Why to attend (and participate) in an Open Mic

There may have been instances where you might have come across your friend's Instagram post or story where you seem them indulged and lost in the moment, with a mic in one hand and their source material (read: lyrics on phone) in the other.

It doesn't have to be your friend all the time − could be a colleague at work, someone you barely talked to at a birthday party, or heck, perhaps your grandma doing a rap freestyle. Your first thought would be to comment, ”Oh, you're a rockstar now. “ Typical of you, isn't it?

If that is what you refrain from saying, you probably dig your nose in a little to inquire what's up. ”It was an open mic, “ the reply. A bad standup artist would figure and joke about how an ’open‘ or disassembled mic wouldn't work at all but you are smarter than that.

Open mic. You have heard that phrase or maybe you read it on a poster at the last cafe you went to. Despite the in−your−face WhatsApp forwards about your friend performing at a certain place, date and time, you have no clue what an open mic is, or what people do.

Well, what is an open mic?

A live show held at a venue where amateurs and professionals can display their craft or try out new material is an open mic. It is usually the artist performing their original content, but sometimes it can also include covers.

So only singing and comedy acts are allowed?

This depends on and differs throughout venues. In most cases, you can perform anything as long as it's not obscene or doesn't comply with the venue&39;s rules. Acts such as singing, standup, poetry, storytelling, beat−boxing, instrumental arrangement, mime, magic tricks and more are the usual gigs that you would find at any open mic.

How do I register then?

The best way is to ask where you heard about it (friend, Facebook post, etc) or call the venue for more info. One of them should provide you with ample info on their open mic and you can decide if you would like to register as an artist for the night or not.

But I have never performed on the stage before!

Then this is your perfect opportunity. Open mics are judgment free platforms where you can try out and do the things you love. Your work may not be polished, you might stammer or miss some notes, but in the end you will go home with a renewed sense of confidence that will encourage you to attend future open mics or maybe even live gigs.

Will I be paid for performing?

Since you are new to the scene and there isn't much to be gained on a stage meant for new performers, most open mics − venues and organizers included − won't pay you for your performance. You might instead have to bear an entry fee, an amount that may or may not be redeemable over food.

Also, if there are sponsors involved, chances are that the best performer may get goodies/prizes!

Can I just attend to watch other performers?

Yes, absolutely! That's the point of an open mic − locals discovering local talents in the city. You can come over and watch the newcomers serenade you with their art, sit back,
relax, may get some food and drinks for a soothing evening.