The day has finally come. This is an open diary for all my readers, supporters, friends, lovers, and beautiful strangers.
My name is Princess M. Chan. I started this 365 project, well, 365 days ago. I was stuck at an airport after an amazing trip to the 2011 Youth Speaks Brave New Voices Festival. Before the trip, I honestly had no idea what I would experience. It was my first time being on a slam team. I was 17, excited, and very lost. Once my team and I reached our destination, I instantly fell in love. I melted. I knew that I would embark on an adventure that would change the rest of my life. And it did.
The 2011 Lowell Youth Slam Team (Suty, Em, Sara, and I) didn’t score amazing with judges, but we always pulled through whenever we performed our group piece, Awkward Swag. We performed that piece in our home town, Lowell, before leaving for BNV and we got… well… awkward feedback. Feeling discouraged, we decided as a group that we didn’t want to bring this piece to BNV. One of our coaches, my wonderful mentor Febo, kept telling us that he had a feeling about this piece. He knew it would bring us somewhere. Reluctantly, we believed him, so we brought it to the competition.
After spitting at late night open mics, we were half sleepy and half determined. Poets loved Awkward Swag! Eventually, we were asked to perform our group piece at a semi-finals bout as a sacrifice. Beau Sia happened to be there and he asked us to perform our piece… on final stage…
We peed our pants.
I remember how all of us felt right before performing. Nervous as sh*t. This was our moment. The moment we had been working for. We had written a piece that was just so RAW and so BEAUTIFUL and over 3,000 people would be there to witness the love. We performed on final stage. Man, we performed on final stage… It felt so good to go on stage and have other poets cheering for you. (I remember meeting a guy named Tony, who was one of the Youth Speaks staff, his name was Tony. There was an inside joke between us where he would call me Tony, because I hate introducing myself as Princess, so I introduced myself to him as Tony. HEHE! In the video of the team performing, you can hear him scream out “TONY!!!”). Brave New Voices changed my life. It was a trip I will always cherish. I met so many beautiful lovers and I pretty much fell in love… with everyone.
And Henry Luke. And a beautiful boy with dreads in the elevator at . And then there were friends I will
never and have never lost touch with. There’s Victor and Jamarr and the rest of
PYPM. There’s Shawn. There’s Joshua Nguyen from Texas.
And of course, my beloved Canadians, Bri, Shoolie, and Miss Lex Leosis. The
loves I’ve lost, and the loves I’ve loved and I have continued to love. There
is no greater beauty than connecting with souls from all over the globe.
So yeah. There’s really no other reason to why this project was created. This has been my way of coping and adjusting to not being around such beautiful people all the time. Really. It makes me cry just thinking of it. I get so warm inside.
Aside from this 365 project, I have been on the road and on different stages doing what I love to do! I love to write. I love to share. I love to listen. This is my life, man. It’s difficult to not get corny, but I have to. Being young and being so sure about what you want to do is such a blessing.
And the blessings didn’t stop there. I’ve been eternally grateful to have grown so much as an individual and performer. I don’t think I can write like a pro writer 3000 Olympic champ, but I have the confidence that my words can change the world somehow. Or maybe just someone’s world.
I have performed for various youth organized events. I am a big supporter for my community, and I’ve performed at many awareness events.
My poem Year Zero was published in the Young Angels Midnight:
Lowell’s Anthology. I performed
Autumn #17 at the mayor’s inauguration. But my biggest work so far is my
culture piece. As you read on into my project, I write about a certain topic
for weeks on end, maybe even months, to create the perfect piece. To do my mind
some justice. To put my heart to rest. It took me about three months to write
When the Wars Begin! But I guess practice makes almost perfect, because that
piece has brought me to such amazing places.
To name a few accomplishments I am extremely proud of: I’ve shared the stage with Robert Pinsky, Maggie Dietz, and Major Jackson. I was on
first Louder than a Bomb slam team. I performed When the Wars Begin as a
sacrifice for a semi-final bout. I was the grand slam champion for the 2012
Youth Slam Team. I am currently the first person to the on both the Youth Slam
Team and the Adult Slam Team at the same time.
Some things I am planning to do in the next year: Perform at the 2012 Dance 4 Peace! Slam and land a spot on the Lowell Cupsi Team! Compete in the
Poetry Slam in November!!!! Build my credentials and do extremely good for my
first year at college so I can transfer and earn a spot at the First Wave
program at the ! University of Wisconsin
My future is pretty much in the air right now. I don’t know where I’ll be exactly, I just want to be a rock star. But wherever I end up, I will still continue to write, grow, inspire, love, teach, preach, and… breathe. Just breathe. And be thankful for being so blessed with such good opportunities and friendships.
You may be thinking, Now what? But I’m like, Shhhhh.
I have been thinking about what to do next for a good whole month. And I’ve decided what my next project will be… I will continue to use my 365 project. I will be interpreting my poems in different forms of art. As much as I love poetry, I love art and passion in general. I am also a musician, illustrator, dancer, and inspiring film maker (I’m actually studying film in college!!). My new project will basically be a gallery of my own art. Each form of art will incorporate one or maybe even a few days, weeks, and months worth of poems. This will not be a 365, so it may be a challenge to stay focused!!!
So here I am! 18, crazy, in love, inspired… happy. I am so happy. This 365 project has helped me cope with my depression, anxiety, rape, and doubts. I thank you for reading so much. And I am SO grateful for your spirit, soul, and interest. Without you, this project wouldn’t have flourished the way it has. I wouldn’t be the artist I am today. So thank you. Thank you so much, friend. You have no idea how much you mean to me.
Warmth & Comfort,