In my introduction when I first started this blog, I said I would share the occasional personal experience or insight. In this vein, I will talk about my first open mic experience.
This past Wednesday, my fiance and I attended our first poetry open mic night. I’d had an idea to find open mic poetry events around Central Ohio, observe what goes on, and then when I felt a little less chicken, I would get up there and read myself. This one, courtesy of Writer’s Block Poetry, is held every Wednesday night at 8:00 PM at Kafe Kerouac in the Ohio State North Campus area in Columbus.
So we went last Wednesday and before the open mic began talked to some very cool people, one of which after reading “Father Pat” out of my notebook, encouraged me to get up and read that night. I said, “What the Heck” and signed up to read. I decided to read “Lizard King” (which isn’t on the blog but may be published in print later this year).
I was probably the fifth person to go up. Before I walked up on stage, our new-found friend who had mentioned I should read in the first place hollers at the top of her lungs: “She’s a VIRGIN!”
The crowd roared, and the MC led them into doing something that they do for every person who reads for the first time – “Coming to the stage right now for the first time at Writer’s Block Poetry, let’s give it up for Nicole!”
After the rambunctious applause, I go up. My first reaction: “OH MY LORD.” After that I *couldn’t* disappoint. So I read “Lizard King” in my best voice and shaking like crazy. But I did it. I finally did it.
After I sat back down, we stayed as long as we could and also watched the first round of the Poetry Slam Finals. I can tell you, we did not hear *one* bad poem that night. Both the open-mic’ers and the slammers who came up later had all written – and performed – some of the best stuff I have ever heard.
The slam is fun. There’s a lot of energy in the room. The slammers perform like nobody I’d ever seen. And we are hooked. I will be going back to KK to read some more and cut my performing teeth.
Stay tuned for more.