I’ll start with a disclaimer. I am hugely suspicious of open mike night. I’ve heard a lot of bad poetry through an open mike. Flashback: “Your breasts are like rare silver dollars, your nipples the color of pennies. And when I put them in my mouth, I am a rich man.” That really happened. And I’m still recovering.
However, every once in a blue moon, something truly wonderful happens. This something happens when the night becomes not about the mike, but about the people who gather around it. And this something happened last night at Word-A-Rama at Highland Grounds.
Each person who approached the stage to read their story started the journey nervous and ended it confident. Warm applause followed by a hushed listening, sprinkled with genuine laughs and appreciation. And none of it was solely about the quality of the stories – which varied of course – so much as the quality of the crowd’s support for the courage of the people reading these stories.
A scenario such as this can only be described as remarkable, especially when you consider that, well, this is L.A., land of narcissism. Or when you consider that Word-A-Rama is hosted by smart, funny, educated, warm-hearted women, and the audience and readers are smart, funny, educated, warm-hearted women by a majority.
Even just 50 years ago, something like this would be rare if not impossible to find outside of a sanctified space such as a university, someone’s living room, or another clearly demarcated “women’s” space.
Today, it’s just another fabulous first Tuesday at Word-A-Rama. And for this, I would like to shout through the open mike that is this blog, I am truly grateful.
So check it out if you’re in the L.A. area. Besides being all that I’ve mentioned, Word-A-Rama is also the perfect place to meet hot chicks!