By Braxton Moore / Staff Writer
Poets, comedians, singers and other vocal artists opened up on stage during the semester’s second open mic night, hosted by the Marian Sims Baughn Center and sponsored by the Young Poet Society, on Friday, Oct. 11.
The event was MC’d by Sergei Smirnoff, a member of the poetry group.The event did not get the desired attendance, with many students showing up about 15 minutes after the start time. Lisa Armand, assistant event coordinator for the literary center, said, “I’ve never seen so few people here. We generally have anywhere from 15-50 people.”
Despite the less-than-usual turnout, the event still showcased a wide variety of topics. Performers waxed poetic on subjects from girlfriends to ingesting pesticides. Music ranged from gospel on a boombox to acoustic Nirvana renditions. Casual curse words were abundant, yet every performance went uninterrupted. Appreciation was shown through snap-applause, which occasionally broke into full clapping.
“It’s a great place for students and community members to get their feet wet on stage, in an open and friendly environment,” Armand said. “Everyone’s creativity is respected here.”
The event is free for anyone who would like to attend or participate. Contributors just need a creative side and a willingness to perform.
Felipe Mora Vera, 23, a music major and member of the poetry group, said, “It’s a place to socialize and gather, hang out, relax and share things you can’t share in other places.”
Open mic night is usually the second Friday of every month, resulting in three events per semester. Participants and audience members can also bring in food to create a potluck party atmosphere. The next event is scheduled for Nov. 8.
Armand said, “I’ve been to many local open mics in Long Beach and I can honestly say ours is by far the most relaxed and inspiring atmosphere. And I’m not being biased. Well, maybe a little.”