Open mics are often a draw for high school and college students. They provide a safe place to wrestle through emotions and political ideas. Some participants come for the free microphone therapy, others have a genuine interest in writing. Here are five reasons why I find open mics to be an invaluable part of my social fabric.
1. Voice - Delivery style and voice. It's a great way to experience a variety of styles of writing and delivery. It also provides an opportunity to rehearse voice modulation, enunciation, and rhythm.
2. Exposure - Motivated to grow. Exposure to a variety of voices and delivery styles can be a great motivator to improve one's work and reading style. Sometimes the way an audience responds to the delivery of a poem can change the way you hear and relate to your own work.
3. Listeners -The gift of listening. Those who attend open mics learn that the audience and participants are willing and interested listeners, which has the added perk of helping to build confidence.
4. Inspiration - Energy and creativity. A variety of ideas and concerns, as well as invigorating discussions about writing, community and political activism, and personal growth are points of inspiration.
5. Friendships - Common interests and causes. Authentic feedback on writing, not to mention going to events beyond open mics, are another powerful reason to stretch your social muscles and come on out to an open mic.
Welcome to my observations on the craft of writing, venues and writing community experiences.