Surviving your First Open Mic

Open Space at Eastridge Center San Jose, Ca

Open Space at Eastridge Center San Jose, Ca

I went to my first open mic when I was a senior in highschool. It was called "Spotlight for Dustbunnies" in Downtown Sunnyvale and I performed Talib Kweli's "Love Language". It's somewhere on youtube or myspace (RIP MYSPACE ERA) It was nerve-wracking to try something new, but once you perform regularly it won't feel as scary especially with all the new friends you'll meet. Here are a few of my tips on surviving your first open mic.

Visit the Open Mic first

If you want to get a feel for the type of environment is like at an Open Mic, I would make a visit! You can meet the host, see what the sign up process is like and meet other performers.

Every Open Mic is different

Open Mics have their own vibe! Music + Audience + Hosting styles may differ. Sign up process can vary from first come, first serve to raffle sign ups. Some days you'll have a big crowd and other times there is a small group of people. Hop around Open Mics and see which ones you like and feel comfortable at.

Bring an emergency kit

For me, I bring extra strings, a tuner and any equipment I need just incase there is technical difficulties. Bring anything that you may need. Sometimes we can't rely on technology. There were times my phone would die and I wish I would have printed my lyrics.

Bring your crew for support

YES, Have your support team! It helps to have familiar faces in the audiences and your cheer team to get you through the first open mic performances. I remember having all my friends and it was just a fun time! 

Be respectful to other performers

You can come across talkative open mics places, but remember that people up there are nervous too. If you need to talk or practice take it outside where you can prepare for your set. If you can stay for all the performances, please do! Performers appreciate the support.

Meet other Open Mic attendees

The best part is meeting others with the same interest! You may find someone you can collaborate and perform with. I've met so many people through open mics and everyone has their own unique talent. When combined you don't know what you're going to get! I think that's what helped me grow as an artist because I've got to connect with different people.

Let us know what tips you would share.

Are you ready to perform? Check out our local open mic listing!