But, how can I best illustrate the character of this Sci-Fi/fantasy based arena when, as a Neo-Victorian poet, (a sub-set of Steampunk), it is inaccurate for me to wear a corset, goggles, or any of the usual cosplay accouterments?
I generally do this by donning the traditional Victorian black and white, which I contemporize with twenty-first century attire. This works well at Steampunk conventions, but Caffe Frascati is a different sort of venue.
And, it is quite possible that some who will be in attendance there might not be familiar with the term, Steampunk, let alone what it embodies. So, a bit of an introduction will be required. What to do ... what to do?
There are so many facets to this overall Victorian/Sci-Fi admixture, which I perceive as lying somewhere between dystopian Cyberpunk, (Blade Runner) and Dieselpunk, (Sky Captain.) So, how to begin to explain ... ?
Fortunately, my poetry occupies but one small corner of that very large room, and this is the only aspect of the genre that I need to represent. So, I plan to use Jules Verne, Mary Shelley, and of H. G. Wells as introduction to my work.
When I think of this as a teaching opportunity, and not merely as a reading performance, my forethoughts become less daunting, and this public reading is transformed into a practical demonstration of my area of Steampunk.
In this, I begin to see that it is all coming down to an issue of focus! As it happens, teaching comes easily to me. Now, armed with much to share, my attention on the crowd, this is beginning to look like a great deal of fun ...
... mike or no mike.