Open Mic Night: advice & encouragement needed

Greetings fellow poets & artists!

I’ve finally done it. I’ve gone and slotted myself in for an open mic night at my university, and it seems I’m going second.

It’s been a dream of mine for so long to perform something original in front of a crowd and I’m mostly happy (actually about 12.3% happy right now) about it. Approximately 22 hours from now I’ll be performing a poem I wrote a while ago in front of god knows who.

This is one of those forced I gotta fulfill my dreams decisions that has paid off 2/4 times in the past. The worthwhile times being chatting with new people and taking high school english in IB, and the bullshit times being dating my first boyfriend and eating that last Dorito.
I’ve never been to an open mic night before, I’ve yet to fully plan and memorize my poem, and I’d like to bow before your collective wisdom.

What usually happens at an open mic night? How should I best prepare? What advice and tips do you have for a first-time performer?

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20 thoughts on “Open Mic Night: advice & encouragement needed

  1. I’ve never done it myself, but remember that people are there because they WANT to listen to you. They came to hear poetry, so they’re excited and not judgy (hopefully). I think you’re going to be great! Be sure to let us know how it goes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, congratulations and good luck to you, too! Frankly, I am entirely unsure whether your poem needs to be memorized…2 hours from now I’ll be on stage, and mine’s about 90% memorized. I think I’ll bring a print out to glance at- one can only do their best!
      Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your support! It went pretty well- I think I can work on my pacing and presentation but it was such a positive experience. The main thing I learned is that almost everyone up there was probably as nervous and not nearly as prepared and put-together as I’d thought they’d be. Everyone was just there for a good time, and that it was! I’d definately go to another one, and I’m sure I’ll improve with experience.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry to keep you hanging! It went pretty well for a first time, I think. And it was a really fun night out with some of my girlfriends! It wasn’t a huge gathering, a steady 30 people throughout the evening and not too many performers. As soon as I got up there I forgot to do half the creative elements I’d planned to do in my reading, but I got it done. I’m so glad I went- it was a really nice intro and I’m sure when I go again I’ll practice more and floor everyone 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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