Open-mic shows off variety of talents

Angelica Cataldo, Entertainment Reporter

Psychology major Kadarrious Hooks spontaneously took the stage of the 7th Street Underground to perform his original poetry in front of at least 100 of his peers.

He performed two pieces and was met with beatnik-style snaps from the audience.

“I look for opportunities like this to perform, but I didn’t know I’d be performing (tonight),” Hooks said.

Hook took on the topics of social justice in his poetry.

The University Board presented the first open mic night of the year, “Word Around the Street” Wednesday night.

Open-mic nights in the past have had 10 to 20 performances within in a night. Thirteen acts signed up Wednesday to perform poetry, rap, sing and play instruments.

The UB’s Mainstage coordinator Cydne Garrett said the Mainstage committee is about showing off student talent.

As coordinator, Garrett oversees all the live student entertainment and professional acts.

“Open mic (nights) are pretty much open to anyone who has something to say (and) something to express through performance,” Garrett said.

Garrett even performed her own poetry at the open mic.

Each performer had a limit of five minutes of stage time, but walk-on performances like Hooks were also welcome.

Performers sang original music, read poetry and rapped about personal and social issues.

The UB Mainstage hosts open-mic nights every year. The idea for open-mic nights came from local coffee houses, where shops set up an open stage for both the audience and performers to enjoy refreshments while watching performances.

Garrett said the coffee shop ambiance was the atmosphere Word Around the Street was aiming to capture.

The mic was open to anyone who wanted to perform, including students, faculty and staff.

“That’s why I didn’t want to call it a showcase,” Garrett said. “It’s an open mic because it’s open to any and everyone.”

Angelica Cataldo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].