I did an open mic on Monday. Three hours before attending, I didn’t know what I was reading. I set a timer and wrote out the first draft of an essay I’ve wanted to put together. It came out fairly together and rather nicely. I rewrote it a little bit, but went with the working draft for the open mic.
I went up and something cool happened. I wanted the essay to be funny. I’d know if it was funny when people laughed. People had listened to earlier acts but glasses clinked, guitars tuned up, and friends got up to date on each others week. I kept reading.
Half way down the first page, it was quiet. Everyone was listening. Facing the stage and listening. Someone propped the door open so the smokers could hear outside. The essay was all right, not prop-the-door open worthy.
They didn’t laugh, but they listened. It was like a grown up story time at a coffeehouse. The applause was very nice, very full bodied.
It was cool to experience positive silence like that. It was cool when I spoke, people listened.