Iceland Spoken Word Tour - May 2019

When life and love leave you longing for warmth, there’s only one thing to do: fly halfway around the world to a land of ice and tell people about it. 

A multi-city spoken word tour of Iceland, May 2019. This one is a dream come true. Thanks to Ægir Freyr Birgisson for setting this up.  Three shows. The first in Reykjavik. The second 400km north of there in Akureyri. And the third in a lighthouse (yes, IN A LIGHTHOUSE) on the western coast in Akranes.

Theme: “the cold, the warmth, this life, this love, this loss”.

Ten days of submerging myself in Icelandic hot springs and a drive around the periphery of the entire country ensue before the tour starts. Long awaited, much needed. 

Adventure always. Seek hungrily. Have passion lead. Let the broken heart follow. The world awaits.

(Poster design brilliantly done by Eagle Barber Design of Los Angeles California: WEB: www.eaglebarberdesign.com - INSTAGRAM: @eagle_barber_design - EMAIL: info@eaglebarberdesign)

Full tour poster PDF downloadable HERE.


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Punk Rock, and The National Association of Catering and Events (NACE)

Thank you National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) for two reasons.

First, for laughing, listening, and being so gracious with your time as you had me speak last night in Bellevue Washington about punk rock and the lessons I’ve learned amidst it about how we can find our true voices and live more authentically powerful lives. A room of corporate minded people, cheering about punk rock. Go figure. Yet it makes perfect sense. Punk is about authenticity and we CRAVE authenticity these days in a world bathed in image and surface level illusion.

The second reason I’m thankful for NACE: for surprising me by donating 50% of the proceeds collected at their conference raffle to One Hundred For Haiti and our ongoing efforts to support the mental health of former child slaves and their families.

That was a basically perfect event. Authenticity for the win, all around.

First home SOLD Benefitting One Hundred For Haiti!

Christian Castro and I are celebrating the sale of the first home in One Hundred For Haiti’s real estate partnership with Sea-Town Real Estate! See my earlier post about the partnership announcement.

For every Sea-Town client who mentions One Hundred For Haiti, Sea-Town donates 25% of their commissions on the sale or purchase of that home to One Hundred For Haiti for the development work we do in Haiti, and our plans to put roofs on as many houses as possible this coming year. 

If you're buying a place in Seattle...call them, and you'll make me jump.

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The Moth storySLAM Champion (quite unexpectedly)!

Tonight I went to The Moth in Seattle and planned to sit in back and just listen to the story tellers. At events put on by The Moth, ten random people get five minutes each to tell a story.

Tonight’s theme was “Joy”. I wasn’t even going to put my name in the hat tonight to possibly be drawn to speak. The Moth has always deeply intimidated me. At the last minute I thought, “What am I going to do...spend my entire life wanting but not trying?” And more importantly, will I let last time’s failure define tonight or will I draw inspiration from it? I folded up my name and dropped it in.

They drew my name to speak. I walked out onstage here in Seattle with one set of thoughts: be true, be in the moment, be entirely with the audience. I told a story about how joy doesn’t come to us automatically but rather we have to create it for the world.

For me this lesson came one day in 1995 when I was surrounded by dozens of stern armed soldiers in rural India and I eased the brutal tension by suddenly out of nowhere making them animal balloons and they all completely lost their minds laughing.

Authenticity for the win. Next stop Moth GrandSLAM late in 2019.

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Ninety Minute Keynote for Kaiser Permanente

Milestone achieved. Ninety minute keynote in Riverside California this morning for Kaiser Permanente’s medical leadership team about listening, speaking our minds, and building community through creativity.

Standing ovation. 

The core was essentially punk rock ideals translated for the rest of the world, which is my new approach for commercial keynotes. 

Backstage now having just walked offstage, and decompressing from the intensity and focus of it. With that sense in my heart and mind of floating, calm, coming down from anticipation and exhaustion and the pressure of my travel schedule recently which all combined last night and hit critical mass...and yet now in this perfect moment breathing deep and realizing that the entire world is possible.

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Humanitarian partnership announced with Sea-Town Real Estate!

I've been working on this all year with my friends at Sea-Town Real Estate and am so excited to announce it.

One Hundred For Haiti has teamed up with Sea-Town Real Estate to put roofs on houses in Haiti. For every house Sea-Town transacts that mentions One Hundred for Haiti, Sea-Town will donate 25% of their profits to One Hundred for Haiti. Boom! We will use those funds to help give safe new roofs to people in need, like those we've posted about on the www.onehundredforhaiti.org site.

