EVENT RECAP: ETC OPEN MIC
After a break of what seems like years, eTc's open mic has finally returned. The latest edition, sponsored by Mary Mart, was held at the shop on March 31st. It showcased a wide variety of performers; artists performing for the first time, veteran performers, and everything in between. Diversity radiated through the audience members and performers alike as host Terrance P. kept the transitions smooth and added a comedic flair to the event. I saw some familiar faces, some new, and many, many, splashes of eTc gear in most, if not everyone's fit that evening. It was a beautiful sight indeed.
Now we all know that it takes courage to go in front of an audience and even more courage to expose your creative side and perform in front of strangers, so major shoutouts to all of the performers. In case you missed it, here's a brief recap of the night's 9 performances:
First up was So Wavy. I spoke to him before he went on and he expressed some nervousness, as this was one of his first times performing in public. I told him not to let his nerves get the best of him and in the end, he did a great job, visibly getting more comfortable as he settled into his performance.
Paris Bruce must've been a comedian in a past life. He had the crowd swaying, laughing, and nodding in agreement with lines such as: "Where my brooooos? A nigga never know, yeah. That's why I'm in my zone, yeah. They keep callin my phone, yeah."
When Ta7j performed Time Stands Still, a reminder that the clock is always ticking and wont stop for anyone, I felt that. She followed up with a quick snippet of recently released song Snapchat, an ode to the social media platform and the interactions it has (and will) spur.
Beau Esquire stepped up to the mic with a calm demeanor and delivered a few laid back accounts along with shout outs to Gary for crafting up the sounds he rapped to.
1/2 of Kid Genius was in the building that night. The Kid performed over production by Lemmon who could not attend. I was impressed when after 5 acts ahead of him, he was the first to ask the crowd to bring it in a bit. (I'm not a fan of the 5-10 foot gap often left between an artist and the crowd when a venue allows for a much more intimate setting.)
Although King Rawllie was feeling a bit under the weather, he still came out and got through 2 tracks, not letting a little sickness keep him from his craft.
Ending the night of colorful entertainment was Marquise Edwards, who expressed the need to one up his performances at previous open mics. "I had to grow up, so I have to show up," he explained, before going in over a self-produced beat.
While I enjoyed the musical stylings that night, what stuck with me the most were the performances by two spoken word artists, Jasmyne & Niko.
Jasmyne delivered two passionate pieces which moved the crowd in various ways. "I won't lie; I don't love all of your flaws." she started out, before describing a bittersweet love which left an aftertaste more sweet than bitter. The cheers from the crowd proved that many could relate. She then switched it up a bit, deviating from her usual style and telling a tale of a woman who was a true ride or die, withstanding pain and mistreatment until she decided to value her life over that of another's. There was an emotional shift in the room as she spoke, and when she left the stage, Terrance P. stated what we were all thinking.
"Where he at?
I'll beat that n**** up."
I spoke with Jasmyne briefly after her performance and was surprised to learn that she had been writing poetry for about 2 years and only began performing within the last year. She explained how she uses her personal experiences joined with those of others to tell stories that many can relate to. Moving forward, she plans on expanding her reach and performing a bit more, experimenting with different styles of poetry and spoken word. I'm looking forward to hearing more from her and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
While I've always considered myself an over thinker, Niko all but put that notion to shame. I had no idea what we were in for when he took the stage. His first piece was unofficially titled "Oxymorons."
"When you say the word future, the first syllable has already moved in the past,"
After that opening line, he proceeded to send each and every brain on a quite literal trip of statements to dwell on. His bold delivery added to the strength of his words and his statements stung as he wove an intricate web of reasoning in his second piece, "Just Try." On the surface, it was a poem about a poem, a public challenge to create something meaningful. But beneath the surface, it was rooted much deeper, a personal struggle that he was comfortable with sharing. After the show, he expressed his desire to do something meaningful with his poetry, to do something 'more than tiny.' "There's more than just the written definitions to any word you say or speak. People have their own ideas of what those words mean," he explained, speaking about his inspiration for "Just Try." I could hear the passion in his voice as he spoke of his inspiration. I have a feeling I'll be seeing more of him also.
Overall, the event was a great success. I hope to see more variation in creative mediums in future events and I urge you, (yes you) to either stop by to listen or consider breaking out of your shell and sharing that piece you've been sitting on, that song you started but never finished, or that poem that you're itching to give to the world.
eTc Tacoma is opening its mic to you.
The next Open Mic is set for Friday April 27th, so be on the lookout for more information. We look forward to seeing you there.
PS: If I missed a tag, drop it in the comments below and I'll be sure to add it.