Being the Face Of –

After being announced as the New York City’s Youth Poet Laureate, Things have been making a turn- Not necessarily for better or for worse. For the entire month of November and as we continue on in December I’ve been booked for appointments and Interviews to let my voice be heard in the various communities in which I belong to. In this case, I’ve been mentioned in a countless amount of articles that all have a different perspective of what is taking place with the position that I hold. 

Video Capture from Camryn’s Feature as Being A Youth Spoken Word Poet

Nevertheless, I carried on, going to school or even staying home because I would be so tired from the countless errands I would have to run. 

Snapshot of Press Release of Camryn Bruno As the Youth Poet Laureate of New York City 

So far, I’ve been published in various Newspapers and online articles such as The Daily Eagle, TLTV, York’s Community News System, CUNY News, and Pandora’s Box- Twice. 

In this case, if you claim to have never seen my face- I know you’re lying. How can you miss a beautiful face like this? 

Video Snapshot of Camryn On the CUNY Website!

I must say it is a privilege to get my message out there but the most nerve-wrecking thing for me is trying to log into my Blackboard from Cuny.edu and seeing my face for the next few days.

How to be Viral

Now, I’ve been viral a few times in my life, whether it’s on my Favorite Social Media Platform- Twitter or somewhere easily accessible- Facebook. My name has had its fair share on various timelines all around the world. 

On facebook, A few of my Poetry Videos have taken flight over Facebook while living on a small Twin Island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Without  being a big deal, since I have seen it being done before, When my tweets on Twitter go Viral, I feel like a an entire new person. You are not allowed to talk to me for a few hours. 

The First Time I went Viral on Twitter 

The First Time i went Viral It was amazing! The Retweets! The people sending love with my creation, my notifications were off the roof!  Something I never imagined- ATTENTION- People. Were. Giving . ME. ATTENTION. 

I think that’s the thing with social media. When you crave attention, you seek in the holes of the social media frenzies and hope that they can help you out .

The Second Time I went Viral

The Second time I went Viral, It was amazing. I didn’t even expect it to go viral in the first place. I was just expressing my true feelings. I can now imagine why people say to be responsible for their words. It was a tweet about me saying- Vybz kartel is a poet Don’t at me -Because of his lyrical excellence in the Dancehall Community ( I am not Jamaican) 

When Kanye West decided that he wanted to express himself online for all of his fans, A meme came to my mind. What i thought about it- I laughed hysterically. Probably because i came up with good content or just the thought that i would think of such good content for the timeline.

When I had the meme in my head, I send it to my friend. She died of laughter and told me to put it on Twitter. I also Thought it was so funny so I did. Not sure if it was the greatest thing to do . Since Twitter works with Keywords and some people were still uncertain as to what was happening, if you typed in Kanye and clicked on recent, my tweet would pop up. 

I was so upset. I didn’t want the attention anymore. Yes, I was responsible for my words this time and it was very funny but LEAVE ME ALONE. Please :’) I beg. 

My notifications were off the roof. I couldn’t use my phone, my battery was constantly dying, I needed help. And couldn’t find it anywhere. Twitter wasn’t giving me the option to mute my notifications so every last one appeared on my phone. I wasn’t too happy about that. 

It was a great experience nevertheless, I got the attention for my humor and I think I can become a comedian now. Hire me to make you go viral. TODAY.

Can drinking alcohol be healthy too?

I’ve recently been drinking Kombucha, and I love it. I’ve seen some of my idols drink it and I always wondered what’s the hype on it. While I am putting efforts into my diet so that I can become the healthy Camryn I once was, I tried a bottle of Ginger Lemon Kombucha.

And I was shook. Who thought that fermented tea was a good idea? Whoever it was, take all my money. With that being said, I was going back online to see if I can find someone who reviews all the flavors so that I can see which one I’m spending my next $5 on (yes guys, kombucha is expensive)

I found some videos where someone was saying they all taste the same. Kombucha tastes just like apple cider vinegar without all of that violence and distaste in your mouth.

Then I found it

Somebody, as per usual has something bad to say, and y’all, THE KCHA OVER HERE HAS ALCOHOL IN IT

I’m waiting on the feds to break through my door because .. you know.. but I stay calm because it’s kombucha

….right?

Kombucha is still healthy if it has alcohol in it right? Be calm, it’s like 0.5%

The Critics were going HAM on my poor health drink over here. Because it is fermented, there all SMALL traces of alcohol and the query was that it shouldn’t be in groceries but in alcohol stores.

Buh bye. Leave me with my fermented tea trying to be healthy

FIRST DRAFT

In working with the Urban Word NYC Community, I get the opportunity to work as a YLC member ( Youth Leadership Council) where we lead  weekly youth events such a FIRST DRAFT ( first draft) First draft is a weekly held open mic where we introduce a feature to produce work that week. It i a free and uncensored event where all are welcome to join. In this case, I’m responsible for creating the flyers for marketing purposes. Let’s take a look at some of them! 

