When Flannery and I started Kingdom of Pavement, we talked at length about what we could do to support the incredible artists, writers, and poets that live in Los Angeles. We're in a unique city that draws so much young talent from all over the world -- but there isn't one place that is truly profiling and supporting rising creatives. How could we make that place?
Enter: the open mic night.
Talent in Unexpected Places
The performers that graced the stage of our first open mic night -- from the bluegrass bands to the folk duos to the incredible poets and storytellers and musicians -- come from every corner of Los Angeles.
They're the waiters, assistants, and freelancers who hold down day jobs so that they can figure out a path to do what they love full-time. They're also capable of breathtaking performances that left audience members texting us days after their performances, tracking down Spotify links or Instagram handles so they could stay in touch with the artists who created a magical night.
During our September open mic night, we had performers take the stage and surprise our audience -- and us! -- with their energy and talent, bringing everyone to their feet and dancing along with them as they shared their work with us. I can try to describe it here -- but the warmth and creativity and joy in that room is something you have to experience for yourself.
Open mic nights are proof that talent transcends halls of universities or esteemed conservatories. They're proof that what you need to succeed is passion, talent, and joy -- and we're lucky to foster an environment where that's here in spades.
That's why we're here: to hit the pavement and uncover the individuals you would have otherwise just walked by without witnessing the incredible gifts they have for the world.
Shouts from the Los Angeles Underground
There's something special about the way our poets and spoken word performers shared their stories and experiences. So often, the voices that are amplified and published are those who have connections, influence, or are established in the artistic community.
We're trying to approach things the opposite way: boosting the voices you may not have heard of. Sharing the stories and the words of those who have a perspective that we aren't hearing from enough.
The beauty of an open mic is that anyone can take the stage. Anyone can share what's on their mind or what's burning in their hearts.
What are you going to share?
Join Us for Our Next Open Mic Night
We hold open mic nights the third Saturday every month (with the exception of some holiday months like November and December -- in which we're planning holiday parties and other events, so be sure to get on our email list for that!)
We're committed to creating a safe space for all of our performers to share their work. Want to join us in that mission? Tickets are just $5 to keep the lights on, and you can buy them from Aunt Bessi's. We'll also be selling them at the door, and all Kingdom of Pavement Patrons who donate on our Patreon get in for free to all of our events, and also receive exclusive content.
Want to sign-up to be a performer? You can sign up day-of, but we encourage you to reach out ahead of time so that we can get your bio and can properly introduce you during the open mic portion of the night! Reach out to email@example.com with your bio and what you're going to share and we'll add you to the list.
We kick off every night with our featured performers who we've met at previous open mic nights or who are featured in our publication (so be sure to arrive before 7pm!), and after these featured performances we open up the mic to anyone with something to share. Please limit your contributions to under 6 minutes.
Check out our event page for info on dates and upcoming open mic nights and make sure you're following us on social media and have signed up for our newsletter.
Ready? Let's hit the pavement and claim this kingdom as our own.
If you want to support more stories like this, become a Pavement Patron. Here at Kingdom of Pavement, our mission is to bring visibility to rising creatives who are doing great things in Los Angeles and beyond.