Yesterday, March 6, 2017, I finally participated in my first Open Mic Night down at Hop Nuts Brewery in Downtown Las Vegas. The evening was put on by Human Experience LV and featured dozens of artists doing music, comedy, poetry and all things in between. I was terrified. Mostly because I’ve seen multiple sit-coms of characters sitting at terrible Open Mics or sketches of audience members lashing out at bad poets. And while there were some interesting performances (think: man in wolf mask playing electric guitar), most acts were packed with talent.
I tried to talk to my mom earlier in the day and she said, “You’ve performed musicals in front of hundreds of people! You’ve been on stage for hours at a time! This will be a piece of cake.” Right. The difference between the two mediums is that a musical is me portraying a character other than myself; nothing is more terrifying than saying my words, a deep reflection of my personhood, to a room full of strangers. I think I’d rather strip down in the middle of a bar than read poetry in one.
Luckily, I have some incredibly rad and supportive friends who came with me and bolstered my courage. And even though I signed up late and therefore didn’t perform until 10:30 at night (an unheard of time for a school teacher to be out on a Monday) they stuck with me and waited for my three minutes of fame. The audience and host were so kind and supportive that I can’t wait to return. Cheers to raw emotional intimacy, learning to promote myself and my work, and open mic nights that take place at breweries instead of coffee shops (because I hate coffee).
If you want to see videos of the performance, scroll down to find my Instagram feed! Or follow my poetry instagram @loughranliz.