The lights in ACAC’s Choteau room were dimmed, and the small gray room was lit by the soft glow of a path of string lights which formed a makeshift rectangular stage. Muted conversation filled the room, the musings of seven or eight audience members.
The event? Drop the Mic. Hosted by Savanna DeWeese and Denisha Garner, both Lottie Jane Mabee RAs. The open mic night was held Wednesday, February 10 at 8PM.
A few minutes after 8 p.m., the room held about ten students and Savanna and Denisha took the stage to introduce themselves and start the show.
They explained that during the event, they would be accepting donations for the Oklahoma Literary Arts Alliance, an organization which promotes the literary arts in Oklahoma primarily through education and programs for young people and teachers.
With that, the first performer took the stage, introduced by Savanna.
I will preface this section of the review by saying that I am a staunch supporter of open mics. I absolutely love getting the chance to see someone else perform a talent that they’ve worked hard on and invested a lot of themselves into. I live for talent shows, recitals and coffeeshop concerts. There’s a refreshing sort of honesty and vulnerability to them.
I was thrilled by the concept of an on-campus open mic, an accessible opportunity for students to branch out and share their work with others, and excited to see what TU students had to offer. And let me tell you, Drop the Mic’s performers did not disappoint.
Most of the performers recited original poetry, and much of it was impressive. James Terrell took to the stage to recite a poem about an unrequited crush which began and ended with bits of echoing, a cappella song.
Also notable was Audrey O’Donnel, who recited a very moving poem about innocence—those who are lucky enough to keep theirs, and those who find that things aren’t quite so easy.
While most performers shared their personal work, Justin Dussold broke the mold by reciting a bit of dark prose by another author.
Throughout the show, more audience members filed in, leading to a total of 25 or so in the room.
After the list of performers was exhausted, the floor was opened up for impromptu performances. A couple of the audience members who had just arrived volunteered, most notably Michelle Hunter, Residence Director of Hardesty Hall, who recited an impassioned poem by Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues.
My only criticism of the event was that it didn’t last very long. However, I understand that the length of an open mic is entirely dependent on how many performers sign up—Drop the Mic featured several great performers over the course of about half an hour.
I definitely enjoyed myself at Drop the Mic and would love to see similar programs on campus. When asked if there would be more open mics to come, Savanna and Denisha told me that Drop the Mic was a first-time event and a chance to test the waters, but that they may be interested in having another open mic in the future.
If that’s the case, count me in. If there’s two things I can get behind, it’s students getting involved with the arts and charities that benefit the arts. Drop the Mic had both, and I can’t wait for more.