By Justine Lopez |Staff Writer|
CSUSB’s Open Mic Night had students expressing their emotions and feeling comfortable to be who they truly are without being criticized; entering a world where vulnerability is accepted.
Director Chad Sweeney kicked off the first Open Mic Night of the new school year Oct. 7. As the room began to dim and fill with diverse groups of students, one could assume it was going to be an exciting night.
There were plenty of chairs set up with tasteful foods organized on selected tables in the room.
It was a warm and welcoming environment that made the audience comfortable to enjoy themselves while enjoying the talent of their peers.
One of the first performers was Jonathan Rudd, a passionate poet who makes the audience feel his emotion. He describes the open mic events as, “a place where people can come and be vulnerable,” and that it’s healthy to “get some of the stuff you’ve been holding in for so long out and let it go.” The majority of the performances that night were poets whose works ranged from all different subjects.
Some poems were heartwarming and put a little smile on your face, then there were others that went deeper into speaking about the obstacles of life.
There were even political poets discussing history and major events occurring in today’s society.
Along with the poetry there was also a musical performance from twins Drew and Jordan Thomas of CSUSB.
The two have been performing since they were only 5 years old and said that the “king of pop,” Michael Jackson, is the person who motivated them to begin performing.
As Jordan played the piano he joined in singing with his brother to Lauryn Hills’s “Ex- Factor.”
Their voices echoed off beautifully in the room as some audience members quietly joined in with the singing.
Jordan explains that students should attend open mic nights because it “gives them a chance to explore and see the talent at CSUSB and maybe get inspired as well.”
Sweeney, along with his team from the Pacific Review, were able to put together a successful meet where they encouraged everyone to share their art and be an entertainer.
Sweeney arranges open mics because it “brings all the people together with their different voices and share their incredible range of work from all the different backgrounds they have.”
Sweeney also added, “they can come together to share their art and their life in a very authentic and safe place, a place where they can make new friends and find their second family as artists.”
They have had over 50 events in the last five years and are adding more to that list on Oct. 28 and Nov. 18, which will be the next upcoming open mics for the quarter.
Whether you are a performer or an audience member it’s an experience one would not want to miss out on.