Peoples Poetry Slam Bonfire

All Cast and Crew

If you want to bring extras, RSVP before 10:00 am on Friday so we can put them on the cast and crew list.

If inviting friends and family to the potluck / gathering starting at 10:00, be sure they understand they are ONLY invited to the party, not the production and should not show up until after 10:00 pm.

Closed Set

This is a closed set. Anyone who shows up who is not on the cast (extra, performer) or crew list should be asked politely but firmly to leave. The simple statement is... "We're shooting a movie and only people directly involved in the production can be present. Thank you for your interest / enthusiasm!"

If they persist... "The schedule is very tight and conditions are carefully controlled. The added complexity of observers will prevent the cast and crew from completing the production."

If there's an issue, radio the NVC team 🙂



This is a gathering of a tribe / clan 15-20 years after the apocalypse(s) that ended consumer culture. Some of the characters are old enough to remember the crazy before times, some are not. To keep the memory of what life was like back then and to emphasize how much better things are now, the people gather and recite epic poetry at the solstices and equinoxes. The poems are oral history.

Everyone in the tribe knows these poems by heart. If one of the performers stumbles or forgets what's next, it's likely the tribe will shout out a word or two to get the performer back on track. That's because in this new culture, your People always have your back. You are surrounded by support.

There are gatherings like this everywhere in the land. Traveling monks, bards and troubadours create and share them amongst the tribes.



Some of our performers have extensive acting experience, some do not. Here's a few strategies for bringing the poems in.


Get the first word of every stanza and write it on a bit of paper or even on your arm. Let those first words be the prompt that brings back the entire stanza.


Each chunk or stanza of poem might bring up some emotion. Print out your poem and then write down a general description of the feelings that come up for each section. What the section reminds you of, brings up for you. Noticing the emotional flow of the poem can help you recall the words.


Practice the poem by trying on different emotional states while reciting, like anger, euphoria, sleepiness. This will not only install the poem more deeply into your body, but you'll likely discover interesting energy that might enhance your performance and give it more color.

Practice the poem in as many situations as possible - while driving, in the shower, during a workout, between bites of a sandwich (don't choke!).  Experiencing the poem in different ways will tend to build unshakeable confidence.


Practice in front of a mirror. Keep your facial expressions relaxed and your body still unless you're trying to emphasize a word or phrase. Gestures and movement are great, but less is usually more.


Several times a day, alone or with trusted friends. Bring your ideas and questions to the director and enjoy the process of creation. Memorizing is just the beginning, akin to preparing a canvas for paint.

Character Building

The most revered performers hardly ever require a prompt from the People, (unless they are very drunk).

The only traveler among the performers is played by Dan, the rest of the performers belong to the regional tribe / clan - shamans, wise ones, young prodigies or anyone who feels strongly inspired. Performers embody the Peoples' power.

Everyone who has been asked to perform is, IN THIS UNIVERSE, a gifted and unusual character, an oddball, a creator, a polymath. Build your DOG character using your own aspirations and passions as a foundation. When taking on the performer persona, imagine being more of yourself. Become (for a little while) the full version of you, whatever you dream he or she might be.


Dress warm. The weather could be in the 30s with moderate wind. There will be a bonfire, but the shoot might require the performers and extras to be too far away for the warmth to of much use.

We will not cancel unless the conditions are extreme.

We'll have tribal cloaks to go over everyone's contemporary winter dress. Even so, stick to darker earth tones for your outer layers /  jackets, and wear the most rustic pants you have, wool preferably. We might have other pants to wear. Leather hiking boots are ideal, just make sure your feet are going to be warm.

Melonie is our costumer and will also be signing out props which you will be responsible for keeping track of and returning at the end of the shoot. She is also a performer.

Bri will be responsible for making sure you sign your contract / release and getting your check afterwards. She is also be a performer.

Heather is our house mother. She'll be bossing people around, nixing bad behavior, making sure performers are warm and hydrated and generally fixing any problems that might come up.

Nicole will be doing make-up so everyone photographs well in firelight. Let Dan know how early you can arrive. Getting here sooner than 6:00 is appreciated so we don't have a bottle neck with makeup and costumes.

Actors arrive

  • 3:00 Dan, Melonie, Cory, Dede
  • 4:00 Bri
  • 5:00 Grace
  • 6:00 Seamus, Jacob

make-up with Victoria and Nicole

  • Victoria
    • 4:30 Dan
    • 5:20 Dede
    • 6:00 Jacob
  • Nicole
    • 3:20 Cory
    • 4:00 Bri
    • 4:40 Melonie
    • 5:20 Grace
    • 6:00 Seamus

costume with Melonie

  • 3:00 - 4:40
    • Dan
    • Cory
    • Dede
    • Bri
    • Melonie
  • 5:20 - 6:30
    • Grace
    • Seamus
    • Jacob


On Location

The address where we'll be starting from is...

4077 Crystal Drive
Beulah, MI 49617

The location is a farm field about 5 minutes drive away. There will be a heated building not far from the People's Poetry Slam bonfire. There will also be a composting toilet and a changing room. Food and drinks will be provided.

We start promptly at 6:00 and go until 10:00.

The Production Plan

We want to do 3 takes of the full performer poem cycle, before sunset, dusk and full dark. So everyone will recite, then we'll do everyone again, then one final time. In between the cycles, our cinematographer will be getting shots of the burning fire, sparks rising, people listening, etc. We might take short breaks in between the cycles.