Performing usually gives everyone the jitters as they walk on the stage to express their talent. Pegasus gave students and anyone else that chance on Feb. 21. at Espresso 41.
At a little before six, a guitar was strumming and students were rehearsing their material. I happened to be one of those performers, even though I am not musically talented. I picked a song, got some instrumental music and prepared myself to sing, all the while my heart beating faster than I could talk. I was afraid my voice was going to crack when I let that first note out.
My hands were shaking on my steering wheel as I drove there. All the thoughts in my head were racing, “Will they enjoy it?,” “What if I forget the words?,” “What if I miss a note,?”
Around 30 people showed up at 6 p.m. and more cars began to pack the parking spaces. Jeff Newberry was the first reader. He read a few of his pieces that were very strong, powerful stories. Different professors from ABAC joined the open mic night and some read and listened to the pieces students and faculty chose to read.
One of the students, Hannah Robinson, read her own written narrative nonfiction piece to the crowd. “‘See Me’ was something I wrote a couple months after my twenty-first birthday when I was dealing with a lot of thoughts about my life so far. I was in an abusive situation as a kid, and as a result, I deal with depression and anxiety. I also have been dealing with a chronic illness called fibromyalgia since I was about 16. All of those things together inspired that piece.”
“The end of ‘See Me’ is basically about me realizing that even those bad parts of my life are a part of me. And I think that’s a beautiful thing to come to realize.”
After Robinson read her piece, the crowd burst into cheers and encouragement while congratulating her for standing up on that platform to read her story. A few moments later, after everyone went inside and grabbed a bite to eat and drink, a little girl grabbed the microphone and announced, “Next up, we have Kristen Davis.” Everyone’s eyes were immediately directed toward me. I froze in panic and my heart began to beat a hundred times faster. I steadily walked toward the small platform outside and I stood behind the mic and the man next to me plugged my aux in.
My mind was racing with all the songs I could’ve picked, but of course, I picked one of the most famous, well-known songs nearly everyone has heard, “Take On Me” by A-ha. In my mind, I have sung that song so much better alone, but when I stood in front of people, my voice became quiet.
I sang the song and I thought I did absolutely terrible, but the crowd thought otherwise with their claps and cheers when it was over. So, I was partially shocked. I thought everyone would laugh at me and think it was terrible, but they all congratulated me and said I did great.
So, after all, I guess I did okay, but the experience of the whole event was really fun. If anyone has the chance to attend one of these open mics, I would highly recommend going. It is a very free-spirited atmosphere and it was filled with laughter and cheers and fun.