Becoming an entertainer, whether on a part-time or a full-time basis, is not an easy proposition. Part of the problem is that it’s difficult for newbies to get stage time, whether they’re singers, magicians, comedians, or something else entirely. But online databases make it much easier to find open mikes at which to perform, gigs which can be critical to building experience, confidence, skills, and a resume.
There are a number of online databases you can read through to find a list of open mikes near your hometown. Openmikes.org provides lists of such events throughout the United States and Canada. Every opportunity it includes is open to all performers, regardless of how much stage time a person has had in the past. This free-to-use site is worth perusing whenever you’re traveling. That way, you can do some shows when you’re on the road, and perhaps forge some alliances which can come in handy the next time you’re passing through the area. Sometimes it’s easier to perform new material, be it a song or a stand-up set, when you’re far away from home. That’s because, if the show doesn’t go well, at least you don’t have to worry about running into any of the audience members at the supermarket! Craigslist.com also features a “Talent” section where you can search for gigs.
Plenty of apps also provide open mike guides. For comics, “Open Mic List” is as simple an app as they come – just a straightforward list, with a few social sharing functions to round it out. It’s free, and it makes finding the info you’re looking for a snap. In addition, Nokia offers a helpful app called “Gig Finder.” This app allows you to search local businesses, and lets you utilize social functions to let your friends and relatives know about your gigs. For example, you can use this app to invite all your friends on Facebook to come see you perform somewhere.
The trouble with any list of open mikes, however, is that you have no idea what you’ll be getting into when you actually arrive at a venue. The place could be shabby, rundown, unsanitary, or in a dangerous neighborhood. The shows could be sparsely-attended or extremely low in quality. You could drive a long distance only to discover the establishment has closed. Or you might find out that the place never existed in the first place, that some kind of database error caused you to waste your evening. Now, some aspiring performers are so desperate to get on a stage, any stage, that they will take those chances and they will accept poor conditions. But as an artist, why settle if you don’t have to? Why not launch your career in clean, attractive places with shows that are well-run and that offer some semblance of professionalism? Working at quality places of business will allow you to feel good when you’re onstage, which should allow you to put on a better show. If you’re filming your act, that will translate into a better audition tape.
Finding Viable Venues:
Here’s where SearchBug can help. If you go to http://www.searchbug.com/companyfinder, a free service, you can search for an open mike establishment via its business name, its phone number, its address, or even by its fax number. What will usually come up, among other useful info, is:
- a list of the services it offers
- a list of the products it sells
- the languages its employees speak
- customer reviews
Those reviews are valuable. They’ll give you a sense of what kind of a place it is, what its strengths and weaknesses are – information you wouldn’t be able to glean from an official website. If it sounds like the kind of place at which you’d like to entertain, you can contact the manager. If not, well, there are plenty of other places to try your luck.