EDIT: Our Last First Draft of the year is today . Hope I can make it! 

First Draft with Shanelle Gabriel 

First Draft with Ramya Ramama 
Last Draft ft Matthew L. Thompson 

First Thoughts on being The NYC YPL

 

It’s been 2 weeks since my commencement of being the New York City Youth Poet Laureate of New York City. But let’s rewind a little bit in the first stage of the reflection process- The night of.

As crazy as it sounds, I performed on a ship for the first time. The Intrepid Museum

is a Sea, Air & Space Museum is an American military and maritime history museum with a collection of museum ships in New York City. While I’ve never been there before, it was beautiful! I had a little bit of problems getting there on time because I was going to the event after my speech class and it was raining. Nevertheless, I had to meet there for call time.

The performances were amazing must I say. Since it wasn’t a slam, it was easy to take our times and just be the best that we could be, as youths. Continuously being there for each other as a community.

Look at me performing a poem with a paper in my hand which in fact, I didn’t need.

While I feel like I could pay more attention to telling you about the fellowship, I can do that in my second post. Firstly, I have to tell you about the aura I’d usually have when being in certain spaces and about learning from past experiences.

        After moving to New York, I was in a weird space. I felt like if I had to adapt into all the spaces that are known to me, just with totally new people. In this case, after being on a slam team  for 2 years at the Brave New Voices International Poetry Festival, I thought it would’ve been easy to just join the New York team without half of the effort that I needed. I used old poems to make it through the prelims and semi’s and wasn’t able to prepare new content without the rituals I’ve concreted in my body from back home. In this case, I went unprepared into the finals (at the Apollo Theater) and didn’t make the team.

I went into a state of depression and didn’t write anything since then.

On the last day of our fellowship, we had to recite our poems in front of the team. Thinking I was prepared after learning the poem 2 days before; I most definitely wasn’t. Instead of doing what I did at the Apollo Theater ( show my struggle and walk off the stage unsatisfied) I stayed in the space and worked through my poem, from memory. After getting the critiques from Roya and Jon, I felt a burden lifted off my shoulders. I redeemed myself. I thought I was dead, being risen into Heaven. I tried so hard to hold back those tears since not everybody in the room knew me from back in April, neither did I want to explain.

At that point, I knew. Not only was I able to see the growth I made personally, I was able to see the importance of the program on me and my peers.

It was hard to accept the change that was coming. What if I was wrong? How am I certain? I didn’t want to be counting my eggs before they hatched- Do you know how much outfits I planned to wear in Houston this year?

      I then spent so much time preparing to hear someone else’s name on the night , I forgot to prepare for the slim chance that it would be mines.

On November 5th, after performing, I felt very calm. I was prepared to hear someone else’s name on the night . I accepted my fate. I wasn’t going to go home crying or upset as to who the next Youth Poet laureate would’ve been. I was too proud of myself for being the happiest I could’ve been. The Youth Poet laureate Ambassadors names were called. While everyone is clapping, my peers are looking at me with a smirk on their faces.

And then my name was called. My body started to malfunction- she being just as confused as I was. My hands couldn’t stop hitting each other. I was in the back of everyone so I had to awkwardly move to the front as they were cheering me on. I kept asking myself “What. Just. Happened?”

I felt numb from knowing the unknown. How does that happen. How am I supposed to craft sentences when I’m still confused. I should’ve spent sometime preparing a winning poem or a speech or something. Look at how unprepared I was this time.

I then had to quickly prepare myself to smile for 20 minutes. to say, “Thank you” to all the people in the audience. To hold back tears from all the people I moved that night. To hear all of the testimonies.

And the part that makes me nervous. The flood of posts from everyone I know. This reminds me of the importance of my journey. To inspire others, to make the youth see someone live through the hardships. I’ve started to accept the position and the joys that come with having the Title.

I  am the 2019 NYC Youth Poet Laureate.

Click here to see the video of my Voters poem, Press releases and more.

Are We Busy? Or BUSY busy?

It’s amazing how everything unnecessary is violently ripped out of my hands in order for me to realize that I have so much time to focus on things that I have the ability to positively change.

 

I’ve always thought that I was a multitasker ; someone who could do a million things at one time. I do it, being a God of some sort,  being able to watch the Good Doctor while doing my homework or talking on WhatsApp while listening to a video while formatting a blog post for class.

It’s mostly a lie. When I try to multitask , I find myself forgetting about long term plans I have in mind.

When I started losing people and opportunities in my life I knew something was up.

That my day to day schedule was changing. That I’m going to have to readjust my life into doing things differently. I cried. Change is important to me. I think about how routines work and how difficult it’s going to be to go against what my body is used to.

