Learn to stomp the boards in big boots


IN a career which spans over 25 years Paul Eccentric, one of the founding members of the Rrrants Collective - that fabulous poetry group which specialises in the off-kilter and the absurd - knows a thing or two about being on stage.

The performance poet, singer, stage director, compere and all-round show-off has been heckled, he’s been punched, indeed one act went so badly it took him years to go back to performing.

But he survived, continued to wise-up to audiences, perfect his acts, and along the way started to use all that experience to coach would-be performers.

His coaching sessions proved hugely popular and with lesson plans soon standing at around 75 pages Paul decided to draft a book.

The result is Quaking in me Stackheels: the pocket guide to preparing for and surviving your debut stage performance.

The book which will be published by Desert Hearts on July 8 is packed full of invaluable tips on stage presentation, microphone technique, rehearsal strategy, audience control and confidence.

It’s a must-read for all aspiring singers, poets and comedians, but would be as inspirational for people just looking to improve their personal confidence.

Appearing confident is a big issue for Paul who was severely bullied as a child.

He says: “It was 35 years ago but I still have nightmares on a weekly basis.”

He was also recently diagnosed with dyslexia, another confidence-killer, and has spent decades working out how to do things in a different way as a result.

Paul will be performing with Radio 4’s Matt Harvey at the Ledbury Festival on Friday, July 8.

But if Ledbury’s too far to travel you can also see him at Music on the Moor in Boxmoor on Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10.

Go to www.boxmoortrust.org.uk for further details.