, people will pay attention sooner or later, and in the end, it’s not about that any way. If its in you and you have to get it out, get it out… write.
Say your in the middle of a bad mafia deal, and well its about to get real, what song would you want to go out to?
“Excuses,” by the Morning Benders… I’m just loving that song right now and a melancholy love song isn’t a bad way to go out.