Open mic Information

An open mike or open mic is a live show where audience members may perform at the microphone. Usually, the performers sign up in advance for a time slot with the host or master of ceremonies.

Poetry/spoken word open mikes feature a host, who is normally a poet or spoken word artist, poets and spoken word artists, and audience members. Shows are generally one and a half to two hours in length. A sign-up is done before the show begins, so that the host has a list of names to call from. Poetry/spoken word open mikes are laid back, serene, and contain lively conversation in between readers and/or performers. They are usually held in libraries, coffee houses, cafes, and book stores or bars. Each poet or spoken word artist is asked to keep their performances to a minimum/specified time slot, giving each performer enough time to share some of their work. The longest running US open mike is still going on at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in the lower east side of Manhattan.

Comedy open mike nights can be held at established comedy clubs, but are more commonly held at other venues with or without a stage, often the upstairs or back room of a pub or bar. Such nights give newer acts an opportunity to practice and improve, with a view to getting paid work. More experienced acts get an opportunity to work out newer material where the audience is not paying in anticipation of seeing their normal act. In a typical open mike night, newer acts will get five or maybe ten minutes of stage time, but more experienced acts may get ten or more minutes.

Wikipedia, Open mic, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_mic (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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