The problem with me replying to this is that I wear a gown and sing in the same church. While I'm just about certain I have a much greater love for slam than you do, I do have more than one genre of music in my cd collection.
Right now, what I'm aiming for is to build "an experience." I think that poetry should be a layered gift, where you can just sit back and enjoy it, but if you're willing to listen and put in some work, it offers up even more.
I think we're going in the right direction. The Encyclopedia Show, for example, has created a theater event out of poetry, and I adore that. It's not where I'm trying to reach, but it's a hell of a lot closer than anything I've managed to do during a regular feature.
Several times, I've spit during musician open mics, and sometimes it falls flat, but other times there is an energy that is intoxicating. I feel that when we plan events. I feel that, when the poets involved in these events hit homeruns that people go home and talk about for weeks. That feeling comes over me whenever something I hear, or perform, strikes ears like I, or whoever is listening to me, is experiencing it in that very moment. If we are not looking to connect with one another, and have others connect with us on that primal a level, then I honestly don't know what we are doing.
The questions I'm asking myself right now focus on the destruction of separation. I want to engage senses. I want there to be music, and smells, and sights that contribute to the feel. I want there to be interactivity. I want to break down everything that lets the audience feel like they are safely disconnected from what is going on onstage.
So, should we dress in costume . . .yes, if it adds something to the work. Are we crazy? No. We're just having fun and putting on some shows. Is there even more we can do? Yes. Let's figure out how.