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... musical collaborations and musical styles. Some people may use the open mike to showcase their talent in the hope of being offered a feature, or an opening slot at some venue. All of these are valid reasons for involvement. The key thing holding all these ideas together is that we are here for each other. We shouldn't get involved in the open mike for ourselves only - although performance may also feed our own souls as we sing, express ourselves and receive appreciation from others.

So - to the point of this note on philosophy. We have been asked several times why TCAN is a one song open mike, or why we don't start earlier, or why we don't do a second round of songs. The answer simply is: time. Our goal is to provide the opportunity to play but there is a great deal of support and work that goes on to make it happen. You may come to the open mike and sit for a long time listening to other folks and then get your chance to perform your song. If the night is only a success for you because you are performing - you are missing a huge aspect of the open mike - I might say you are missing the point entirely.

TCAN is a "listening" open mike. There are no distractions like alcohol, dinner plates, loud talking or TV screens. You have the chance to perform on a stage with a great sound system and stage lighting. The people who volunteer each week have full time jobs and do this as volunteers because we believe in community. No, we don't get paid. We arrive early, set up the refreshments, make coffee and take care of some administrative tasks. The sound volunteer sets up microphones for multiple performers, for guitars, and for the piano. We run a sound check which can often take some time. We get everything ready for you to come and play.
"Open Mikes - Our Philosophy" from the home page.
At the end of the night we clean up, take out the trash, take down the sound system and make a final look around the venue for trash and anything people may have forgotten. On a given night we get home between 11:30 and midnight . This may get later as we advertise and more people come to the open mike. Currently, we range from 6 to 20 open mikers. On occasion, when there is a light crowd we go to a two song format. It is not the norm.

There are some people who rarely come to TCAN's open mike because it's only a one song open mike. There are only a couple of two song open mikes on evenings: Amazing Things (for now), sometimes "The Sit N Bull" and that might be it, locally. Other one song open mikes include: The Emerson Umbrella, The Continental Cafe and the venerable Club Passim.

We can't start the open mike at TCAN any earlier because we sometimes need to stay at work a little late, and we like to eat dinner before we come. An 8PM start works well for those of us who volunteer to host and run the sound board.

So - let's leave our very practical reasons for a one song open mike. Here is the best reason. With a one song open mike we give more people an opportunity to perform. That gives each of us more chance to hear our very talented friends share their music and poetry with us. We build our community, we get to enrich our own creativity, and we encourage each other. In my opinion, that IS what the folk community is all about. That's why we love open mikes!

We would love to know what you think. There is a guestbook on page one that you can use, or email Trisha and me at: