Upcoming event: Annual Open Mic Night

Trinity students to showcase their talents in Stieren Theater on Saturday, Oct. 1

Trinity students are, and always have been, a wildly diverse group with an even wilder array of talents. One day, some decided they needed an outlet with which to express themselves, and thus Open Mic night was born. The annual event, hosted on Oct. 1 by Trinity’s theatre department, is a chance for the students to see firsthand the diversity of Trinity’s hidden talent. From 8-10 p.m., participants get five-minute slots to perform anything from drag to music to comedy skits. If you have talent in the arts, the audience at Stieren Theater wants to see it.

This year’s lineup looks especially interesting. Nathan Cazares, a first-year planning to major in neuroscience, has a history with the performance arts and is getting back into it this year with a slam-poetry act.

“It’s really bad,” he laughed. “It’s supposed to be me being witty with my words. Just talking a bunch of gibberish, really. I want this to be more of a comedic slam poem. Though it depends on the audience and however they choose to interpret it, but it’s really supposed to be just funny.”

The event is organized by Kyle Gillette, a professor affiliated with the human communication and theatre departments, but is emceed and stage managed by students. The five-minute increments are short and pose an interesting challenge for participants who prefer longer acts.

Chris Junginger, a sophomore majoring in classical languages who is doing stand-up comedy for the Open Mic Night, talked about the caution she had to take in preparation for the event.

“The main thing that [my friends] asked me to do was record myself so that I made sure that my stories didn’t go over five minutes because anyone who knows me knows I will talk much longer than five minutes if you let me,” Junginger said.

Many of the students will be performing acts that are very personal to them and might showcase a talent or side of them that others haven’t seen before.

Lucius Brown, a sophomore psychology major, is performing a live acoustic version of “Ghosting” by Mother Mother and has many friends who will be performing at the Open Mic Night.

“I have some insider knowledge that some of these are going to be very, very funny,” Brown said. “Some of them are going to be things that are very vulnerable for people, people who are performing stuff that they haven’t done in a while or things they usually keep closer to their chest. I know one of my friends, I believe, is doing a drag performance.”

The friend in question, Jay Burdine, is a sophomore studio art major. They will indeed be performing in full drag for the first time at Open Mic Night.

“This character is inspired by all the ratty antagonistic little men and monsters found in stories that I adore, mixed with an edge of punk rock and metal; they are heavily influenced by the game ‘Spire: The City Must Fall,’ where the name derives, and bands such as Blue Öyster Cult and The Sword. I am very excited to make my debut as a drag artist,” Burdine said.

Open Mic Night is not only a chance to show off talent but also a chance to meet up with friends, make new ones and interact with fellow performers. For first-years, it can be a chance to reach out and network in a low-stakes environment. Cazares expressed his hopes for Open Mic Night during the interview.

“I really want to meet other people that are interested in the same art form. Like, I want to be able to bond because, you know, it is my first year,” Cazares said.

Those planning to attend Open Mic Night should do so with open minds and tolerance for surprises; there will be a large variety of acts. Chris Medeiros, a sophomore who is performing “Rolling Stone” by The Weeknd, described how diverse the acts are going to be.

“One of my friends is doing some kind of drag, and I am singing and a few people are doing something from ‘Burger Islanders.’ I don’t really know how or if that’s supposed to work,” Medeiros said with a small laugh.

Much of the fun of Open Mic Night comes from the unexpected. With such a wide variety of acts and students, you’re bound to find something that you enjoy. In the end, Open Mic Night is about interaction, expression and fun.

“Smiles are hard to come by,” Junginger said. “And, I mean, who doesn’t want to smile?”