So you’re going to, have been invited to, or are being dragged by your new lover to an open mic—and you want to know what you’re getting yourself into.
Well, I haven’t seen it all, but I’ve seen a lot.
Based on more than 4 years of going to open mics, sometimes 4 in a month, here’s what I’d say you can expect:
- And everything
- And anything.
See, the thing is, not even the organizers or the host know who’s coming or what kind of work they’ll be reading. And that’s pretty much the point.
The best and worst thing about an open mic is variability.
One night, you’ll have three people who happen to know poems in French. Next month, you’ll have poems about cauliflower, child abuse, and being in the “friend zone.” The nondescript guy who sat in the back all night will take the stage and fill the whole room with his booming guitar and Springsteen voice.
Some people will read from a piece of paper, giving away their near-fatal nervousness with a trembling so violent they’ll have to stop halfway down the page. Others do their shit from memory, blowing the doors of your mind clean off like a semi-truck pulling two trailers of heavy damn metaphor.
There’s no way to prepare for what might happen. So just go. Just go knowing you might hear something ridiculous, impressive, deep, fluffy, and/or inane.
I can’t promise anything, except that it’s sure to be memorable.