Artist Spotlight: Noah St. John

By Lily Gold

Photo by Leah YD

If you have ever been to a Poetry Slam, you may have seen Noah Pawl Silverman St. John performing one of his inspiring poems. St. John is an engaging and outgoing artist who impresses every audience. He is passionate about many different art forms including poetry, story writing, and acting. Starting theater at a young age, his love of performing lead to his interest in other performing arts. “An audience is one of my favorite things in the world because there’s something about being in front of people, there’s a really amazing exposure and vulnerability that you get almost nowhere else,” St. John said.

The young artist finds pleasure in the similarities and differences of his artistic outlets. He stated, “With poetry, its soul bearing, laying it all out on the stage. With theater, you get to transform into something else.” Noah is a member of the Youth Speaks organization, which encourages literacy through poetry and also hosts open mike nights twice a month. Additionally, he is involved in the school play, Hysteria, in which he plays one of the leading roles, Salvador Dali.

When asked what he enjoys most about the performing process, he gave a surprising answer. “The feeling of nerves before going on stage, I love that feeling. It’s what makes it worth it.” Recently, St. John appeared on National Public Radio, performing a story he wrote about his family.

He read his story on a program called Snap Judgment, a storytelling radio show that plays music as a background to the stories. Noah is soon traveling to Washington, D.C. with Snap Judgment to perform two stories he wrote for the program. In the future, Noah is uncertain of exactly where he wants to devote his attention, but he is sure it will involve art. Noah has four simple yet important goals he hopes to accomplish throughout his life: making art, contributing something good to the world, finding love, and striving to become a better person.

If you’re interested in hearing more from St. John, you can go to an Open Mike Night put on by Youth Speaks on the second Friday of every month at Oaklandish, or on the last Friday of every month, at 826 Valencia St., San Francisco. To hear the story he read on NPR, go to snapjudgment.org/last–mile. Or support Berkeley High School by going to see the school play, Hysteria, which comes out in December.

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