Open Mic 2014 Intricacies of relaxed – and not relaxed detail.

Over a course of a week, I am continually amazed at how much talent and how much I am surprised at events that well simply shouldn’t be.  What do I mean?  Well of course, let me explain.

Losing an initial date early in May, then being bumped to ANOTHER date and losing a rehearsal moment for such a large group and with the last Open Mic staring me down in my mind all week, of course, all kinds of emotions I couldn’t even explain surfaced – but Les Miserables and how much I was sucked into that, took apprehensions of such an event away in a heartbeat., for a moment 😉  Just as I was saying my goodbyes to a production that seemed to have just started, I was on the verge of another event that seemed to be on fast forward and not allowing me to keep up with the memories and chaos and full speed ahead that Open Mic provides.  At least in this case, seriously, in an effort to keep all individuals involved for the last time they might ever be on stage as a student at ASF – Open Mic 2014, containing an insane numbered performers, filling TWO ROWS in the FAC, moved forward whether I was ready or not.  Without going into the step by step details, as always, most of these can be gleaned from the heroes that allowed this event to actually go through a historic number of performers that should be half but with the obscene numbers, many were able to relive a magic moment for the last time –

Ana A- Seeing and hearing Ana with a box drip you think, um, noooo what is this?  Then you hear her and just stare in wonderment as the sound, either by herself or tight others flows out and her confidence you seawall through the year at Open Mic?  Yeah…still there.  This talented young lady showed how much she brings to the Open Mics on her own and with others.

Veronica B – Again, a singer that seems sometimes to be nervous but has no reason to be she brings a gentleness yet strength to any piece she picks up a guitar to – anytime we can have Veronica on the playlist it is knowing she is bringing and delving into the piece at that moment,  is always worth hearing and seeing her in a performance.

Hugo Cabrera – As I am thinking of how to list the names, and going with alphabetical, honestly, the FIRST name that comes to mind is Hugo’s. Normally not knowing what goes on in the light/soundbooth, but being well aware of the work he had with a TEAM of individuals on Les Miserables first hand, I still feel nothing but admiration, regret, and honor to have someone such as Hugo Cabrera a the helm, when things go bad and when things need to be righted.  Despite being accosted by almost half the performers for sounds to be just right, and being given limited information on very performer that was sliding through the Open Mic at a rapid pace, he carried on and did amazing  AMAZING jobs of each and every act. – Improving without direction, navigating through the thickets fog until individuals were right there, with 26 listed performance on a show that he had little over an hour and a half, I hope every single performer thanked or would be thanking him for his time and willingness to stay the course, I spent most of my time apologizing and trying to transition what I could easier but he was and is amazing with being a rock of making things happen, and has you walk away WANTING to make it better because you can see his heart in it all and always turning something that does not exist and bringing it into existence.

Camila de la Parra – I mean, how lucky can you be to have the recreator of our literary magazine to come back and be part and read?  Words can;t really define it, and if you saw Camila while she was at ASF, you realized her coming back was a gift along with her willingness to be a part, and you finally conclude and hypothesize how far Repentino. has come through all of this.

Ms. Dixie as co- advisor – let me tell you, hauling her amazingly cute children AND still maintaining an amazing flow of people to keep the show going?  She was crucial to the whole event and amazing – I saw why she was such an asset to Repentino. in New York and first hand here at Open Mic.  Fluid and amazing – thank you!

Ana D – Being caught in the middle of a rush storm for starting late and not finished a planned second song, Ana brought grace, talent and a chars always, using her ukulele and reaching the heartstrings of many.  While many know (and not so many know maybe) of singing opera, to a genuine smile and the addition of her ukulele and voice mixed with “it’s going to be fun and okay” attitude, Ana only added kudos to her own act and to others that simply wanted to say, I am in important part of OpenMic.

Daniel D, Pau O, Bum S, Gustavo G, Luis L – Perhaps the surprise of the evening with a barbershop style “bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum….” this was hysterical but ideal for an pen Mic – sup rising, unexpected, and great to get the audience to react – LOVED this unexpected and surprising act that caught all with a smile and laugh on their evening.

Conrad F – If you realized Conrad won a best newcomer award at the Leadership Awards night, and you saw him perform initially at OpenMic, then you realized you saw a transformation occur throughout the year.  THis culminated in the last Open Mic when you saw his confidence,  message, and vision of his wiring and words came to stage.  Open Mic was amazing for him and we were amazed by how much he seemingly had changed while on stage, we are the better for it.

Alejandra G – Another person you are thankful to have near you in a time of need, Alejandra was everything short of amazing.  She came early and did so much with setting up food and MORE to allow Open Mic to even seem like a big deal.  Her involvement was crucial and ever important, coming at the exact right time and selfless as well as all the other individuals on staff that came early to do so much behind the scenes.

Isabel G – Seriously?  She had some concerns of nervousness, and I have no idea why.  She was great and I hope to see more of Isabel in the future and I wanted to hug her she was so good.  I loved that the readings this year were so strong – and they just made you listen to each and every word, and WANT to.  MAJOR kudos to Isabel for this opportunity to let us hear her.

