Open Mic Brings Out Variety of Talent Week after Week

Photo by Steve Fallon

Although Linden Hall’s Coffee House is full of the dorm furniture and pool tables you'd expect in any other lounge, it is home to a certain energy you cannot find anywhere else on campus. Every other Tuesday, the College Programming Board holds Open Mic Night, a time to showcase creativity and talent or watch the creativity and talent of others.

Many participants and audience members arrived for the official time, 9 p.m., but the event itself took a little while to begin as equipment needed to be checked and performers needed to sign up for slots. Eventually, the house became packed, the coffee started brewing (plus, there were brownies) and the night really started.

The first act was junior Shaleah Peyton, who recited poetry. She stated that she had never performed at an Open Mic at Ramapo, but had in similar events in the past. The crowd greeted her very warmly, participating when she asked them to.

"I loved it, they shook off my nerves completely," Shaleah said. Many members of the crowd snapped (common for poetry recitals) and applauded when she was finished.

The next few folks to take the space that makes up a non-existent stage performed genres such as metal, country influenced acoustic and electronic rock. The audience members sat on low couches, leaving the performers standing above them. One frequent attendee, Jonathan Fuentes, felt that "…it gives students a place to take a break and express themselves. When I'm stressed, the music here lifts my spirits."

To see peers showcase their talent encourages the artists to come out and perform at Open Mic.

Even students less interested in the music still have a great place to hang out and have a conversation.

"People love it. It's a great outlet to enhance their craft, meet new people and mingle in an intimate social setting," said sophomore and master of ceremonies NJ Gordon about the success of the bi-weekly event. He went on to hope that "[M]ore people to come out and show the campus what they've got."