Tuesday, March 26, 2013

So? Did you? DID YOU???

Last night I went to Lestat's here in San Diego to attempt to play their open mic night for the 3rd Monday night in a row.  There are about twice as many performers each week as they have time slots, so each person who wants to play music or do comedy writes their name on a little slip of paper and tosses it into a closed container.  Then around 6:30pm PT there is a drawing of the names.  Each person whose name is drawn gets to pick their time slot from whatever remain, until all the time slots are filled.  So if my name is not called before the last time slot is taken, I don't get to play and have to come back the next Monday night to try again.

They do have a rule that says any hopeful performer who comes three weeks in a row and does not get their name drawn for a time slot each time, automatically gets a time slot the next week.

The time slots start at the beginning of the open mic at 7:00pm PT, and continue in 10 minute increments until the final time slot of the evening, jokingly called "The Headliner," at 11:00pm.  That makes 25 ten-minute time slots.  Not all the time slots are available for the drawing.  Anyone who has racked up 3 consecutive losses in the previous weeks' drawing takes one of the slots.  And I believe, although I am not sure, they also sometimes give a small number of slots away beforehand, to local performers who have a full show of their own coming up soon at Lestat's.

So in this video, which I shot myself with my iPhone camera, you are me - you are watching the proceedings from my precise vantage point last night, as I watched them unfold live.  You are waiting - like me - to see who gets picked, and if I will be one of them.  Appearing in the video are the regular host and co-host of this open mic, musicians Chad Taggert and Chris Carpenter respectively, and the volunteer-friendly-assistant-of-the-week, who goes by Buzz.

Tonight I will be going to play Charlie California's Tuesday Night Open Mic at Rebecca's Coffee Shop, at 3015 Juniper Street in the South Park neighborhood of San Diego.  That goes from 7:00 to 9:30pm PT.  Tomorrow night I'll be going to play the Wednesday Night Open Mic at the 710 Beach Club at 710 Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach.  That one goes from 9:00 to 11:00pm PT.  

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  1. Wow, that's quite a glimpse into that world. Congrats, Collin!

  2. Cool! I'm new to the terms musicians use. What's a headliner?

  3. No worries! The "headliner" is a term that refers to the main act, that is usually the most well-known, that will play at the end of the night when there are two or more bands on a bill. A "bill" just refers to the list of all solo musicians and/or bands that will play at one venue on one night (or day, if it's a daytime music event). For example, if James Taylor was playing at Foxwoods and a new "up-and-coming" musician was playing first, James Taylor is said to be "headlining" and the newer artist is said to be "opening" for James Taylor. So in the strictest sense, whoever plays last is the "headliner," and all the musicians/bands that play before the headliner are "opening" for the headliner. This is sometimes not a true view of a night of music, as four local bands, all with their separate and different numbers of fans, may play a local venue on the same bill, but have no real relation to each other. 65 people may come for the first band, and 12 may come for the last. To call the final band performing that night the "headliner" would not reflect the true nature of how that night unfolded. Hope that helps!