This is an impossible entry to start. For one thing, where do I even start? Knowing that is difficult. Do I start with how much I’ve wanted to be in a group like Radar productions in SF, with an intricate network of awesome writers? Do I start with how terrified I was at the very concept of ME being in charge of an open mic? How far off such a vision was for me? When you see open mic hosts, you usually see dedicated writers with a huge amount of stage presence, something that I have yet to truly acquire (though I am getting there!).
Seriously. Where do you start?
How about just this:
It’s been one year. A whole year. I started When She Speaks I Hear the Revolution open mic last May, thanks to the persistence of friends who told me that the idea was great, and it needed to be more than just an idea. It needed to be realized. I thought for weeks before the kick off of where would be a good place to host it? When? What kind of format? What do I need to know? How do I get people involved? I tried to contact organizers of women’s open mics to see how they ran theirs and, while we’re at it, do you have any advice?
Turned out things weren’t as hard as I was making them. Running an open mic is easy, because really, it’s not about you. It’s about the community that builds around the open mic. It’s about the poets and writers and musicians who find your open mic and stay, about the poets and writers and musicians who find your open mic and stay for a time, but when their time is done, they go. It’s a transient thing, on one night you could have 15 people, on another night, 6. Yet that very nature is what makes it so fucking magical.
In one year of running the When She Speaks Open Mic (once a month, every fourth Saturday!), I’ve seen so much talent that it’s just mind blowing. And the scary thing is: the amount of talent and heart that I have seen at these open mics is just a tiny portion of the insane amount of talent that you could find on any night in this city, or this state!
When I think about the fact that it’s been a year since When She Speaks I Hear the Revolution got off the ground, I feel a deep sense of happiness. I’ve been lucky to be part of a revolutionary but small open mic that has a lot of potential to grow and become bigger and better. I’m so excited to be a part of this and I’m so excited to develop it into a force for a real creative community, one that will continue to be revolutionary in its mission to acknowledge and encourage women and the transgender, bisexual, and queer community to stand up and speak out. There is nothing more important than finding and embracing our voice, and one year later, this is still the biggest lesson.
“When we speak, we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to SPEAK.” Audre Lorde
I’m going to end this with four final words, dedicated to everyone that has supported and continues to support this, and I mean every syllable from the depths of my soul:
Thank you. You’re amazing.
PS: If you’re interested in being a part of the magic of this open mic, we will be meeting for the When She Speaks I Hear the Revolution Birthday Party/Open Mic at Cakewalk Vegan Bakery, 434 S 900 E, Salt Lake City on Saturday May 28, from 7pm-9pm! And yes, there will be cake!)