Story Time: Open Mic

 

It’s crazy because I made a piece on this before. I’ll probably put it on here on a later date. Anyway, I remember it was about two years ago around September. I went to a couple of open mics I like what I saw. Something about how the poets moved the audience by the words they spoke. I loved how hype the audience got when a poet said a perfect stanza.

That’s when I knew I wanted to perform. The only thing was my nerves. I am a shy person, so performing is not where I’m at yet. Honestly, I would love to get on a stage and have a killer performance. I have a lot of poems that I know would be good to speak on a stage. But I have to get over this stage fright. But back to the story.

I remember it was late at night. It had to be like 10 pm. When one of my friends said to come to perform at this place in D.C. I was scared as hell. Part of me wanted to say no, but the other half said yes. I needed to get my feet wet, so I went. When I arrived, it had to be no more than seven people in the room.

There was no stage. Just a room with a mic and a couple of chairs and my fear filled the air. I have never been that scared before. I know some readers probably thinking like afraid of what? I guess I have a fear of embarrassment.

The exact piece I did was called “Crazy 2”, it was a piece on police brutality and police shootings on the black communities at the time. I wrote it around the time when Chris Brown was being investigated because a girl called the police and that whole altercation. Plus I remember the cops had shot a kid, so I was livid by the recent activities.

When they called my name to perform, I started shaking like a stripper. I mean I could have made some single grandma throw some ones by the way I was shaking. I got to the mic, and I didn’t have my piece memorized, so I was reading off my phone. When I said the first line, my voice cracked. So at this moment, I lost all confidence with how I was trying to come off. Then I don’t know why but my right hand started shaking like I was rolling dice. I started sweating like I just ran a marathon. Plus the mic in my left hand was slipping. So after six lines, I stopped, and I just ended the piece. I couldn’t finish it. The poem is about 2 or 3 pages, so I didn’t get a chance to get to the good parts.

It was like everything I didn’t want to happen, happened. It was awful. The only good part that I liked was that I tried and learned from it. One thing I learned was to pick a piece I knew. I think if I use a poem I know it would be a little easier. Also, practice is critical. I know I didn’t practice this at all. In fact, I wrote the piece like a day or two before the open mic. That was a big mistake. Literally, on the way there I was searching through my phone to find a piece that would be perfect for this. So as I think about it, I need to prepare for the next time I perform. Well, that wraps it up for this story time. The biggest lesson I take from this is to practice, practice, practice. Take your time and be prepared. Don’t rush the process.

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K. Exum

K. Exum is an up and coming author & poet. He looks to make his longtime childhood dream job his reality. By creating this blog, he seems to show his skills for writing. His hunger for success and dedication to turn his ordinary life into his dreams has brought him to this point. K is currently working on his 5th spoken word project, "Poetic Gift." Reach out by this email to connect! founderofhitm@gmail.com

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