I met Andru Defeye on a Monday night in 2012 at a place called "Sol Collective" in Sacramento. I'd heard from a friend that they were doing an open mic that was mostly spoken word, poetry, and hip-hop but that they were open to having stand-up comedians come out to perform. Mixed media open mics can be a drag for comics but I didn't have anything going on that night so I thought I'd give it a go. When I arrived I saw a diverse crowd of artists all excited to perform for their peers, friends, and fans. The host/MC was a charismatic rapper/poet that I eventually knew to be Andru Defeye. He was funny and talented and knew how to keep the show going at just the appropriate speed. I told him I was interested in performing stand-up and he was excited and got me a good spot in the meaty part of the lineup. I watched the show and I was truly blown away by how many talented people lived and performed in my hometown. During my set the crowd was attentive and really enjoyed themselves. I was so stoked that they invited me into their house and was so open to my art form. I felt like I had found a hidden oasis of creativity.
Since that time, Defeye and his crew (ZFG - Zero Forbidden Goals) has championed and organized "guerilla" style open mic's and poetry events in Sacramento and beyond. Show up to a place unannounced with your friends and put on a show. It's a radical idea that has inspired many artists in the area and has gotten him and his crew in some hot water with "the establishment."
In honor of April being National Poetry Month, ZFG in collaboration with Sol Collective and Outside the Lines are presenting "(Inter)National "Guerilla" Poetry Month from April 1-30. The crew filmed surprise spoken word performances in restaurants and unknowing audiences on some of Sacramento's busiest streets. ZFG then began to post the performance videos on social media and invited the internet to join in the fun. They are currently in touch with artists throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa and working with educators abroad to expand the Guerilla Poetry movement.
Here's the first video in the series:
The rest of the series will be uploaded to the ZFG YouTube channel throughout the month of April.
To submit your own videos you can reach ZFG at the following: