Open-Mic Night encourages students



Thirty people filled the seats of the Treasure Island Coffee Café on Thursday, Feb. 20, with their coffee in hand, as they waited to hear some Marshfield students perform unknown abilities at the first open-microphone night.

Open-mic night is a place where students can perform their talents and was put together by choir and theatre director Allison Bassett.

“Open-mic night is an event that we started to help people that don’t have venues to share certain talents with other people,” Bassett said.

Bassett ran the open-mic night on a trial basis to encourage students at Marshfield to express their talents. She said she has wanted something like it since the beginning of the school year.

“I was talking to Doug Holland and we had just watched someone play guitar and sing, and I had always been talking about hosting some sort of opportunity for students to be able to share things like this,” Bassett said.

Some examples of performers at open-mic nights are guitarists, singers, comedians, poets and actors.

Bassett said she wants the event to help students with their confidence and public-speaking skills. Freshman Nichole Stitt wrote and sang a cappella to her song called “Being Somebody” to overcome her shyness.

“I decided to write this song because music is kind of where I can go to hide, where I can actually connect with people,” Stitt said.

Stitt said the experience was new and fun. Senior Thomas Ledesma performed his thespian act with senior Christian Chase.

“I hadn’t planned to do it, but I was called, and Christian and I did our duet,” Ledesma said.

Eighth grader Maddy Suppes played the guitar and sang Paramore’s song “The Only Exception.”

“I didn’t think there was going to be that [many] people, but I was also there just to watch other people because I knew that people would be doing forensics and things,” Suppes said

Open-mic night is intended to promote the hidden talents of others, such as Suppes, and use them to inspire others in the school or community.

“The people that watch get inspired to try new things as well as just get exposed to new art forms that maybe they haven’t seen before,” Bassett said. “You’re building a community of people, and even if there isn’t anyone performing at the time, they’re still making connections with the people that showed up for the same reasons [they] did.”

Ledesma said other students should attend one of the events to experience it.

“I think they should go for it, even if they aren’t prepared or they don’t think they will be good enough because you can get some good laughs out of it,” Ledesma said.

While the artists are performing, attendees can visit the coffee shop.

“You can come drink some coffee, it’s not just for people that want to perform, you can just come and listen and hang out,” Bassett said.

Bassett plans on holding another open-mic event in April. She said she thinks it benefits Marshfield and the community as a whole.

“Coos Bay itself doesn’t really have anything like that [open-mic night]. There aren’t any coffee shops to play at and there’s not a venue for it,” Bassett said. “I just really want to emphasis that if there are people that have talents like that, I really encourage them to show support for it and we’ll get it going regularly.”