Open Mic Stage Fright

By | December 18, 2013

I posit that it’s from two years of being stared at which makes me wary of putting myself in the spotlight on purpose these days. Or did I really become a hardcore introvert during Peace Corps, destined to sit quietly while other people get all the glory?

As an Aries (who is supposed to be fiery and outgoing), I’m not sure the latter explanation can be accepted, so we’ll go with the former for now and say that my urge to participate in Open Mic Nights will be realized in 2014.

Violin and Guitar at Open Mic

Violin and Guitar at Open Mic

I’ve been to 3 such inspirational evenings since moving to Monterey, and each one had me clapping calmly while simultaneously racking my brain for ideas so that, should the stars align and my distaste for all eyes being upon me vanish in a puff of smoke, I would have something to share with the audience.

Guitar player at Open Mic

Guitar player at Open Mic

I haven’t 100% come up with anything yet, but I’ve thought about:

  • looking back at my poetry to see what shape that is in, possibly writing another poem or two to see where those skills lie these days
  • reading other stuff I’ve written—what’s that called, free verse? or does that just apply to poems that don’t rhyme? (See? I don’t even have the jargon down yet.)
  • practicing my mandolin, learning a good song or two, maybe even with singing involved
  • singing? just my voice? scary. but doable. probably.

Other people have done all this, plus comic acts, plus dancing, plus rapping. It’s incredibly fun and inspiring to watch. Even the bad people have something to offer—their courage to get up in front of an audience with the possibility that they’ll fail (and some of them do), but the confidence that it won’t ruin them forever. And those dynamic performers who bring the house down? I wanna be like them!

Okay, I’ve convinced myself. A goal for myself in 2014: to participate in Open Mic nights, beyond just judging the poetry slams, which I’ve been roped into twice now.

My mini-whiteboard for judging the poetry slam.

My mini-whiteboard for judging the poetry slam.

How do you feel about open mic nights? Do they scare you or excite you? Would you ever (or have you ever) participate in one? What would you (or did you) perform?

Please comment below.


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5 thoughts on “Open Mic Stage Fright

  1. Mel

    A majority of my friends are talented musicians and we attend a once-a-month open mic. Every month my friend that organizes it asks me if I’ll get up this time, and each time I say no, as I don’t have anything to share (or don’t think I do). I’ve only been on the stage once, for a group game we made up called “Book Roulette” where you don’t have to be creative, you just have to read aloud from a book.

    I am proud of your courage! Can’t wait to hear how your journey onto stage goes :-)

    Reply
    1. Ev Post author

      Hi, Mel. I’ll definitely keep you posted! I started practicing by reading a poem to my family. Baby steps…

      Reply
  2. Ruthann

    I’ve not ever thought about doing Open Mic, but I have thought alot about doing a blog. The same thoughts go into it for me – what do I have worth sharing? No one will want to read about my incredibly boring life. I’m no expert at anything. But inspite of that, I went ahead and started one. http://www.singlemindeduncertianty.wordpress.com I just decided that I didn’t really care if anyone read it or liked it, it was mostly for me anyways, to expand my horizons and learn about something I know very little about. And not I’m second guessing my comment here, thinking the same things. But sometimes, you just have to jump in and do it! Go for it, Ev, and I can’t wait to hear about how it went for you!

    Reply
    1. Ev Post author

      Hey, Ruthann! I’m so glad you started blogging! Exciting! Here’s the correct link to your blog: http://singlemindeduncertainty.wordpress.com/. I’m proud of you for going for it. I love how you are being so honest about being a beginner. It’s refreshing, and a good reminder that just because you are starting from the very first step, it’s not a reason to NOT do it. If you ever have any questions about WordPress, let me know; I’d be happy to help.

      Reply

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