Open mics bring together performance and personality

By Jeff Gardner
Flapjack Chronicle

If students are looking for a place to relax, be entertained, and enjoy art they should direct their attention to Humboldt’s weekly open mic and the bottom of the Jolly Giant Commons. From singing songs while playing the guitar, to reading stories, beat poetry, and anything else you can think of, students from every age and major come to have their voices heard.

While it is organized and hosted by one of the local class advisers, control of the night is quickly handed to the students, who sign themselves up beforehand, and pass the microphone to one another.

“It’s a fun way to express yourself in front of people that won’t judge you and want to see you do well,” said Brynne Allen, 18, who recently performed for her first time at the open mic, singing a song she had written accompanied by her playing the acoustic guitar.

Attendees can also expect some crowd interaction, from simple things such as clapping along to a beat, to having everyone in the audience willing to participate to get up front and sing Sublime’s “What I Got.”

One performer and regular to open mics is Jillian Freiheit, 18, who played her ukulele and sang with some friends she came with.

“Open mic night is awesome!” Freiheit said. “I like it when people just go for it.”

Another fun sight that had the whole crowd joining in was a comedic country song written by a Humboldt student sporting a cowboy hat and a plaid shirt titled, “Cans of beer.” By the time the song was over, people in the crowd were either joining in with the singer or laughing too hard to try.

Students can also expect to see the organizers of the event perform, as a class adviser for one of the dorms performed an extended and improvised guitar solo while awaiting participants, or just giving late attendees the extra chance to see the beginning and not miss a performance.

“I like open mics because they allow people to release their crazy side and not be judged,” said Samantha Woods, 18. While she doesn’t perform at them, Woods has been to a few at the school and enjoys seeing the artistic side of her classmates.

So if students are looking for music, poetry, or just a fun way to spend a night off, they should make their way to the first floor of the Jolly Giant Commons at 8 p.m. on Wednesday nights.

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