Open Mic Night is a must-attend Sarah Lawrence tradition

photos by Ellie Brumbaum '17

The Beatles spent two years performing in clubs in Germany, playing night after night. This intense practice is what made them into a band that was able to change musical history. Every other week, Sarah Lawrence students have a chance to perform, to practice their art, in the same way the Beatles did many years ago. The open mic performances hosted by the Sarah Lawrence Activities Committee (SLAC) are where creative members of the community can come together to listen and to perform. Even the shiest of people perform their niche: poets read their work, musicians perform on their instruments, and the bravest acts sing a cappella. The talent goes on.

On Thursday, February 20, the Black Squirrel served shakes to attendees of the latest open mic night. Comedy skits, poetry, music, and an impressive sing-along rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody filled the room. The joyful community members are blessed with this time to enjoy each other’s performances, sing with one and another and find new ways to be inspired by their peers.

My favorite shifts to works are always the open mics, because of the sheer enjoyment I get from watching my peers perform. The entertainment is always full of fun, the energy of performance and crowd anticipation rejuvenating. Although shifts at the Black Squirrel are never boring, I always look forward to the open mics. The more acts the better. 

Those who have never performed in or witnessed an open mic night are missing a crucial part of the Sarah Lawrence experience. We are small, tight-knit community, which allows us to know each other and one another’s work. This enables us to watch our peers evolve as artists and make strong connections to new friends who perform. It is its own type of party, a change of pace from the everyday monotony of a college student’s schedule, and a wonderfully heart warming time. Taking a break from the busy study life of college student to perform is exhilarating. It renews a person’s faith in work, art and gives life a breath of fresh air before the weekend. The comfort and support of friends is always a heartwarming experience. People cheering for one another, singing songs together, it can only bring a smile to your face. 

Performing love songs is wonderful, comedy acts keep you laughing, and folk tunes have the nostalgic feeling of campfires. No matter what the performance, there is something special about it. Two people can even perform the same song on the same night and each performance still has potential to mean something completely different. Each week there are new acts, people performing different songs (or the same song), a different kind of energy, crowd, and theme. But there is always a sort of familiarity to the nights: people with open arms greet each other cheerfully, excited to hear what they will perform that night. Open mic nights in the Black Squirrel are consistently a fun time, where everyone has the chance to showcase their unique performance talents. Coming from a regular attendee, do not miss a change to come and enjoy one of SLAC’s Open Mic Nights.

by Justin Becker '17