Open Mics Dont Suck

Open Mics Suck!

I get a ton of fans complaining that open mics suck. From shady promoters, to strip club venues, to rigged judging, they do have legitimate gripes.However, Im going to say that you are missing the point entirely.

Open Mics Dont Suck!

An open mic should not be taken at face value. You shouldnt be concerned with winning the competition, because the winner is usually predetermined by the promoter.

If you are in a strip club open mic, you arent even the center of attention. The only reason you are in a strip club is to tip the ladies. I dont recommend strip club open mics until you have a strip club single to perform, and strip club money to tip the dancers.


The reasons for doing open mics are simple:

  1. Learning how to be a better performer
  2. Creating new fans from your peers
  3. Creating relationships with the promoter, dj, soundman, venue owner etc.
  4. Experimenting with new material
  5. Learning the SHOW BUSINESS

Learning to be a better performer

YOUR SHOW IS AN AUDITION: When you perform at an open mic, you are literally auditioning for future oportunities. You never know who’s watching your set.

What sort of things make a great performer or an amateur?

The best entertainers use Simple techniques to work the crowd:

  • Use the full stage
  • Makeing eye contact
  • Draw the crowd to the front of the stage before the set begins
  • Get Into Character
  • Make women feel comfortable
  • Get the crowd involved (Mirroring/Call & Response)
  • Hanging out and autographing stuff afterwards

If you want a more detailed list on these tips , see this article.

Creating new fans from your peers

Right, Ok wtvr,

No really , the other rappers at the open mics are all clicked up around the room, waiting on their turn to perform, ignoring the artists on stage, you know, “hatin”. But what if these “haters” were really fans and didnt know it? This is after all , the SHOW business, and it is your job to make them your fans too.

I have witnessed many times a real performer turn an open mic into their own show. From the time the mic hits their hand, they are talking to the crowd, telling jokes, making them comfortable and drawing them into the front of the stage. They will work that crowd even before the first song drops into an audience who at the least are curious about who this person is.

This is your one job.

The artist who complains their hometown doesnt support their own simply doesnt know how to entertain.


Creating Relationships

Why are you there? You want to be in show business right? This is the SHOW BUSINESS. You are performing your SHOW, so that you can do BUSINESS with the people putting on the open mic.

YOUR SHOW IS AN AUDITION. While you are at your open mic, you can learn who is promoting the show, who their assistants are, whos their dj, who the venue owner is etc. You have to make it a point to collect these phone numbers and contacts at every show you do.

By any means necessary, you begin your contacts list and cultivate these relationships. You grow your list like your fans email list; one contact at a time. Be sharp, be sober & be professional when you are talking to these people and they will treat you with respect.

Experimenting With Material

You want to entertain your audience. Who are they? Do you do a strip club song at the churchs annual talent show?

You want to perform the right material for the right audience. You dont have to do a full song to get an audience’ reaction. You can try your material out in different situations to gauge interest.

You can try out performance costumes or outfits, song material, jokes, call and response and whatever you can imagine to find the things that work for you in that situation.

Noone really wants to listen to your entire 4 minute song , do they? Your show tape shouldnt be a ridgid framework, you should know it well enough to use it as FUEL for your performance.

Learning Show Business

Learn how to MAKE SHOW, and BUSINESS will follow. You cannot blame anyone else if you arent creating oportunities for yourself. Boring, amateur performers are a dime a dozen, but a dynamic, creative and outgoing character onstage translates into money.

Open Mics Dont Suck

Use open mics to learn how to work a crowd, gather connections, create new fans, experiment with your songs and image in a low pressure environment that doesnt cost a fortune and save your strip club adventures for when you have the extra capital from paid shows…

Your success depends on how well you can take advantage of your oportunities. Open mics are the boot camps of the music industry, use them to your advantage.


-Dj Smuv

Your Main Producer