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Open mics: truly a hit

Open mics: truly a hit or miss affair. Usually, mostly miss.

A friend asked me why people would bother, why they would get on stage if they suck. I think it's many things:

1. Many people don't know they suck.

2. How do you get good if you don't suck for a while and then get better?

3. To many people, it feels good to express themselves through music or poetry or even shitty stand-up comedy. Where else can you just say or sing what you feel to a roomful of (mostly) strangers and see what happens? That's the whole point, to just try and see how it goes.

Yes, it can be painful to watch. Yes, you see people who write poems that are trite and poorly written. Yes, you see lots of performers who haven't yet found their voice and so mimic the voices of others instead. But I think it's nice that open mics exist. And personally, even if performers completely suck ass, I respect anyone who has the balls to get behind the microphone and try.

Posted September 18, 2002 12:43 AM | On This Day: 2006



Are some of these people associating their own self-worth with what others think of them? So they feel better about themselves if the audience approves of their performance? If this is the underlying motivation of their behavior, then it explains why people are prepared to take the stage even when their poems suck. I suspect that the issue isn’t the poem per se but the adulation that they hope to receive. “Am I anything more than the dread which others have of me?” - Jean-Paul Sartre

I think there are a number of reasons as to why a person would take part in an open mic/get up on stage. First off, I think that a lot of people fantasize about living the "artists" lifestyle. Getting up on stage is a way of fulfilling that fantasy. You can't explain what it feels like to be on stage, to someone who never has been. I also think it's a certain amount of self fulfillment. It makes a writer feel good to hear applause. Finally I think that most people do it because it's fun. Don't tell me that a performer doesn't get a charge out of being up there, in front of a bunch of people and holding their attention for at least a few minutes. That's what defines a true performer--The love of doing it.

I have to agree with Buddah. You do get a charge out of it. However, I know that I always felt like I was about to puke buckets just before I took the stage. Big time. And I would often wonder what the fuck we thought we were doing. But after the first few songs - It was GREAT! I had such a blast. Then again, maybe it was just the shots and we really did suck.

i don't necessarily think they're associating their own self-worth with what people think of them. if that was the case, this comedian who comes every week would have killed himself by now. but he keeps coming back because he has a desire to make people laugh, so he keeps trying.why do people express themselves through any form of art? they're trying to communicate something: their feelings, a political statement, whatever. and the only way to know if other people get your message is to put it in front of them and see what happens.everybody cares what other people think, and anyone who denies that is a big fat liar.

I was writing a response to this, but it got too long, and I think I'm going to post it on my blog.*throws up from stage fright*