DJ Hamilton – Rolling and rolling through moments of stress and way overbooked lists, Mr Hamilton easily felt like a performer standing on top of fire instead of juggling it, yet – he always, always makes each person realize they have the chance and moment to shine – and encourages them to try something and not worry about others – or their expectations, only your own. Literally Master of Ceremonies, the dialogue that he emits to support and reinforce performers, yet expecting them to also bring that experience and preparedness to excel, shines through each time he steps to the mic.

David H and Alex D – Seeing Les Mis and both in Les Mis carried a euphoria with their appearance on stage. Their strength in their number early on was an indication they came to the stage with something we needed to heard, and they brought the talent to back it up.  It was amazing to have these two as a part of Open Mic, with David as a repeat performer for many reasons and the easygoing style of Alex fitting what we needed for Open Mic.

Roy I, Josh V, Sadie K- I do not thin you want anyone else opening a show than these talented three put together. Having seen them in the past – doing amazing things – AMAZING – their vices, energy and talent started off the Open mic and floated into the theatre for EVERYONE. They left us wanting more from the beginning and wow, what a way to start an OpenMic and to be willing to jump in amid such a HECTIC week and provide something for everyone, all of them? SELFLESS to the core.

Alice K – Seriously?  She made that poem in this period, this day!  Add a rapper to Alice’s piece and this was an amazing performance.  LOVED.  This was a highlight.

Do H K – After seeing her performance in Les Miserables, and seeing how effortlessly she flies over the keys, Do Hee’s soul is put right into thievery music she brings to our souls.  Nothing sort of gorgeous, there is not one person that does not feel better after receiving the gifts Do Hee deals out, time and time again.

Minji K – Having never really seen Minji sing to perform, this was gift.  Her presence was perfect with Ana and Maria, and it worked and seemed to define what you wanted Open Mic to be, gentle, yet right there in the moment, Minji brought a moment we will not forget to Open Mic.

Paola M & Jorge L – Coming right off of Les Miserables, this spirited number was even richer thanks to the feelings these leads gave us in Les Miserables.   Watching them finish their performance for 2014 at Open Mic is always, and was an honor and all I could think about was, “Why do we have to let them go, we do not want to!”

Ernest M and Do Hee, Lara G – If you ant creativity, you comet Ernesto.  His singing is always something that brings feelings out that seem to be hibernating, then add the talent and “realness” of Lara and the amazing, AMAZING talent of Do Hee, and you just have an act that you thank everyone around you for. Together, they had nothing to do except cause a smile on your face and ask for more.

Montserrat M – It was amazing to have the patience and confidence of Montserrat on stage.  In many ways, I see her representing the ideal of Open Mic, maybe nervous but determined to fulfill her interests in music and singing, when the music, and when it doesn’t, she looks the opportunity in the yes and keeps moving forward.  And she did.  Wonderful representation of what Open Mic should be.

Camila M- Again, another bright light in the middle of a darkened theatre, Camila came to the rescue with Pia, Alejandra, Aliza to name a few, to allow a mountain of a list of performers to move forward without Open Mic, and without her, impossible.  Thank you Camila!

Lucia O – Let me say a word about the talent of this young lady, artistic to create her own symphony pieces, sculptures, paintings, and so much more, see has such a vision of the world around her, and then you add this combination of individuals of Franco, Camila, Maricuz, Alex, Izabel, Chloe, Yair, Juan Pablo, Do Hee, Ye Eun, Ana D., this was an AMAZING ensemble of talent and ability, and everyone knew this even with the inability to put together so many miss in short notice, the music, talent and ability all shown thrown to everyone and wait, just wait until graduation.  Each of these individuals mentioned?  We could write a paragraph about easily without blinking.

Maria O – Having seen her performance in Les Miserables, you should have seen her performance for Open Mic. Hauling an amplifier twenty times heavier than her weight 🙂 – as well as preparing BEAUCOUP amounts of materials for Open Mic ahead of time – WHOA. I saw her in action on the Press at MUN and first hand for this open MIC – LUCKY LUCKY to have her.

Eric Parton – I am not sure about you, but I could hear the tone of Eric’s Banjo, as it echoes off the theatre and back to settle into our psche over and over.  Never did Eric need to explain WHY the Banjo, he showed us why and always adds that touch if picking up a hat, walking around casually, and letting everyone know he brings something we can all smile about, and that is a huge part of Open Mic being so successful.

Pia Ramos – While soft-spoken, without her gumption, confidence, and willingness to take on what looked from the outset a huge task, she helped make so much happen before the show even happened. Angel?  Yes, that could definitely be used and often you did not even see her but she kept a flow of performers moving, moving, moving.

The Repentino. staff really grabbed hold on their own and managed PR, food, placement of people, items, seats, and so much more, it was very rewarding to see them take on so much responsibility to move things forward and you can see how much they have grown together.

AMAZING help from Ana F and Andrea M who are new to exploring what Repentino. and Open Mic are about, and selflessly also added to the Repentino. team and contributed an amazing amount of energy and planning to all that made this a success.

