10 Tips for Open Mic Success
Open Mic night is a great stepping stone for many musicians wanting to get into the groove of live performances. It’s also a great opportunity to find your place in a creative community and build each other up. Imurj’s Open Mic is dedicated to providing a supportive atmosphere that encourages creativity among musicians, along with sharing some of Raleigh’s best talent with an audience. Whether you’re a seasoned regular or complete newbie, here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience:
1. Respect the time limit and the house rules.
Each performer gets 10 minutes or 2 songs. Try your best to keep your set, including getting on and off stage, set-up time, and introductions, within these limits.
2. Know your spot on the list.
Our list is chronological, so you’ll have an idea of when your turn will be as soon as you sign up. Keep up with what number you signed up as, and prepare accordingly. For example, each performance is usually 10 minutes – if you sign up 3rd on the list, your spot will start around 7:30. Check with Brian, the host, if you forget where you should be.
3. Be prepared when your name is called.
Pay attention to when it’s getting close to your turn and be prepared by having your instruments tuned and your voice warmed up! Hit the stage ready to go as much as possible.
4. Keep your introduction short and sweet.
Share your name, introduce your song, and maybe drop your social media handles or promote an upcoming show, but keep it short. Let your music share the longer parts of your story.
5. Keep it friendly, & limit the profanity.
While we’re here to encourage your creativity, we’re also an all-ages venue, so read the audience and try to avoid excessive profanity. If there are children in the audience, do your best to censor yourself by avoiding extreme profanity. You don’t want to make the audience uncomfortable while you’re performing!
6. Choose your material wisely, and ahead of time.
Covers are always welcome, but Imurj is the perfect place to try out your original songs. If you’re a regular at this Open Mic, try something new or change it up sometimes. Don’t be scared to collab with other artists or to try something new – get out of your comfort zone!
7. Make your needs known.
We have house gear available for use, so let the host know ahead of time if you need to borrow something. We can usually provide what you need. If you’re using backing tracks, be sure to give them to the sound engineer at the beginning of the night. If you plan ahead, the engineer can be prepared for your performance right away.
8. Promote yourself tactfully.
Open Mic is not a solo show, so don’t promote your slot as one, and be sure to respect the other performers. Give a short plug if you have stickers, CDs, or other merch available, but avoid being distracting during other performances.
9. Ask staff questions, but don’t push for gigs.
We offer several opportunities for live performances, including our unique Artist Member Spotlight shows & more. Our staff is always happy to help – don’t be afraid to ask questions or chat with the host, Brian. The front desk staff can help you get the appropriate contact info for specific inquiries, but keep it professional! Don’t pester the staff about your ability to play a gig or ask to be added to an existing bill. Instead, have them direct you to the correct information & reach out through email.
10. Support, Support, Support!
Our community is based on musicians supporting other musicians, so grab a drink and stick around for as much of the evening as possible. Our Open Mic is full of talented performers, so try your best to support the other acts, before and after your spot!
Want to keep up with all our events and open mics (including music, comedy, & poetry open mic)? Check the online calendar at Imurj.com/Events and join us every Wednesday for Music Open Mic at Imurj!