Recently I had a bad experience at an open mic night. I was going to write a blog bitching about it, but instead I decided to use my writing skills in a more positive manner. Today my goal is to describe what I think would make a GOOD open mic night.
(1) STICK TO THE ORDER OF THE SIGN-UP SHEET
The person in the first slot goes first, second goes second, and so on. If you show up late and sign up in the tenth slot, then guess what? You will be the number ten performer. Don’t try to pull strings with me if you happen to be my friend. You KNOW when the sign-up time starts. Can’t make it on time? Not my problem.
(2) SET LENGTH WILL BE CONSISTENT
If the rule is two songs, then you will play two songs. Don’t try to pull a fast one on stage by suddenly announcing, “All right, we have JUST one more.” No!!! Two means two.
(3) THE HOST WILL STAY SOBER
Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem if the host of an open mic night wants to have a drink…maybe two. But you are supposed to be professional. If you are so bombed that you keep calling “Steve to the stage!” even when I am standing two feet away from you saying over and over again “I’m right here,” then you need to consider drinking less or maybe going to AA.
(4) NO CLIQUE VIBE
Every open mic night will have its share of regular performers. Over time they will bond, which will make newcomers feel unwelcome. What I would do is, in between introducing acts, I’d walk around the venue and say hello to the new faces. I would probably even take it an extra step and introduce them to the regulars. Hopefully this would be effective in reducing the “Us Against Them” mentality.
That’s all the rules I can think of for now, but it looks like a pretty good start to me. Now this may just be my arrogance showing but, if you ask me, an open mic that actually followed these rules really WOULD be the best damn open mic in the Capitol Region!!!