Help spread the word about this partnership by sharing the link to this post and ask anyone in the Seattle area to not just like Sea-Town Real Estate, but to buy and sell houses through them.

Prices are falling in Seattle finally...so maybe buy two houses instead of just the one you were considering.

#seatownrealestate #westseattlerealestate #100fh #onehundredforhaiti #seatowngivesback



This video explains the partnership and our plan!

Thank you Europe for an incredible month!

Ieperfest 2018 in Belgium, onstage speaking at the Thunderdome Stage. Photo by phothomas.be

Ieperfest 2018 in Belgium, onstage speaking at the Thunderdome Stage. Photo by phothomas.be

I'm so thankful for everyone who supported the sharing of ideas from bare stages with just a microphone and a stand. There's few feelings as exciting and exhilarating than to walk out onto a stage where that mic awaits and know that there's no music to fall back on if my words or voice fail me. But this month they certainly did not. 

I recorded the shows at Ieperfest and at the Jugendcafe in Zwiesel Germany from three camera angles each AND with soundboard audio. Sometime soon I will be releasing bits of them...as soon as I can carve out the time for editing amidst creative projects now that I'm home. The live shows always matter most to me and I tend to be terrible at the promotional followup and posting of video clips. In the moment live is where my focus always goes.

The main idea of this month long tour in Europe was that our acceptance and normalization of outlandish statements from our leaders causes us to take a collective step to the political right every time we don't think/speak/question these statements actively. In some countries in Europe (Poland and Hungary stand out), political trends have moved to extreme right positions due to this process. The spoken shows this summer framed the situation from the perspective that we need to radicalize ourselves and push back towards the left if we don't want to world to slip increasingly towards extreme right wing conservativism and potentially fascism.

Figuring out how to communicate that in a way which wasn't heavy and overbearing is always the challenge but this summer, thanks to the audiences all over, hit the mark.

Thanks for everyone for laughing and listening together! More soon xxx

August 2018 News article in the local newspaper in Zwiesel Germany about how my spoken word event was followed up with a group discussion session about improving the local community through the work and action of the all ages venue itself and its volunteers.

FLUFF FEST 2018 Depression and Suicide workshop audio

Team facilitation by Greg Bennick and Emily Joy Reynolds at Fluff Fest 2018 on "Depression and Suicide - Supporting One Another and Recognizing the Signs FLUFF 2018" (For more information and to contact both facilitators, use the contact form below)

"Always The Journey" podcast episode 7 is online

"Always The Journey" podcast episode 7 is online

Jason Woodland of "Always the Journey" podcast, Salt Lake City, Utah 2018

Jason Woodland of "Always the Journey" podcast, Salt Lake City, Utah 2018

Jason Woodland of Salt Lake City Utah is a powerhouse of DIY independent personal business, investment, community development, hip hop and graffiti culture, amongst other things...and he has been my friend for 25 years.  He had me on his "Always the Journey" podcast this last week and our episode - #7 in his series - is now live!  We discussed punk rock, public speaking, personal freedom, activism, and a ton more in the span of a fast paced hour.

Please check it out here: http://alwaysthejourney.com/2018/07/15/always-the-journey-ep-7-with-greg-bennick/

 

 

Spoken word show added at the Jugendcafe, Zwiesel Germany Aug 5th 2018!

Spoken word show added at one of my favoritest (yes thats a word, I just invented it, you're welcome) venues: the Jugendcafe Zwiesel Germany, August 5th 2018.

Six or so years ago, local city officials in Zwiesel threatened to shut down the venue so that real estate developers could swoop in and claim the space. A bunch of us wrote letters and made videos strongly asking the city to back off. They did. It was a total victory for a venue with over 30 years of history supporting art and all ages music, and one which many cities could learn from.

"Living Radical Lives in Desperate Times"
8PM, doors at 7PM
www.jugendcafe-zwiesel.de
3-5€ sliding scale

Spoken word, then group discussion and networking!
Come participate!

GERMAN friends, you can read more here:

Das Jugendcafe freut sich, Greg Bennick auf seiner Vortragsreihe durch Europa in Zwiesel begrüßen zu dürfen.

Greg Bennick ist ein amerikanischer professioneller Dozent, Menschenrechtsaktivist, Musiker, Author, Schauspieler und preisgekrönter Produzent. Seine Dokumentation FLIGHT FROM DEATH wurde mehrfach als beste Dokumentation ausgezeichnet. Darüber hinaus ist der in Seattle lebende Greg Bennick federführend an der von ihm gegründeten Hilfsorganisation ONE HUNDRED FOR HAITI beteiligt.

