Why open mic nights are better than professional performances

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At a Champagnes Cafe on S. Maryland Parkway, a local comedian performs.

UNLV students in love with live entertainment may find that they have a frustrating relationship with the city of Las Vegas. They simply cannot afford the comedians and musicians playing on the Strip. The only way a student can see these shows is to budget hundreds or thousands of dollars to afford a ticket instead of saving the money for better use. 

This unfortunate relationship can cause some major stress to build up, and that’s why it’s time for college students to attend more open mic nights at local spots across Las Vegas. 

Open mic nights are perfect for college students because they are often free or reasonably priced at less than $10 per seat to attend. The experience of one of these exciting nights includes not only the musicians and comedians, but other entertainment such as spoken poetry. 

Although many of the performers at these events aren’t the most well known, that shouldn’t dissuade students. These up-and-coming entertainers provide rawness that many popular performers don’t have.

When a person gets up on stage and talks about topics that are deemed “taboo,” it can be refreshing. For example, I recently went to Champagnes Cafe for their Comedy Open Mic Night that takes place every Tuesday at 11 p.m. Here, I heard a woman joke about her experiences as a dominatrix, a man express his frustrations about his three divorces and anonther man tell a humorous story about how he accidentally showed up to a Nazi Rally in New Jersey.

At this event, no topic was off the table, and throughout the night, people joked about their sex lives, mental health, sexuality and drug usage with a level of candor I’d never seen before. These people were going on stage because there was an environment free of judgment, exuding an “all are welcome” vibe to the entire event. 

I was really surprised to see this kind of acceptance from a bar that was bringing all sorts of people at one o’clock in the morning, so as a natural skeptic, I thought I should go to one more Open Mic Night later in the week. 

At the Open Mic Night held by Happy Earth Market, this place was completely different from the Champagne Cafe, with abstract art hanging on the wall, handmade dream catchers being sold and bean bags laying across the floor. However, despite the change of venue, the environment was just as accepting and empathetic, even to those with some of the most raunchy and edgy material.

After attending these two Open Mic Nights, it has become clear that these are the entertainers college students should see more often, and not the polished performers that are shared with thousands of people, but the ones you can connect with on a personal level. 

There is a unity among the open mic performers who are willing to talk to anyone who walks through the door. These Open Mic Nights are not simply just about the performances. They are also about the connections formed between the performers and audience. 

So, if you’re someone who enjoys live performances but is on a budget, it’s time for you to take some time and visit the handful of open mic nights. You will not only get to have an eye-opening experience everytime you go to a venue, but you will also most likely make a friend or two while attending one. 
The best way to find an Open Mic Event is to type in “Las Vegas Open Mic Night” on Facebook to find groups dedicated to scheduling events around the city. You can also visit this link to find places, but it’s best to call these venues to confirm that the events are still happening.

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