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My First Time Doing An Open Mic Night

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

Note: this blog article was originally published on 12 September 2016 on the Mezzo, Legato! WordPress blog.

Okay, so I understand that I’m a little bit overdue in writing a new post due to some personal circumstances, and I actually have no idea how to start this next one. In fact, I hardly have any idea about what to write about.

Banjo on a dusty armchair

So much has happened in the last two weeks that I can’t even begin to tell you.I sat through my first college class last Wednesday (and fell asleep because I’d just eaten lunch – and it was a music course too, so frankly I should be ashamed of myself).

Anyways, trying to stick to the subject of music, I’m not gonna write some typical lost-freshman-in-college-woes kind of post…though I do wonder how I’m going to keep this blog functioning while I juggle school…maybe I can try to conjure something up at midnight…in that case, more Twizzlers please…

Okay, enough said. Half of my hall mates are musicians (awesomeness!) and several people I met beforehand want to collaborate with me. And I actually filmed a YouTube video for once. It’s only a cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love”, but a good start nonetheless, and it’s one of my favorite songs.

I actually performed this exact same arrangement at the Annual Orientation Open Mic Night at my college, which received great reception overall, and I’m actually really happy with the performance because I did a lot of things I had never had the courage to do before, like singing and playing the guitar at the same time, suddenly deciding to share my better developed voice with the rest of human civilization, and, yeah…a lot has changed since I’ve been in college. (FYI, this video is not at the actual Open Mic Night. This was filmed in my dorm.)

Before, I would want to curl up in a corner and slowly die a painful death at the mere mention of the word “audition” (as much as I wanted to actually do it, of course).

Black woman in red dress playing electric guitar on a bench

Now, being someone who has auditioned for basically everything (I do mean everything – even for school musicals with my underdeveloped voice, thinking that for whatever reason in heaven I was gonna get a part at all), I just do it. Like when the Chorus teacher had me sing “Happy Birthday” for my audition for First Soprano, I just did it like I’d been singing it every day of my life (I don’t actually).

Before, my higher register sounded like a wannabe musical theater singer, totally devoid of all expression and emotion. (I unfortunately don’t have any video evidence of that as all my old videos of me singing are lying in the broken cellphone grave along with everything else – unless a video with crappy sound of me singing “Sunrise” by Norah Jones at a recital back in June will suffice.) Now, what the heck, all the raspy grunginess and vocal breaks and the like are much more interesting to listen to (And suddenly I’m discovering more artists that have that sort of vocal imperfection! Hallelujah! Even my voice teacher at the time said that it’s that sort of thing that makes you sound more interesting. He sings with a rasp anyways, so enough said.). I swear I would’ve sounded boring as all get-out if I auditioned for The Voice last year. I probably wouldn’t even have made it past the pre-auditions.

Before, on one of the rare days when I was allowed to wear normal clothes to school (what wasn’t my uniform basically – “civvies” as we called them in South Africa), I bet someone was staring with total disgust at the fact that I never owned a pair of shorts nor conformed to a lot of stupid typical teenage standards (until I got a wardrobe makeover from a fashion expert of course). Now, seriously no one cares that I’m wearing a pair of wooden clogs right now.

Grayscale picture of microphone in studio

(Okay, that was off topic. More about that to follow.)

Earlier this year when I discovered the three covers of this Ed Sheeran song from The Voice, I probably went into semi-heart failure and panicked because I was thinking, “Man, I wish I could sing like that without sounding a robot.” Just by impulse I presented this song to my voice teacher (this was back in June, mind you) without any damn clue about how to approach it, and he was like, “Just feel the emotion.” (There was other stuff he said that I can’t remember off the bat right now.) Now, I just did the best rendition I’ve done of this song ever, after about a month of trying to figure out my voice and emulating Reagan James’ cover on the show (and several others).

So yeah, a lot of stuff has changed. I’ll get more into that in future posts, and so I just wanted to start off this crazy wacky ride called college just by talking about it, and the people at the Open Mic Night that night are so talented, and I just wrote a song for the first time in about three weeks, so…

Probably I should just film a video of me singing it (and several others). More on that to follow.

Stay tuned!


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