For some reason, I haven’t written before about organizing an open mic night. Perhaps I’ve been afraid the idea would fall through. And it could. But I’ve set the wheels in motion and I’ve made the plan public, so there’s no turning back now.
The plans for what I hope will be at least a quarterly Hot Springs Village Open Mic Night have morphed from idea to execution. I sent invitations to a small group of potential participants via email last night. Thus far, two have asked to be put on the line-up for the inaugural event, which will be held at the Coronado Community Center the evening of October 10.
Here’s how it happened. A couple who belong to the HSV Unitarian Universalist church have orchestrated an open mic night at the church for some time. For a while, it was monthly, then it changed to monthly. A few months ago, they announced they were tired of expending the effort and asked if anyone else would step up to do it. Some friends of mine suggested I consider doing it. I explored the idea with the woman who launched the event. And, at the behest of one of my friends who suggested I take on the task of keeping the event alive, I met with the manager of Coronado Center about holding the event in that location, as opposed to the church. He was receptive. But, because the originators of the event deserved to be involved in the decision to transform the event from a church-based to a community-based activity, I asked them for input and got their “blessing” to move ahead. So, the initiative to move on with a community-wide event has been launched.
But, in fact, there’s some more back story, so I’ll lay it out here, for posterity. More than a year ago, I suggested to the then-president of the writers’ club that an open mic event dedicated to writers might be worth exploring; the concept of such an event appealed to me, at least. She liked the idea and, at the time, we explored it, albeit to a limited extent. We looked at potential locations, we mulled over the idea, and we let it bounce around in our heads. Ultimately, I think we both came to the conclusion that an event dedicated exclusively to individuals reading poetry and short stories and plays and the like might not hold sufficient interest to warrant the efforts required to make it happen. Although, we marveled at the success of Wednesday Night Poetry in Hot Springs—which has chugged along successfully, without missing a single week, for twenty-six years and then some—we realized the character of the Village differs in significant ways from the vibrant artistic community just a few miles away. So we put the idea aside for a more receptive time.
I hope October 2016 is a more receptive time, though this successor to the Unitarian Universalist open mic night will not be a “reading only” event. Instead, it will be a mixed bag of music, poetry, short stories, memoirs, magicians (if any step up to the plate), short plays, and, I hope, a cornucopia of other entertaining performances. We shall see. In the interim, if the few people who stumble across this blog have an interest in know what’s up, here are some links for your perusal:
HSV Open Mic Night Announcement Message
As long as you have good featured readers at each open mic it should do well. Good luck.