Open mic nights across campus offer students their time to shine

UBC students hustle and bustle by day. But what hidden talents lie behind the curtain, waiting to shine in the spotlight? Open Mic Night events across campus are the perfect chance to show-off the poem you’ve been working on, to practice that tight five minute stand up routine or to sign up in a moment of courage to sing your heart out on stage.

The Blank Vinyl Project (BVP) kicked off the season with their first Open Mic Night of the year on September 12. Featuring an eclectic variety of musical acts, the event took place in The Gallery on the fourth floor of the Nest. BVP’s External Director, Eliana Grossman, explained that it’s meant to be “a very supportive, caring, energetic environment.”

With dim lights and dining room chatter, this would be a good first step for a beginner since the audience isn’t starkly focused on the performer. Don’t have your own guitar? Don’t worry. BVP offers some instruments upon request.

If poetry is more your niche, UBC Slam Poetry also had their first Open Mic and Slam event on September 12. With a longstanding tradition of holding events at Benny’s Bagels, they’re switching up their choice of pastry and hosting bi-weekly Open Mic and Slam nights every other week at Cartem’s Donuts on West Broadway. If you feel drawn to the stage, sign-ups begin at 6:30 pm and the show starts at 7 pm. Anyone is welcome, and UBC Slam works to make the atmosphere “inclusive” and “homey,” said the club’s president, Elisha Lucero.

“If you just ... come to our workshops to help grow your writing, at some point we hope that you'll have the confidence to … share something small. Even if at first it’s at our open mic, then it's at our slam competition,” they explained.

UBC Slam and BVP will be uniting for Jamnesty in early 2019. This co-hosted event is the most open of the open mic night events, with little restrictions on performances. While you can lose points at a slam for using costumes, musical instruments, and props, creative lyricism takes centre stage at Jamnesty.

With all these open mic events, there’s no excuse not to share your art with fellow UBC students. Open mic attendee and stand-up comedian Jake Clark shared his advice for anyone considering performing at these events.

“They can’t kill ya. Okay, technically, they can,” he joked. “There is no real reason not to,” he added, in a more serious tone. “The feeling of validation is tremendous. It's really fantastic.”