Open Mic Night: a review by Barbara Davis

On September 27, 2016 I attended the Open Mic Night at the Gainesville, University of North Georgia Campus. The event is sponsored by The Chestatee Review, a magazine produced by students, containing student’s award winning works in literature and art. The Open Mic Night provides students with an opportunity to have their turn at the microphone in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Performers have the option of presenting their own pieces or can perform, recite or sing any other works they choose.

        One of the first people to the microphone was a first time attendee to the Open Mic Night. He introduced himself as a comedian, and did a great job getting the group warmed up for the entertaining evening ahead. Seeming totally at ease in front of the audience, he almost immediately had everyone laughing. He also prompted some interaction between himself and the crowd, hopefully loosening up some of the spectators who were anxious about taking their turn at being front and center.

        Some students read their favorite poetry or selections written by others who had articulated something they personally related to in a very strong way. One young man was able to quote extremely long selections of someone else’s work. He obviously felt passionately about the subject matter, enough to have them memorized. Poetry, written by the poet themselves, was read by quite a few students who are obviously gifted with an amazing talent of expressing their feelings in an exceptional way. These students used this evening to voice their heart felt feelings and sentiments on a variety of subjects.

Some student’s talent was their delightful ability to carry a tune, having been given a wonderful voice. Many are not only exceptional singers but are also remarkable musicians, playing an assortment of instruments. The singers shared either their favorite songs penned by others or opted to perform their own melodies and lyrics. There was even a student who expressed himself by dancing, concentrating instead on his physical expression of movement to entertain the onlookers.

The laid back setting furnished an ideal forum for students to showcase their many talents. The turnout was about the number expected for the September event, however the next Open Mic Night will no doubt have many more in attendance. The upcoming event celebrates the impending holiday, All Hallows’ Eve. In honor of Halloween the assembly will focus on the macabre and chilling as the annual PoeDown transpires, with no way to prevent its occurrence. Be prepared as spine-tingling stories, ghoulish tales and horrifying poetic legends are shared. There will be light refreshments served. Everyone is encouraged to dress in costume for the occasion. Disguise yourself in a frightening costume to enhance the eerie environment emanating effortlessly, enticing endless evening envisages. If you prefer, masquerade as your favorite author or poet or even as one of your favorite characters they have created. Winners of the PoeDown Contest will be announced as well as a prize for the best costume. Come one, come all, for the tantalizing, twisted tribute to the true tale-bearer of terror.

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