WXOU hosts first Open Mic Night

Oakland University’s radio station, 88.3FM WXOU, hosted their very first open mic night on Feb. 2, wherein participants were free to recite poetry, sing or perform stand-up comedy sets. This is just one event WXOU is holding this semester in hopes of expanding its circle.

“We wanted to put on more events that involve the community,” WXOU General Manager Logan Pizzuro said.

WXOU rallied together a diverse group of students and community members eager to share their creative work with one another, from tear-jerking poetry to rap originals to knee-slapping comedy.

According to WXOU’s Programming Assistant, Aniya Gray, another purpose of this event was to provide an environment for everyday people to share their not-so-everyday talent. 

“We wanted to give the opportunity to [our] students to perform their talent and to show off what the students of Oakland have not seen yet,” Gray said. “We’re so used to having [showcases] for people that are already musically inclined [and such], but we don’t know the people in our everyday lives and the talent they have.”

Something that makes open mic nights so special is the act of performing your work live; this requires some amount of confidence — in your work and yourself as an artist — and vulnerability.

Singer-songwriter Maddie Kraemer took open mic as an opportunity to practice performing in front of an audience.

“[…] Any chance to perform live is a chance to get better at performing live,” Kraemer said.

Kraemer also explained a unique part of open mic events is being able to be in a room full of creatives and the people who support them. This fosters an atmosphere through which art is able to thrive.

“[Open mic is about] getting to hear everybody’s original ideas and getting to hear what other creatives come up with,” Kraemer said.

Not only does open mic provide the opportunity to practice performance skills, but also a space in which participants can do something they’re passionate about.

“I thought, ‘this sounds really cool, I haven’t performed in a minute, so why not?,’” Hannah Lesner, who sang an opera solo, shared. ”Open mic, for me, is another chance to do something that I’m passionate about.”

WXOU staff members shared they are happy with how their event turned out. With its success, Pizzuro shared another open mic night is most definitely being considered for the future.

Additionally, Gray expressed her excitement about what the success of this event communicates to the OU community.

“If anything, I’m glad that we [held open mic night], because I think it allows people to be more comfortable in what they want to do [with respect to] what their creative talents are,” Gray said. “They’re allowed to express themselves, and that’s what we want to showcase to everybody: you can be yourself around us and be comfortable.”

In case you missed it, WXOU is hoping to hold another open mic event next fall. If you can’t wait until then, you can stay involved with WXOU at their next event, Throwback Thursday Night, happening Feb. 16 in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms.