Some tips for Open Mic performers
Open Mics have been career springboards for many singers and comedians you see on the telly, and they all will have learnt from their mistakes. For those who have never performed at an Open Mic, here are some useful tips to avoid some common pitfalls:
If you see an Open Mic advertised and you’d like to participate, find out how to sign up for it.
Ascertain how long your slot is and stay within your allocated time limit. Factor in any introductory chat when you rehearse. And remember, if you overrun – no matter how interesting your performance – you may take another performer’s slot.
The compere is in charge of the event. They are likely to signal how long you still have until your slot ends. Become familiar with their sign language / signalling system.
Be open to criticism. At an Open Mic, the audience often consists largely of performers; so their feedback can be very useful and constructive.
Don’t worry about nerves; they’re natural. And a bit of adrenaline is quite useful; it can give you that extra kick, that extra sparkle.
You don’t need to memorise your work, but if you do, you may feel freer. If you decide to read something off a page, make sure font size and space between lines are large.
If you completely blank during a performance, don’t panic and don’t apologise more than once. Think of a strategy how to deal with this, otherwise, just improvise.
If there’s a microphone, don’t stand about three feet back from it, as if it were to bite you. If you feel that you can be heard without it, don’t use it. But microphones are usually there for a reason.
Learn how to adjust a microphone stand with minimum faff. You don’t want an unadjusted microphone making you look strange or hindering your performance.
If you’re using an instrument that requires tuning, arrive in good time before the event to tune it and have a sound check. You won’t have time to do this when your slot is on.
The compere should let you know in good time when it’s your turn. Remember which act you are following.
Let all your friends and family know you will be performing. This will help both the event and yourself, as you’ll be sure to have some enthusiastic followers in the audience.