 

Watching a tornado spin and I’m caught up and somehow trying to go in the other direction. Going against the waves, the water constantly smacking my face as punishment; a message to do as my brain remembers, to never fight against, to never resist. 

One night i found myself tweeting but for no bird to hear. A silent cry for freedom.

 “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”- Will Rogers

I had to take a step back to see what I was doing wrong.

“Is being busy a burden?”

It shouldn’t be. Mostly because being busy means to have a great deal to do.

We can have the thought to have a great deal of things to do rather than being productive and being able to produce and actually achieve those same tasks you’re doing.

I noticed a few evenings ago when I actually had time to spend an evening by myself, without violently puncturing the keys on my keyboard- sending an email or writing an essay.

It took me a while to learn the difference between being busy, and being productive.

I had so much time to be productive that I have completed all of my assignments and could focus on myself, my mental health and sleep . I had the option to decide if I wanted to use my laptop, because I was so ahead of things. it’s a good feeling to be able to breathe; to unapologetically sleep at 8pm

To put my phone on DND and have a good nights rest, Being able to complete the next 24 hours to the best of my potential.

Where relationships are concerned, Being busy shouldn’t be something that we concern ourselves with.

We find ourselves busy because we like the thought of being unavailable, saying we don’t have time to be free rather than making the time to be open and unlimited for the ones we love. 

Blurry Vision

 

As a Communications Technology major, I find myself exploring in Photoshop with my self portrait. In this case, I used photoshop to compile many images into one. I’ve really wanted to learn the technique and it took me while to learn but i’m so glad that I did.

 

Here’s a mini tutorial on how to do what I did

  1. Decide what images you are going to use. ( Preferably if they’re similar in size, orientation, and image etc.)
  2. Open the image that you want in Photoshop.
  3. Add the other 3-4 photos as another layer.
  4. Change the opacity in the top layer to anything less than 10
  5. Change the opacity in the top layer to anything less than 20
  6. Continue this step ensuring that the bottom layer is at 100%
  7. Edit each layer to suit so that all the images can be visibly seen.
  8. Enjoy the finished project!

 

Check here to see my finished project. Hope to see this girl in Vogue someday!

What Are Names?

In the course of this Semester, I found myself exploring with journal entries of my own, and forming them into Poetry. In this case, I decided to do a little project with the prompt of names. In this Blog Post, You can see the Script and the audio of the first Draft of my Poem . Enjoy!

Names By Camryn Bruno 

It’s an association 
So when your name becomes apart of who you are 
Don’t ever let that go 
It’s like an attachment- 
Your ears would perched at the sound of the vowels and constants that your mother 
Stringed together to form some sort of calling. 
A combination of syllables would would submit to. 
When your soul pounds on the walls of your body echoe your name back to you. 
Acclimatize our tongues to form dances that would knock on the cages of our teeth or 
What were associated with or 
A stain 
Or a stain 
Or something you’d never want your mother to shout or 
Cry
Or 
The noun you’d never want to see on a bad headline or 
An obituary 
Or a toe tag or
Something so personal yet we have to share it with everyone?
How easy it is to change, but still be who we are,

It’s funny how my last name reminds me of someone I want to forget 
My father 
How the only thing he left for me was his name 
How selfish of him to think that I would want to carry such a burden- a curse- so heavy
Two syllables being so strong to put me in a choke hold
This made me afraid that I would leave my kids too. 
I feel stifled 
To be chained down to a name etched in my skin that only whispers generational trauma
Which branch from the family tree did you break for a name to cause hate? 
Guess I can’t blame you for being so broken, So reckless 
I’m sure your father told you to never swing on fragile branches or wasn’t he in your life too? 
Ancestors head nod in shame

Why my mother wanted my name changed
How easy it wasn’t
How hard I had to work to change this name to mean something more 
How hard it was for you to remember I had your name only when you saw It everywhere 
you turned.
How good did the name look on that billboard . 
How proud you were to say I’m an offspring 
I was the seed that grew from nothing.
Thank God my mother had sense to give me a first name that meant something.
Only for us to marry to change our names
We’re just mending another bullet would with a band-aid
Attaching someone else’s fathers curse on our babies and children. 
Another heavy load of generational trauma.
How names could itch our throat. To carry in a book of life.
And If life is a book, what is the purpose of an author if they don’t name the fragments of themselves?

In this poem, I talk about the importance (or lack thereof) of names in my life. Exploring themes such as 

Editing My Self Portraits

In the realm of understanding digital media, I am continuously exploring the understanding of Digital Media. With this, I find myself going to Photoshop to gradually explore what I can do to my self-portraits. With this, in my self-portrait series “Slimey” I added doodle marks to enhance the image of my self portraits. I further took out the background and outlined my features with white pen. 

                                                         BEFORE

                                                         AFTER