On March 12, the third story hallway of the Texas Union building was filled with the unmistakable aroma of coffee from Lucky Lab Coffee Company as soft blue light and acoustic guitar filtered down the hall. It was Open Mic Night at the Brewgoise.
Story by Naomi Brady
The event, which was hosted by Campus Events & Entertainment, consisted of three hours of amateur acoustic music, stand-up comedy, spoken-word and a variety of other performances. One performer showcased a piece of original dance choreography, while another act performed as a band for the first time with a freshly-penned song. Free Lucky Lab Coffee Co. pastries, coffee and lemonade were also available throughout the night, adding to the relaxed coffee-shop ambience.
The open mic was created in cooperation with Creative Arts & Theatre, a student organization known for their popular performance events around campus like the Annual Madrigal Dinner, The Rocky Horror Picture Show shadow cast and recently the One-Way Ticket Murder Mystery show. Andrew Solis, a Freshman Theatre & Dance major in both E&E Headliners and C.A.T. who was stage managing the Open Mic Night, said that what he loves most about the group is that it “gives students of all majors an opportunity to show off their skills in everything from playwriting, to acting, directing, etc.”
Students within the organization have the opportunity to write and submit scripts, audition and apply to be on crew for every event the group produces, including the esteemed Madrigal Dinner show and elaborate Rocky Horror production.
An english sophomore who joined C.A.T. this fall, also described the group as “an opportunity for non-theater majors and theater majors, to just come together and do non-stressful, low-stakes performance theater.” Maddie performed an emotional spoken-word piece titled “The World Is Too Much With Us” and received an enthusiastic audience response despite this being only the second time she’s ever read one of her poems out loud in front of an audience. She credits C.A.T. for helping her find her place at UT as a transfer student and encourages freshman students to join. “It’s a really great place to meet people,” Maddie said. “I literally didn’t have any friends at UT before I joined C.A.T..”
Economics senior Jonathan Lopez who performed a hilarious mixture of stand-up and improv comedy, described a personal anecdote of how he once flew to Florida completely alone in high school just to see a Taylor Swift concert. A self described “pop music junkie,” he shared that he’s been to over 30 pop concerts, including every Taylor Swift tour, “even Reputation.” Despite being an economics major with a minor in math, Jonathan says he’s always been curious about the arts. He performed for the first time only a few weeks ago at another open-mic karaoke event sponsored by E&E.
Lopez explained of his spur-of-the moment decision. “I thought, maybe some people will like these stories,” Lopez says. He wasn’t wrong. His set was one of the most popular comedy sets of the entire open-mic night.
Both students agree that they would definitely participate in an event like Open Mic at the Brewgoise again and Solis is excited about planning more events similar to this one with Headliners during the rest of his time at UT. Open Mic Nights are just one of the many student-centered initiatives E&E produces.