Beau Sia (Photo courtesy of Eyad Zahra)
By Saymoukda Vongsay
AAP staff writer
Beau Sia, author of A Night Without Armor II: the Revenge, is a two-time National Poetry Slam Champion, alumni of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and an actor who has appeared in the films, “Slam, SlamNation”, “The Manchurian Candidate”, “Hitch”, and “Rachel Getting Married” alongside Anne Hathaway.
Most recently Sia worked on Los Angeles-based East West Players’ Hip Hop musical production, Krunk Fu Battle Battle, penning the lyrics to a play written by Qui Nguyen of Vampire Cowboys Theater fame.
I saw the musical this past July during the National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival and I do agree with the LA Times in stating that the production was “kinetic eye candy.”
Beau takes time away from being an ‘angry asian’ poet and to get snarky for this interview.
Vongsay: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced within your discipline?
Beau: My ego. Racism. What people say they want in conflict with what their actions reveal they want.
Vongsay: What does the saying, “Each one, reach one, teach one,” mean to you? Should it apply to writers at all?
Beau: It means a very limited way to encourage a crumbling society to begin the work necessary to prevent extinction. Yes [it applies to writers].
Vongsay: What is the future of your discipline? Where is it headed?
Beau: For some advertising, for others the Internet, for others revolution, and for a select few a future that no one alive today will experience.
Vongsay: Be innovative or stay classic?
Beau: Neither. Explore who you are and your relationship to the universe simultaneously always.
Vongsay: What else do you wield with your hands other than a pen?
Vongsay: Where is your happy place?
Beau: Probably not a “where.”
Vongsay: In the spirit of ‘wait 20 minutes before swimming,’ what should a writer NOT do before their pen hits the paper?
Beau: Unfortunately, I have not met every writer in the universe. My NOT may be another’s NEED.
Vongsay: Besides other writers, what influences your work?
Beau: Women. Concepts. Music.
Vongsay: What has been your best work yet?
Beau: What I’ve done with my insides.
Vongsay: What would the title of your autobiography be?
Beau: Probably on some code s$%t everyone would f#$%ing diss me for.
Vongsay: Any last words?
Beau: Aren’t interviews funny? In this moment, I have given honest answers that may change upon completion of this interview. A reader, maybe more, will believe that these answers reflect who I’ve always been and who I will always be. Who will consider my relationship with the interviewer? Who will think about how my recent car accident is affecting my point of view? Who will wonder how old I am? Who will ask questions of the questions? Who will organize the answers beyond their isolated numerical assignment? Who will ask who these answers are for and why?
You can read social commentary tweets in senryu form by Beau by following him at https://twitter.com/BeauSia. Here is a sample: my heart goes out to/ those murdered in the streets. my/ hands type to do more.
Vongsay is a recipient of the Alfred C. Carey Prize in Spoken Word Poetry from NY and a Jerome/Mu Performing Art’s New Eyes Theater Fellow. She lives and writes in St. Paul. www.refugenius.com