Beau Sia didn't always know that he would be a poet. Raised in Oklahoma City, he spent most of his childhood hiding from identity issues that he didn't know existed. Being Chinese-American, yet attending strictly Filipino-American functions, added to the confusion instilled by his cultural diversity lacking education. His only outlet was the arts. What he couldn't vent through being on the swim team, he released in painting, music, and dance. It was only after a chance viewing of spoken word on MTV that he discovered writing.
A tool which gave words to his catharsis, named his demons, and resolved his inner teen angst conflicts, Beau used writing to deal with most of his teenage frustrations. Soon, he felt these things he wrote had to be shared, which led him to the only open mic in Oklahoma City. After two years of perfecting both the written and performance aspect of his work, he decided to move to New York and test his craft. He applied and was accepted into NYU's Tisch School of The Arts Dramatic Writing Program.
In New York, Beau immediately jumped into the fire and performed his poetry at the world famous Nuyorican Poet's Café, where he won poetry slam after poetry slam. This would lead to him becoming a member of the 1996 Nuyorican Poet's Café NPS (National Poetry Slam) team, which would place 3rd in the finals at the National Poetry Slam and later be featured in the documentary film about poetry slams, Slamnation. With this strong entrance into the world of poetry slams, Beau continued to be on five NPS teams, four of which went on to the finals, and two of which won NPS championships. His most recent NPS accomplishment being placing 2nd in the individual competition at the 2001 NPS in Seattle.
Though he enjoys the NPS, he prefers to share a larger body of his work when on stage, showing both range of content and style. This desire has manifested itself into tours throughout Europe and the United States. Right now, his focus has been in touring the college circuit. An avid participant in NACA ( National Association for Campus Activities) conferences, this honor has allowed him to perform at such prestigious universities as Harvard, Notre Dame, Duke, and Columbia.
Beau 's poetry isn't limited to live performance, though. Over the years his work has found itself in books, on CD, and on television. Author of the poetry book A Night Without Armor II: The Revenge as well as the spoken word CD's Attack! Attack! Go! and Dope and Wack, his work also appears in numerous anthologies on both CD and in book format, most recently, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam.
A featured role in the award-winning film Slam wasn't the end of seeing Beau attempt acting. This year he was awarded the Creative Work Fund grant in San Francisco and will be performing a full length theatrical piece along with three other artists in Sept 2002. His poetry has also appeared in front of the camera since Slamnation, most notably his featured performances during the 2000 ESPN X-Games and also for the new HBO show Russell Simmons' Def Poetry.
The television appearances and NPS championships are not the body of Beau Sia 's work, though. Honored to have such accomplishments, the true body of his work is his poetry. So, when he is able to, he reaches out to the two communities in which he would've liked support as a teenager, being involved with the Asian-American Writer's Workshop and Youthspeaks, a non-profit dedicated to developing the writing and performance of teenagers. He has taught workshops at both institutions and has also helped to nurture and curate the only Asian-American open mic series in NYC, (re)collection. This year, he has also been awarded the California Arts Council Writer-In-Residence grant at the Youthspeaks Literary Arts Center in San Francisco, where he plans on being a lasting positive influence to the youth there.
A boy who has fueled his life with writing and vice versa, Beau Sia has begun making a career for himself as a poet. His passion and love aren't about his career choices or his status in the world. He was and always will be the person who loves to write, needs to write, because without it he wouldn't be Beau Sia. It's that simple. And in his unpredictable life, his only plan for the future will be to constantly explore and challenge the person he is, break the expectations of him as an Asian-American, as an artist, and as a man. He hopes that the world whom he shares his work with will follow him on this journey, but if that's not the case, he'll still be working on his craft. It's who he is.