Als Musiker ist er Sänger der Bands, TRIAL, BETWEEN EARTH & SKY sowie der Band BYSTANDER unterwegs.

Greg spielt eine Hauptrolle in dem Film 7SPLINTERS IN TIME, welcher vor einem Monat in den USA seine Premiere feierte.

In seiner künstlerischen Arbeit beschäftigt sich Greg Bennick mit dem menschlichen Bewusstsein, Gefühlen wie Angst und Aggression, Aktivismus und Motivation

Der Titel des Vortrags lautet: LIVING RADICAL LIVES IN DESPERATE TIMES (Vortrag in englisch)

Eine einmalige Chance einen der besten internationalen Dozenten im bayerischen Wald zu erleben.

Der Vortrag beginnt um 20:00.

Voice over / narration complete for WILLPOWER film

Thanks and love to Willpower Running in Europe for having me do voiceover for their new film “The Essence” about Willpower Athlete and ultra marathoner Lisa Mehl. "The Essence" was filmed, edited, and produced by Stephan Wieser and Valentin Rapp Film / Photo. Photography completed at the Zugspitz Ultratrail in Germany. Narration co-written between Chris Zehetleitner of Willpower and me over an excited 24 hours last week.

Watch the full video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Ief9Wba9Mwk. Click subtitles for the German version. And check out Willpower online HERE.

The here and now. Not alone but on your own. Surroundings vanish. Thoughts melt. The people around you fade out, becoming shadows. Your challenge comes into sharper focus. And then there is motion.

This struggle is consuming and liberating at the same time. Suffering is ever-present but also meaningless. Following a given path, created by no one but yourself. Breathing in pain. Exhaling sheer power.

‘Home‘ is not only a physical place anymore. It’s somewhere enshrined in your heart. A goal. A momentary respite along the way. Warmth and solace rise from small gifts. But these are not to be savored too sweetly. You are soon alone again.

All you have to give is being taken, used, exhausted. Redemption remains unclear. It is a dark place. It is a path of opposites. But you love it here. And you have entered this place on your own accord.

In time, everything becomes clear. And amidst the constant motion you realize… “I am a runner.”

Spoken word show announced for July 22nd in Southampton England

I am heading back to Europe this July for a series of spoken shows. And since I can't just say Europe and have that include England any longer thanks to silly Brexit, I am posting this show separately than a Europe announcement. Ideas on supporting and changing the world from three different speakers in one night:

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New online interview explores on "7 Splinters in Time" on Idioteq.com

My friend Karol Kaminski at Idioteq asked me some questions recently about the upcoming sci-fi thriller "7 Splinters in Time". This is an interview with an unspoken inspiration from the filmmakers amidst it. One thing often unsaid about the film is that director Gabriel Judet-Weinshel and producers Ty Walker, Edoardo Ballerini, Isen Robbins and Gil Holland worked for nine years on it. And not just a linear nine years, but a nine years of figuring out how to get the movie completed and ultimately completing it brilliantly.

How many of us commit to a project over such a long period of time, even when a clear end point isn’t apparent? They did. And that inspires me immensely.

The film will be out in July in select theaters and on July 13th via Video on Demand.

Upcoming screenings:

Monday July 9th NEW YORK CITY - 7pm at Anthology. Details available soon. Wednesday July 11th LOS ANGELES - 7PM Laemmle Music Hall Beverly Hills

Read the interview here!

Spoken word show tomorrow in support of Jonah Matranga in Oakland CA

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Bay area friends: I am doing a spoken word set tomorrow (Saturday) about vulnerability and innocence and how we need both to survive and thrive. The show will be in Oakland CA in support of Jonah Matranga who is celebrating the 20 Year Anniversary of Far's 'Water and Solutions'. The show is 21+ so as always with 21+ shows, I will do an informal set outside the show beforehand for anyone who can't get in because they aren't old enough to drink. Message me if you're interested and we will make a plan.

For everyone else: https://www.facebook.com/events/130236141184667/

JONAH MATRANGA JONAH ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/jonahmusic JONAH ONLINE: http://www.jonahmatranga.com

THE PAUSES The Pauses on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thepauses The Pauses online: http://www.thepauses.com

$13 in advance | $15 at the door

Doors: 3PM Pauses 5:40-6:20PM Greg Bennick Spoken Word 6:20-6:45PM Jonah Matranga 6:45-7:30PM

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How to capture an audience's attention...

