Singing, piano playing, poetry reading and more; these are the types of incredible performances you can watch at Mad4U’s weekly Open Mic Nights. The fun event is hosted by Mad4U’s staff members every Tuesday in Madison Union’s Taylor Down Under (TDU), from 6:30-11 p.m. With the sweet aroma drifting from the Auntie Anne’s pretzels, the comfortable seating, and wonderful talent, Open Mic Night is a great way to unwind on a Tuesday evening.
Just this past Tuesday, Open Mic Night featured the devoted piano player, freshman business major Brian Bratton, as one of the talented openers of the night. Bratton confessed to his audience that it was his first time playing some of his chosen songs live. Although he was taking a chance, the room fell quiet in admiration at TDU as his melodies of songs, like “Kiss the Rain,” played throughout the bottom level of Madison Union.
“I love coming here, there’s no pressure and I can play on a nice piano,” Bratton said when asked why he’s chosen to sign up and perform at so many Open Mic Nights. His dream of playing for Carnegie Hall one day also plays a major role on Bratton’s motivation to perform on a regular basis.
While Bratton signed up for a specific time slot on the Mad4U website, audience members like senior justice studies and theatre double major Florence Babatunde volunteered on a whim to perform that night. There is always time allotted for performers who sign up in-person the night of the event. Babatunde decided to rent a guitar from TDU and strum a few chords while humming to the lyrics of “Hallelujah.”
“There’s such expression and creativity allowed because of Open Mic Night, and that’s why I love coming here every week,” Babatunde said.
Once Babatunde wrapped up her 15 minutes of fame, more people throughout TDU decided to sign up to perform more songs. Other presenters, like senior theatre major Zak Gordon, chose to showcase two poetry submissions through a dramatic reading of his works.
Open Mic Night is a carefree and fun experience for all JMU students. So, if you want to come and enjoy a night of entertainment, or if you just want to support your fellow Dukes, then show up to the last, few Open Mic Nights of this semester. Either way, you’ll be surrounded by talented performers and baked Auntie Anne goods, which is a great combination for an enjoyable night.
Anyone can sign up once they get to Open Mic Night if they quickly decide that they’re ready to perform, and you can also fill out the online form at: https://info.jmu.edu/studentactivities/2017/08/28/open-mic-night-form/