Open Mics can either be a huge waste of time or the most rewarding experience for a newcomer. That outcome is usually up to you. Below are some tips for making the most your of 2-song show; because in most cases, 2 songs are all you got!
The website might say 9pm but the Open Mic doesn’t actually start till 10pm. Call the venue ahead of time to clarify details like these. You might even discover that the venue doesn’t host Open Mic anymore. Save yourself the trip and the annoyance.
If you’re working in advance, calling/emailing ahead to secure a “featured spot” will come in handy at many venues. You’ll get a longer set.
STICK AROUND FROM START TO FINISH
It’s really bad etiquette to come before you play and leave after you get off stage; but some people do it. Make an effort to meet other performers, commend them for a good two songs, and let them know who you are. A conversation can go a long way.
PUT A STACK OF BUSINESS CARDS IN YOU BACK POCKET
Very important! You’re more likely to hand out 5 cards than you are to sell 1 CD at an open mic. Talk to people and give them your card. And asking them for their card is just as important
HAVE A SMALL NOTEPAD AND PEN
Playing an Open Mic in a foreign city? You know the drill: play your songs and pass that notebook around. Tell people that they can jot down their email address for a free download of 1 of the songs you played. Make sure they know that you’ll be putting them on your email list and letting them know when you’re back in the area. It works.
A FEW ALBUMS
Its hard to sell albums at Open Mic, but always be ready. Consider going the pay-what-you-want route. See “PAY WHAT YOU WANT?” DOES THAT REALLY WORK?”
In our last post, David Craver of OpenMic. us suggests that the single most important thing an artist should do to promote themselves better is “become as outgoing off-stage as you are on-stage“. Its a great tip, but many of us don’t apply it. Don’t play your song than hide in the corner of the room. Make yourself available to conversation through the night. Be friendly. See: “AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID CRAVER OF OPENMIC.US”