Stepping up to the mic

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  • Courtney Upah reading her poetry at the Judas Goat open mic night last week.

  • Constance Vrbicky at the Judas Goat open mic night reading her poetry.

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Debbie Hernandez, Staff Writer

The night is about to begin.

Murmurs. Coffee. One open mic.

For spectators and performers alike, I would say just about every person who fills up the seats at an open mic night has probably experienced what I like to call “The Tingle.” It’s the fuzzy sensation you get from hearing, no, feeling the poetry that pours out of the mouths of authors like maple syrup on a stack of pancakes.

But what exactly draws people to the Coffee Shoppe on Main when the mic is standing? and what keeps them coming back?

“I think the environment of the open mic definitely helps. A lot of us are writers who want a chance with fellow writers to share things we are working on that aren’t necessarily polished or slam ready,” freshman, Taylor Penn said.

The Judas Goat open mic nights are put together by the Judas Goat team and editors in Chad Christensen’s Editing and Publishing class. This is a project taken on every year, and open mic nights are typically held once a semester, if not more often, depending on audience participation and overall feedback.

In charge of this year’s Judas Goat are Stephanie Hempel and Sharon Carr.

“The Judas Goat is Wayne State’s best kept secret. It is an undergraduate literary journal published every year by the WSC press and constructed by Chad Christensen’s class,” Hempel said. “It is the lone freak flag that shines over this great land, it is the mixed up madness burning fires in the hands of students, it is the collaboration of this institution’s great artists bound together and pressed flat forever to stay.”

According to open mic participant and sophomore, Jose Plascencia, listening to the works of others really invites the listeners to learn more about the author, not only artistically, but also personally.

“The open mic is a great experience for everyone. You get to hear someone’s work, share laughter and meet new people,” Plascencia said. “And you get FREE coffee!”

So you might be the next one to feel the open mic night tingle. It’ll start at your toes, make its way up your legs, then your stomach and then your heart’s fluttering and before you know it, your legs have walked you to the mic and you’re reading something you weren’t planning on sharing, but hell, you’ll be glad you did.