Grace Emily Hotel and Billy Bob’s BBQ Debriefing

Posted on 10 June 2009

I wrote this yesterday, but because I came home after midnight the previous evening, I fell asleep before posting it!

I’ve decided not to worry about announcing my current open mic gigs, because  I have a list I’m working my way through and am never certain what night I will be attending and whether I will take on a particular crowd. Nevertheless, once I have settled on a few favourite places, I will keep everyone informed.

Last night’s escapade was at Billy Bob’s BBQ an open mic event held at the Grace Emily. I did not begin very impressed. The stage and the audience space is small and the room gets noisy quickly. Even so, as the night progressed my opinion shifted until I began feeling intimidated.

As the open mic event was about to start the place filled up to standing room only with largely twenty-something year olds, though certainly some thirty-somethings were hanging about as well. I was the fourth person to register myself for a slot that night. Bill, the organiser of this open mic, mentioned that they would really like it if more comedians such as myself turned up. This seems to be a common litany.

Other open mics do attract exceptionally skilled performers, this one like the Rhino Room, brings in quite a number of professional as well as amateur musicians. The music ranged from mainstream to funk and hardcore rock
and roll. I stood their thinking, “What am I doing here?” The switch in energy to spoken word could potentially be death on stage.

As the fourth performer came and went and I wasn’t called up, I started to get nervous. I was told Bill rearranges the performers for a smooth flow of styles. So, I decided not to worry about it. As the night wore on it looked like Bill was going to put me up last, if at all. One woman was trying to reassure me, but I was on the verge of tears and going home. Just as the thought shot through my head, Bill touched my elbow and asked if I wanted to go next. Talk about last minute saves.

I started by reading my ninja poem. Just the title had the room cheering. I swear, I could have just said the word “ninjas” repeatedly and kept some people happy. 🙂 I then read “Will Play for Cheese”, which has consistently been a pleaser with the musos. I didn’t bother to read any more, but the room erupted into applause and Bill made a joke about dropping his cheese. After chatting with a few people, my sense is that I am welcome back and I think I will return.

Oh and yes, I was the last open mic performer that night. Oh well!

Peace and kindness,


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