June Melby doesn't live in Southern California these days (as far as I am aware of), but she's a popular performance poet who has been known to make use of humor and props when on-mic.
Nearly two years ago, I went to the Redondo Poets reading at Coffee Cartel in Redondo Beach CA.
Sidebar: Years before, I had (after a long time of being a sort of regular and occasional feature) ruptured the good relationship I had with the reading's hosts by becoming upset on-mic and during the break with a then-Renowned Poet who now lives in another country. I apologized to both hosts.
A few months later, I was reading in the open and following a poet who threw her pages on the floor in dramatic flourishes after finishing her works. When I stepped up, I started to make a joke (in what I intended as good nature) comparing her to another Renowned Poet who now lives in the Southeastern part of the U.S.
One of the Coffee Cartel hosts, fearing I would say something offensive, shut the microphone off. After the host and I expressed unhappiness with each other (plus the host starting to come towards me in a manner befitting Popeye confronting Bluto), I departed.
During the months between my offense and the host's overreaction, I was well-behaved when at Coffee Cartel. I'd read my poems and sit down. And I'd cordially visit with friends/acquaintances.
But I sinned once, and that was more than enough.
Now, back to the June Melby story:
This was an all open-mic night at Coffee Cartel, which in this case meant that no regulars were present. Several people I didn't really know were participants.
Only one of the two hosts presided over the evening--not the one who turned off the mic.
The host was discussing upcoming features--and June was to be there the following week.
So, the host, recognizing me, asked me to say a few words about her.
I started to speak, saying nothing that could be considered out of line,
But the host must have feared I'd be uncouth--so he cut me off fast.
At least this time, no microphone was turned off since I was speaking from the other side of the room.
Later that night, I left Coffee Cartel, "as quiet as a mouse."
And I have never returned.