Students perform at Open Mic Night

Jordan+Richardson+strums+along+as+she+performs.+
Jordan Richardson strums along as she performs.

Jordan Richardson strums along as she performs.

Jack Lambert

Jack Lambert

Jordan Richardson strums along as she performs.

Alexi Prante, Staff Reporter

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Imagine standing next to a small stage, waiting patiently until you hear your name being announced over a microphone. The nerves keep building and you start to wonder if it’s too late to back out. A large, bearded senior, looking calm stands next to you and whispers, “relax, you can do this.” That seems to give you the confidence you need as you step onto the stage. Staring down the microphone, you take a large breath and start to sing.  

Open Mic night started almost 15 years ago and has become a staple program for CWU. The event was started to make a supportive environment for students who wanted a creative outlet after a long week of classes. “This program is in the evening for students to be able to show off student talent,” said Student Union director, Cherie Wilson.

Open Mic takes place every other Thursday in the SURC Pit. Sign-ups are at 7:30 p.m. and the night starts at 8 p.m.

There are 15 slots open for each night, each being allowed seven minutes of stage time. There is an average of 7 to 15 people who perform each night. If it’s a slow night, sometimes there might be the same performers going a few times to make it a solid show.

“This is a safe environment, if you think you want to do something then go up there are do it. This is the most supportive group of people,” said Ted Wolfe, student programmer at campus activities.

Wolfe also helped set up 4 bar Fridays, where you can show off your rapping skills.

Wolfe helps set up the Open Mic nights, like schedule the acts, announces them and helps keep the nerves down. Wolfe had this passed down to him by Steven Heil, who used to help set up the event.

“If you think you have some sort of talent, like juggling, a stand-up comic or poetry reader, just go up there and do it,” Wolfe said.

There are a solid group of regulars that attend almost every Open Mic night to perform, such as Kyle Davis. Davis is a senior history major at CWU with a minor in coaching and has been singing at Open Mic for a year. Davis first started performing after losing a bet with a friend, but that led to him coming back every Thursday to perform. He likes performing classic, old-school music like Journey. His favorite song to sing is ‘Don’t Stop Believing.’

“It’s a comfortable venue and we get a lot of new people that I can help calm down before they perform. They are always nervous but I just tell them to relax and they will do fine,” Davis said.

The most recent Thursday held a record turnout. Typically, there is a crowd of 150 to 200 audience members. This time, the balconies were full and no seating space was available on the floor.

“Usually we get people stopping in to listen while passing by, or gym members will be leaving the gym and stop and listen for a few songs and head home,” Wolfe said.

The next Open Mic night is on Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. in the SURC Pit.

Jack Lambert
Jordan Richardson strums along as she performs.

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Students perform at Open Mic Night