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.

Open Mic at The Parlour — Providence, RI

Open Mic at The Parlour — Providence, RI

In a part of Providence called Mount Hope, at the bus stop where 3rd Street tees into HWY 1, there’s a funky blue building. Walking up, you'll pass a bench painted bright pink, a sign that says "Music, Food, Friends," and a light pole feathered in billets and...

Subvert the Attention Economy: Go to Open Mic

Subvert the Attention Economy: Go to Open Mic

So I read this book semi-recently called How to Do Nothing. It wasn’t actually about doing nothing. More like the deliberate not-doing of a certain kind of thing. The kind of thing we don’t decide to do, but rather fall into when we’re not paying attention. Not so...

How Open Mic Builds Empathy

How Open Mic Builds Empathy

This is the third in a series that explores what makes an open mic worth doing—as in organizing, hosting, attending, performing at, or becoming a regular. Not just because it’s entertaining and inspiring, not just because it’s a great way to improve your craft, but...

Open Mic Will Make You a Better Listener

Open Mic Will Make You a Better Listener

This is the second in a series that explores what makes an open mic worth doing—as in organizing, hosting, attending, performing at, or becoming a regular. Not just because it’s entertaining and inspiring, not just because it’s a great way to improve your craft, but...

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...