Talent Shines at RecBoard and NASO’s Open Mic Night

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Published November 20, 2019
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The Montclarion
Zach Taglioli covers a Frank Sinatra song at Open Mic Night. Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

RecBoard hosted an Open Mic Night on Wednesday, Nov. 13, in the Student Center Rathskeller. Upon arrival at the Open Mic Night, I wasn’t sure of what sorts of talented artists to expect.

“It was something different and we were aware of the talent on campus, so why not?” Diamond Jordan, RecBoard co-special events chair, said after welcoming me into the event.

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The audience getting up on their feet in response to a performance.
Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

RecBoard hosts many on-campus events and this time they partnered with the Native African Student Organization (NASO). NASO Public Relations Chair Jazlyn Sarpong described how much she enjoyed the joint-effort in putting on the event.

“Organizations from the same school can come together to create an event,” Sarpong said.

The event also sponsored a raffle for all participants in the Open Mic Night for the incredibly appealing prize of Air Pods. All the proceeds went to Red Hawk Fellows.

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A student performs on stage during the event.
Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

There are plenty of performers among the student body at Montclair State who are looking for a place to be free, and the Open Mic Night provided that. There were lip dubs, instrumental performances, duets, poetry readings, spoken word poetry and a couple of riveting stage names.

Some of the more interesting acts were in the beginning of the event. People were still piling in while the event was starting, which created a loud mess of noise coming from both on and off the stage. Luckily, the early performers seemed to handle the situation well. One of the more outstanding instrumental performances was by Daniel Martin, a self-taught pianist and guitar player, who claims to have no stage fright.

“It was cool just to come out and share and hangout,” Martin said. He definitely showed that spirit on stage.

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Amanda Conti (piano) and Alyssa Schneider (vocals) perform a Billie Eillish song at the open mic.
Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

I found that there was a large spectrum of performers, coming from different walks of life; students living on campus, undergraduate students, graduate students and people who were not regular performers. There were also people who had been playing since they were three years old, such as music therapy major Amanda Conti who performed a Billie Eillsh song with her friend Alyssa Schneider. They spoke about attending a lot of open mics.

“We try to perform at any opportunity that presents itself,” Schneider said.

One of the original song performances was by an undecided major named Bri who said it was her first time on stage, but it didn’t appear that way. She, like many others, was scared to be on stage, but when they left, they had this immaculate glow over them. When I mentioned the prospect of approaching another open mic, Bri said she had to work up the courage. At that exact moment, someone else exited the cafeteria exclaiming how tremendous their performance was.

There were plenty of moments that induced laughter, like the spoken word poet known as “Goose,” who spoke about his dinosaur egg oatmeal.

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Dean Blizzard performing comedy at Open Mic Night.
Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

There were other comedic acts like Dean Blizzard, who talked about the issues of sharing a shower with other people when living on campus. The new comic spoke about how he didn’t know how to read the room. He thinks of his performances as practice, meaning he takes something away from every onstage performance. Even in the event of failing, he can learn from it.

After the raffle, I left feeling motivated to pursue my talents. There was something empowering about the event that inspired me to work hard at my craft. Sometimes I feel like the best motivation comes indirectly from when someone amazes you.

For those looking for this kind of inspiration, NASO will be hosting their Yumani Fashion Show this Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. on the seventh floor of University Hall.

 

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