(That’s a total of five minutes, including introductions, commentary, tuning a guitar, and / or fumbling with the mike.)
|How to determine the duration of one’s program?|
|It’s what the professionals do. Why not me and you?|
Rules of thumb:
5 minutes = 350 words (approximately 5 rushed sonnets, 4 properly paced sonnets, 2 pages of iambic pentameter, or 1 page of prose – include intros and comments in your word count)
5 minutes = 1 song (Not 2 short songs. That never works.)
But, really, do not go by these rules of thumb. You owe it to your audience to practice while running a stop watch: know your times.
Nobody gets the hook. We do not run a timer during your performance. You are on the honor system to be respectful of the time limit.
However, we will resent you, deeply, if you go 5 minutes and 30 seconds, or more.
Practice with a time piece.
Here is a useful list of guidelines for making sure a reading goes well: Why Most Readings Suck And How To Fix It (including the wonderful phrase, “Time is a thing, fuckface”).