Wednesday, June 16, 2004

by Jessica Delfino

Doing open mics can be fun and give you a chance to meet other freaks, interesting nerds or whatever it is you are, too. However, if you attend an open mic there are certain responsibilities as a performer which it is your duty to uphold. So don't be a fuckwad. Follow these rules and you'll be the best one at the open mic.

1. Prepare something
No one really wants to hear your whining. If you are unprepared, take five minutes before your spot and think of something. Think of a story that is funny or poignant, or at the very least has a moral, though morals are kind of corny. Those kind of stories go over best at church or convalescent open mics.

2. Try not to perform at Church or Convalescent open mics
They generally are sad and or stupid.

3. Don't do a Shakespeare Monologue
Shakespeare is a boring jerk. Maybe he was popular back when he was alive, like 40,000 years ago or whatever, but now he's dead, and no one cares about him except for high school guys who are ultra sensitive and who knows? Maybe gay? And church chicks. Save Shakespeare monologues for church or convalescent open mics. Also, refer to rule #2 again.

4. Don't go up twice - especially if the first time you went up you stunk up the open mic
Going up twice is especially self-masturbatory, and if you already went up once and blew it, just sit in the back and watch the actual good performers. Maybe you will learn something - such as how to not suck.

5. Don't do an interpretive dance that sucks
If you want to do an interpretive dance that's fine, but just remember - you've been warned. It's best when doing an interpretive dance to mock interpretive dance - for example, do an interpretive dance to "Every Rose Has Its' Thorn" or "Mercedes Boy" by Pebbles. Wear a stupid costume and over interpret. If you are an actual good dancer, then you can do your dance, but please for the love of god, don't dedicate it to a dead relative, a lover who is in the audience, and especially DO NOT cry at any time during your performance.

6. Try to stay until the end of the open mic
Though it may be hard to stay for the entire show, perhaps because you have to wake up early in the morning or because every single act gave you a nosebleeding headache, it will often win you appreciation if you stay and support other performers acts. You might be surprised by the last act.

7. Be Open Minded
Maybe someone's act involves carrots up butts or some other such debauchery. Art is art and is open to interpretation. So, don't be such a judgmental prick. You fat faggot.

8. Heckling isn't cool, but I think it's cool
A lot of open mics have a no heckling rule which is a bit pussyish, but understandable. Some people are getting onstage for the first time ever and they are scared. There are sometimes jerks in the audience who love to shout mean shit out. They think it's funny, but later on, said performer goes home and commits suicide in their bathtub. What a punchline to a cruel, cruel set up. While heckling generally isn't intented to hurt people, it does sometimes. However, though it seems mean and sad, it will strengthen a performer's skin, which is a necessity in the entertainment industry. In closing, heckling is funny when done well, and when the performer can deal with it. No one likes to see a cry baby at the open mic. Which leads to....

9. Don't cry on stage
Don't cry on stage unless you are doing some kind of avant garde performance art type act that involves you crying on stage. But if you start to get sad or upset, end your set early. You don't have to stay on stage for your whole set. Also, you can always go cry in the bathroom or something. Pussy.

10. Don't hook up with open mic-ers
This should be a no-brainer. If you go to open mics and hook up with people you meet there and it doesn't work out, then you have to see them at the open mic again. Or what if you hook up and then realize that their act is horrible? Then you break up with them and you look like a jerk. Stick to getting your dates at dirty floored bars and on the streets of drunken NYC.

In closing, open mics can be fun if you do them right. So, open mic responsibly and enjoy this city's plethora of sensitivity and insensitivity in a caring, non-caring, microphoned environment.

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