TIPS FOR

Open Mic Performers

The first time someone steps up to the mic, it can take some encouragement. Or a dare. Or Dutch courage.

Some of us needed all three.

Early-stage poets and singers typically have jitters and doubts and questions, like what’s the best way to intro my poem? What do I do at the end of my set? How can I get more comfortable at the mic? Should I bring my mom/dad/friend/boss/neighbor?

Well, here’s some answers, gathered from open mics that span 10 years, nearly 3 dozen states, and countless performances—from the awkward to the honest, the magical, and the weird.

Don’t stress. You got this.

What is Open Mic Tourism?

What is Open Mic Tourism?

* * * * * Disclaimer: I wrote this post back in 2015 and in a fit of new year's optimism, updated and republished it January 3, 2021. Until travel is a thing again, open mic tourism remains a digital/virtual hobby.   * * * * * If you ask most people, tourism means...

10 Tips for First-Time Open Mic Poets

10 Tips for First-Time Open Mic Poets

At my first open mic, as the host worked his way down the list and my slot got closer, I suddenly found myself wishing for a guitar. When the musicians stood on stage, they didn't look alone. They had a safety blanket. Something between them and the audience, and...

7 Reasons to Bring an Entourage to Open Mic

7 Reasons to Bring an Entourage to Open Mic

Scan an open mic audience and it’s a safe bet that at least half the people in the room are on the list to perform. And if that's you and you don't already model during every performance the behavior you're hoping for when you're on stage, then check yourself. Like...

Why You Should Become a Regular at Your Local Open Mic

Why You Should Become a Regular at Your Local Open Mic

The first reason to go to any open mic is because it will be memorable. No matter what night you choose, there’s always at least one performance that you couldn’t have guessed at, had someone asked you what you were expecting to see. Spontaneous interpretive dance?...

Heavy Hitters: A Virtual Banquet of Open Mic Pros

Heavy Hitters: A Virtual Banquet of Open Mic Pros

Here in the US, we’re at month four of not being able to gather in large groups. For people like me, that takes some of the sparkle out of my calendar—no shows to stalk and anticipate.  (As a close friend of mine—who keeps a reminder of upcoming events where she can...