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By Chloe Blue

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Image by Chloe Blue

Talent shows, musicals, choir shows, oh my! All three of these broadcasts of talent are no match for Porter College’s “Open Mic” which occurs once per month in the Porter/Kresge Dining Hall, most recently 2/24. I caught myself spending my Friday night watching guitarstrings break and Sea Shanties being performed with audience participation. With a simple scan of a QR code and brief description of what one’s act entails, anybody can perform anything. During this specific Open Mic, there were a wide variety of musical acts ranging from acoustic guitar playing of beautiful melodies to original songs to Billie Eilish and Khalid’s “Lovely”.

Each performance had its own special quality and understanding that people wanted to showcase their form of art, whether that be through voice, instrument or otherwise. The most important thing was that it was live. My friend Dane and I were able to be a part of this performing community as well. We sang “Ceilings” by Lizzy Mcalpine. He played guitar and I sang the appropriate harmonies to his already beautiful melody. The open mic allowed us to feel included in something that let our passion for music shine through. It seemed like everybody, including us, had their very own story to tell and we had an audience to support and listen to our stories. The audience never failed to be just as important as the performer. The first act was a student who was planning to play guitar to an original song, but before he had a chance, he strummed and one of his guitar strings snapped. He walked off the stage and the supportive embrace of the audience was there to cushion his fall. The “you’re awesome”s and “wooohooo”s filled the room and the performer exited with a smile.

This is just one example of the form of community created at the Open Mic on 2/24. Two and a half hours of unique and breathtaking performances encouraged an experience that even my friends (who paused their video games to be there) were in awe. It is the type of experience that only live performances can create which drags a loving community in with it. It is imperative that everybody who has the chance to watch Porter College’s Open Mic takes up the opportunity and allows themselves to pause whatever they’re doing (whether that be video games orotherwise) and join the community!