The Neighborhood Scoop


By Dr. Cynthia L. Toles

Open Mic is a live performance where the audience may perform at the microphone. Open Mic has gained popularity in recent years, especially in Northeast Alabama. The performance is well known in United Kingdom, where artists entertain audiences weekly and participate in contests for monetary investment.

My first experience and knowledge of the Open Mic came while watching the 2006 move “Madea’s Family Reunion” by Tyler Perry. In one particular scene, the setting was an Open Mic rendition at a jazz club with the presentation of a poem. An artist drawing a picture with jazz music playing in the background helped to capture the mood of the evening.

Open Mic now has come to Gadsden.n On March 20, the Litchfield Middle School PTSO sponsored Open Mic. Students were allowed to sign up and showcase their various talents. The program was held in the school library at 1 p.m. Students performed comedy acts, musical selections and poetry. Elizabeth Croft, a Spoken Word artist and author, and Ashton Gray, a former Gadsden City High School student and current student at Gadsden State Community College, were guest performers. Also in attendance were parents and supportive community leaders.

Litchfield Middle School PTSO President Pat DeRamus wanted to use this opportunity to help students build self-confidence, display talents and give them a venue to display and practice using speaking and communicating skills in front of an audience.

Students who want to enhance their talent are invited to attend and participate in a Spoken Word Teen Workshop each Tuesday from 4:30 – 6 p.m. for the next eight week in the Teen Zone of the Gadsden Public Library. The workshop is in collaboration with The City of Champion Toastmasters and the Gadsden Public Library. Be a great speaker, communicator, poet and writer and meet the Teens in the Zone! 

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