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When speaking to 400 elementary schoolers about picking one thing they think is cool, practicing it every day and becoming better at it, and then sharing it with the world, even if they are the only one who thinks it’s cool...always balance a chair on your face. It really helps clarify what you’re trying to say.

The Poetry of Punk book out now in Europe

Smart friends doing cool things chapter #43: my friend Gerfried Ambrosch in Austria spent seven years working on his book The Poetry of Punk which was just released this past week. It explores the significance and passion of punk/hardcore lyrics from all sorts of angles.

Gerfried included previously unseen photographs of the '90s/early 2000s punk/hardcore scene, and exclusive interviews with members of Minor Threat, Propagandhi, Youth of Today, Dead Kennedys, Kid Dynamite, Paint It Black, Fugazi, Catharsis, Black Flag, Fall of Efrafa, Active Slaughter, Trial, Petrol Girls, Pettybone, Anthrax (UK), Good Riddance, Inner Terrestrials, Shelter, Arboricidio, and a number of punk activists.

I wrote the foreword to the book. Check it out and get your smart on.

https://www.routledge.com/The-Poetry-of-Punk-The-Meaning-behind-Punk-Rock-and-Hardcore-Lyrics/Ambrosch/p/book/9781138502345

Cornish College of the Arts grants me a Distinguished Alumni Award

When I was told at the end of my junior year in college that I was likely to be expelled from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle for a lack of academic and creative focus, I never would have dreamed that in 2018 I would be honored with the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award...but tonight at Benaroya Hall in Seattle that’s exactly what happened.

Here’s photos of the bio and award. I told the graduates about the four rules which guide my life in hopes that the rules guide theirs too.

1. Don’t die. 2. Keep creating. 3. Contribute to the world. 4. Never have a day job.

Deep thanks to the Cornish faculty, Board of Trustees, President’s Cabinet, and Academic Council for what is an incredible honor.

PS So great to see Trial, Between Earth & Sky, XBystanderX (and 7 Splinters in Time) printed in the program. Punk rock for the win.

The Rumble: Speaking in Chicago

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Flying home today from The Rumble in Chicago. It was amazing to be back there after so many years. The entire set was filmed for a mini documentary on my spoken word being put together by LA film director / poducer Dan Elswick.

I'm very excited about the response to my set this past weekend and appreciative of all the work that Shane Merrill and friends put into booking the fest.

Photos by K.B. Imaging. Kyle selectively chose to photograph moments without stage dives during my spoken set but I assure you there were hundreds.

Just back from Haiti and it was truly INCREDIBLE

It is always important to remember the constant beauty experienced in Haiti along with the struggles.

This is Madame Papo. She lives in Bas Pinal, a small community a few kilometers from the center of Ranquitte. One Hundred For Haiti put a roof on her house last year.

I met her yesterday for the first time. I asked what she thought of her new roof. "Trè kontant". Very happy.

I just got back from Haiti and my mind is spinning from all the stories I heard and the people I met over the last week and a half. I've posted a compilation of all of my Facebook and Instagram posts from the last week into one post at www.onehundredforhaiti.org.

This trip was different than in years past. In 2017 and now into 2018, people donating whether once or signing up as recurring monthly donors allowed us to do so much. I constantly saw how many people had been positively affected by all of us coming together.

I'm inspired for the rest of 2018. Plans are forming along the lines of development, job creation, safe water, new roofs, and more. Thank you for all the support so far and into the future xo

LEARN MORE about our work here: http://www.onehundredforhaiti.org/haiti-trip-spring-2018/

A great moment of human connection across language in Haiti

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A truly great moment in Haiti just now. I went for a long walk this afternoon with the Mayor of Ranquitte Magistrat Edelin Philippe to discuss ideas for future water projects, putting new roofs on damaged houses, and other exciting ideas.

While in the jungle looking at water sites we were caught in the middle of a torrential downpour and took refuge under tall trees for half an hour and got absolutely soaked from head to toe. Everything drenched. We sloshed back to town. A guy gave me a ride on his moto bike to where I’m staying at a sort of rural compound.

I walked through the gate and the older gentleman who does security here, sitting under a tiny shack, looked at me standing there, drenched from head to toe, covered in mud and scrapes from slipping on rocks, backpack dripping. As we shared a glance in which he seemed to wonder, “Why are you outside in this insanity?” He asked in Creole, “Koman ou ye? (Hows it going?)” and I replied as if nothing at all was out of the ordinary, “Anfom (I’m great!)” and we both lost it laughing.

Laughing about shared experiences across languages is a dream on the earth. The whole world becomes instantly smaller.

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