This Thursday, from 6 to 8 p.m., the ASUCD Coffee House will be transformed from a hangout area to a space for artistic expression where the ASUCD Entertainment Council will be presenting Open Mic Night. The performances, which will take place on the west side of the CoHo, near Swirlz bakery, will range from a cappella to comedy to spoken word poetry. The headliners will be The Spokes, Birdstrike Theatre and SickSpits. The showcase will also feature 12 different performances from selected student artists.
Entertainment Council president and third-year communication major Alexis Munnelly said that when looking for headliners, the organizers really wanted “diversity in [their] selections.” They specifically chose the three headliners because they are “very popular on campus” and will hopefully draw large crowds.
Students had the opportunity to submit videos of their performances for a chance to showcase their talents, and Munnelly said that as far as the remaining open mic slots went, there were about 30 auditions for 12 spots.
“[We] tried to evenly select vocalists and comedy and spoken word performers for a diverse selection,” Munnelly said.
SickSpits president and third-year Spanish major Tanya Azari is excited for the opportunity to perform for a diverse and large crowd.
“I’m really excited because we’re going to access a different demographic, and if they like what we put forth, hopefully they’ll come out to our performances,” Azari said.
Because the Open Mic Night will take place in the CoHo — where many students will be studying and hanging out with friends — headliners such as SickSpits, who usually rely on word of mouth and social media to advertise their performances, will be able to reach a wider audience.
Sarah Lloyd, Birdstrike president and a third-year chemistry major, expressed a similar hope that this performance will help the Birdstrike improv troupe reach a broader range of students.
“Performing here is going to be really good for our visibility,” Lloyd said. “People will see what we’re all about.”
Birdstrike has collaborated with The Spokes in the past, most recently near the end of Fall Quarter, and Lloyd had many positive things to say in regards to their previous collaboration.
“This past show [with The Spokes] was really cool because we tried finding ways to incorporate music into improv. It adds another layer of entertainment,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd also said that Birdstrike will focus on montage-style improv, which are scenes that are fast-paced and easy to follow because of the audience and venue. Students will most likely be walking in and out of the CoHo so Lloyd wants to make sure that people will be able to follow Birdstrike’s performance.
Azari said that SickSpits will also be keeping the audience in mind when deciding what kind of poems they want to perform. She said that the SickSpits performance will be a “cool combination of entertainment-based poetry and poetry that will challenge [the audience]” intellectually. But the thing that excites Azari the most about performing in open mic nights like this one is the unpredictability factor.
“You’re always gonna get surprised,” Azari said. “You never know who’s gonna show up. Kids you just see walking around — [this kind of event] is where kids come out of woodwork and you really get to see a piece of their lives.”
The ASUCD Open Mic Night is free of charge and open to the public. To learn more about this showcase, check out the Facebook event page.
Photo by Sickspits