Broke the Ice On Open Mic

Just arrived home after attending my first poetry open mic session and am still buzzing.

Yes, I got up on the stage and performed!

In fact, I volunteered to go third – having never experienced anything like this before.  It was a rush!

The organizers were very welcoming, the crowd wonderfully warm and receptive and the opening act – a published poet – was incredibly inspiring.

Delighted to see such a variety of people, from a retired science teacher to two adolescent slam artists, and everyone in between.  More men than women graced the boards, and each poet offered something entirely different.

After years of writing into the blogging void, it was exhilarating to actually read my work aloud, to a live audience.

The two friends who arranged for me to be able to participate tonight were equally as impressed and we have vowed to make this a regular outing.

If you are thinking you’d like to venture out and attend an open mic in your area, here are a few tips:

Practice your poem(s) at home first – presentation definitely adds to audience enjoyment.

Participants were allotted 5 minutes each, so time yourself.  I would say limit yourself to two poems – people got noticeably squirmy when presenters moved on to a third.

Stay away from long, rambling poems so as not to lose your audience.

I spent a lot of time trying to decide which poems to present, but in the end, it really didn’t matter.  I ended up doing two very different themed poems and both were well received.

Lastly, be as good a listener as you hope your audience will be.  Respect for performers went a long way to make the evening so enjoyable.

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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