Rock Wilk (Facebook page), the breathing force behind the off-broadway show “Broke wide open” possesses many talents. Anyone that has seen him perform or shared a word with him can attest to this.
Today among his arsenal of singing, acting, and spoken word performance, he displayed yet another great talent, the ability to help people open up and express themselves.
Rock’s 5 hour workshop was nothing short of amazing. Very powerful and touching for all that participated. We shared tears, laughter, seriousness, and most important ourselves. The individual stories behind the pieces we heard today were amazing, truly amazing. I will not touch on individual stories as those are very personal, and may be private, but it was amazing.
This experience was so much different than a traditional open mic, we got to hear the pieces multiple times, answered provocative questions about the pieces, and spoke in depth about what the pieces meant to us. It was really special and I enjoyed it very much. 5 hours sounds like a long time, but you become so engaged and engulfed within each other’s amazing stories that the time flies by.
There is no set format, we kind of just flowed with each other. Rock did have us each read a piece, then together with the group and his exploring guidance we sought the truth behind our words. No pressure, no script, Rock took the time to dig, the group members also asked questions and chimed in, then upon attaining the true meanings behind our metaphors and cryptic words, he helped us more accurately express our meaning.
He listened, but was always there to coach us and guide the conversation. Rock is a very intense, powerful individual, he believes strongly in each and everyone of us connecting with ourselves and people in life overall, as well as our audience and really getting the message across. He stated and I quote:
“After a show, at times I weep for up to 20 minutes, I give everything, I leave it all out here each and everytime.”
I believe him. Rock believes that to truly be amazing, we have to be felt and connect. This workshop and the experience has caused me to completely rethink my poetry writing methods. He demonstrated to us how much was left unsaid because of metaphors, or mechanical reading or using a meter to time. He explained how much more of the message could be delivered if you are truly there with the piece, if you connect with your audience and make them feel you.
After this workshop I’ve decided I’m going to explore and focus on my current pieces. If something new comes to me, I will acknowledge and write it, but I will be focusing on connecting and building my current body of work according to this philosophy.
If you ever have a chance to work with Rock in this type of setting, absolutely take advantage of it, he’s an amazing human being. I am thankful I was able to work with Rock.
As a side note, Rock said that my piece “Dear Momma“, which he saw me perform at Bronx Stories for my mom helped him complete his play. I am honored that one of my pieces contributed in the slightest to this masterpiece. I can’t wait to see it, and I wish Rock all the success in the world.