You may remember him by his character Rufio, king of the lost boys in “Hook.” Or maybe his smooth moves as Ramos in “Take the Lead.” Or his guest appearances on the television shows “Entourage,” “Moesha” and “The Wonder Years.”
But Dante Basco is not just an actor. Poet, voice actor, director, producer, rapper and musician can all be added to his impressive résumé. However, it’s his poetry that brings him to Cal Poly.
Basco is the featured poet at the MultiCultural Center’s monthly poetry slam Another Type of Groove. In honor of May being Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage month Filipino-American Basco will take the stage on the 6th.
“Just the fact that he is a Filipino and doing it big out there is kind of inspiring,” biological sciences junior Ian Serrano said.
He didn’t know much about Basco’s poetry career before but spoke highly of Basco’s performance in the Filipino film “The Debut.”
Serrano got a preview of Basco’s poetry online and was impressed. “His material is pretty funny and also pretty serious. He is a really good stand up open mic person.”
Organizer and architectural engineering senior Josue Urrutia hopes that Basco’s celebrity reputation will bring more people to the event.
“We want to expose as many people as we can to poetry. Some people are definitely not going to like it but others will,” he said.
Basco along with three others founded Da’ Poetry Lounge in Los Angeles. The lounge is open to artists wanting to showcase their talents on stage and is held at Greenway Court Theater every Tuesday night.
He has also published a book of poetry titled “Dante’s Poetry Lounge.”
Basco’s acting skills might add a little extra to the show, said Urrutia. “A lot of poets who have an acting background like Steve Connell or Sekou, their poems are really interesting, really colorful. If he does incorporate his talents I think it will make for a great show.”
Urrutia said he is most looking forward to seeing what Basco has to say. “It’s just exciting to see what he is going to come up with, how he is going to throw down; his style, his ideas, his topics.” But that is not the only reason why Urrutia is excited about the performance. “A lot of it is just to see a celebrity up close,” he said.
As part of tradition the show will have an open mic session for those students or community members who want to share their feelings through poetry. “I think it’s a great avenue to write poetry and express yourself and go up on stage. It just frees you getting your feelings out there. Just being out in the audience and seeing how people are dealing with life or seeing how people see things,” Urrutia said.
Many of the participants are returning but there are always new people, he said. “We’re always hoping a lot of people share,” Urrutia said. “That is one of the main goals of just having this event. A venue for having people go on stage and share their poetry on an open mic is probably one of the best things about doing this.”
Another Type of Groove will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center Pavilion room 128 on Wednesday, May 6. The event is free to the public and the last Another Type of Groove for this school year.