Newcomer to Open Mic Night
Yes, I am a newcomer to Open Mic Night. Friday, October 24, 2014, I made my debut as an open mic performer. Staying true to myself, my poetry was my platform. Did I come up with this idea on my own, not exactly? I have a great group of friends who are constantly dreaming up ways to get the word out about my new book Poetry in Different Colors.” We all could do with a little inspiration when we try something fresh.
So here’s what happened. My friend and I arrived at the venue early of course, so we had to busy ourselves for an hour or so before the doors opened. We decided to grab a bite to eat at a place a few blocks away, just enough time for me to build up a little anxiety.
Once we arrived at the venue, we noticed four guys standing around, two of which were working the door and collecting the coverage charge. My friend, was quick to represent me and asked the doorman, “Are you still having open mic night?” The guy quickly responds “do you have something?” She says “no, my friend, (pointing at me) she’s a published writer and has released a new poetry book.” The guy says “Oh, you want to do something?” I smiled and said “yes.” After taking our money he tells me he will talk with me when he comes inside. Shortly after we enter, another guy comes over to our table, I assumed he was part of the staff, he takes my information and simultaneously picks up my book and looks through the pages and says, “Yea, we can work you in.” At that moment, I thought, I have made it on the program.
My friend and I seated ourselves just in front of the stage, and watched as the guests and poets arrived. What a great view, about thirty or so people were seated waiting for the performances to begin. I lean over to my friend and say “most of these people are young enough to be our children.” She agreed. As I sat and took it all in, I felt a bit anxious, but I was determined to make my debut.
It was time, the show was underway, a voice, started from the back of the room and moved to the front. He was a young African American man speaking with strength and attitude as he delivered his words. There were several poets; the majority of which were males and two females presenting their poetry. I was energized by the performances that had gone before me and I was awed by their topics and expression of their poetry. Now I have to be totally honest, as a mature adult, I did feel a few of the performances were not as tasteful and didn’t meet my approval for content, but that’s me. I felt like I should have received a movie rating at the beginning for sexual content, and a lot of offensive language. But I have to say, overall, it was a very good experience.
Finally, it was my turn to go up on stage and strangely enough, at that point I was relatively relaxed. The announcer called my name, Sandra Blythe, and said “let’s see what you got.” My first words were “this is my first open mic, so I am an open mic virgin.” Although everyone else had come to the stage and spoke from memory, I confessed, “I need to read from a book” and explained it was truly “my” book and the content from which I would be reading was that of my own written works.