Maria R – Seen frequently in the initial Open Mics, and then back again, Maria brought her equipment involvement to enhance the Open Mic.  With voices that floated to each is us, her guitar guided this act she performed to every single member, and her talent as a guitarist was again revealed to all in attendance.

Clau RG – Going on stage with a beginning sickness of a plugged ear (no sound), feeling achy from a sore throat and more, it amazes me to never know this when you see Clau, her voice never ranges much beyond amazing, and while still critical that she could have done better, the audience wonders HOW does she stay so even with her voice and the feeling she gives everyone inside? Add to that the knowledge she came on stage half sick and STILL doing a performance like that, I thanks God former as a crucial part of Repentino. AND Open Mic.

Aliza R- Smiling and rolling with the changes as they happened, slowly at first and then rapid fire, Aliza was one of the behind the scenes reasons Open Mic happened as well.  Hands down.  MAJOR Kudos to Aliza for being patient, willing to be a runner and a doer to allow this to happen right when someone was needed.

Eva S-  There is a quality that Pau and Eva bring to a nightclub kind of sound, Eva has amazing ability and just has to get over her nervousness.  If she was more prepared with the lyrics, no one disagrees she could way into ANY location, anywhere, and get any singing gig she would want, anytime.  Her throaty, Etta James sounds she possesses needs to be bright out more and in even grander style, I am looking for this opportunity for her to show what she has next year and she will blow you away as she has before, and Pau is able to accompany and add to any fact with this energy and talent – he can rock the house for sure.

Alia S – Add the amazing gentleness that Alia brings to the stage every time, add the beautiful grace and softness, as well as hit to the heart tone Sonia Anwar-Ahmed adds, and mix the talents of Eric Parton and Do Hee?,  wow we should be paying for this ABSOLUTELY.  The hairs on everyone stood up with amazement and the soulful, smoky, 2 part harmony that everyone witnessed, that was speechless stirring.  I fell in love what what they felt about Open mic just from their performance, and they did not need to say a thing.

Yes, The Tech Club – Due to my fault, they were so underused in this show, and I watched them try EVERYTHING to help us – without them even there, well, I have to say, I also realized how crucial they are to what occurs in the Fine Arts Center, and in talking with them – after, during, and before the show, they are a oct valuable asset to the famous and honestly – you want to know them if you are doing anything in the Fine Arts Center, hands down and DO NOT underestimate them, I found they are also the brains of this mic, that mic, and so much MORE.

Sandra V – If I ever think of someone that would represent herself and others amazingly on Ido, it’s Sandra.  Here guitar-filled confidence each time she steps on stage is apparent.  I enjoy hearing her latest version of anything – as confidence and strength exudes from her country, blues, rock influences you feel as she strums through effortlessly through her act each time.

Catherine W- I loved her spunk, courage, and patience even when she felt she needed a do over and waiting for the music, she looked any fear in the eye and countered it with an energy and enthusiasm that all need to go on.  She was GREAT for so many reasons in representing what Open Mic should mean for everyone.

Take her sister Stephanie spending hours trying to get snapshots of the new mag on iPads, then on her iPad, then displaying items for the lobby, and you get an idea that how much needed to be done, by seeing then Stephanie, then focusing on all the other countless details the Repentino. staff took on to finish.

Ximena V and Camila G- Despite the technical issues we had with receiving music late in the show, these two have an amazing ability of confidence and pushing out a presentation to those in front of them.  Even without a track you sense that both have something worth sharing to the crowd at large, Ximena brings this stature and confidence to anything she would want to attempt, and Camila has this smile that just is amazing, added to her confidence and ability to just go through what she wants to show – Les Miserables was another example of this – their talents together, unmeasurable and it is a pleasure to have them as participants in any Open Mic.

Teruhi Yoshioka – it is amazing to have someone that believes and supports the efforts of so much talent all over famous, Teruhi is the woman who does this – without BLINKING.  Add the power of Huho Cabrera, you find yourself walking into an area of amazingness, act and every moment you see, talk, and share time with them.  Successes seem to start and end with these two every single moment.

When you come down to it. Repentino’s Open Mic is supposed to be kind of all over the place, a little sloppy at times, but that is not the main purposes.  Coming toy the stage with a purpose and a heart passionate-filled is the main prerequisites and the great thing is this is exactly received back from everyone.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived home and found and heard, my pups at the door (how did they get out of the back room), opening the door and seeing literally every item I owned spread out is a ransack array across the floor, some ruined, some chewed torn, (where did that little fake cat go that was on the cat tree by the window?) and of course the dog war happy to see me and not bothered by the do too they left on the one cushion, by the cat litter box, and of course the gaping hole in the bottom of the room they chewed out of, with Mama Kinah wondering why they had all the fun and she could not get out under that space.

Sigh – 11:30 PM – all was cleaned up, deodorized, and put away, thrown away and packed away, (I did see a patch of fur that might have been that cat someone gave me for Christmas in the back corner of the dog’s room) – and even through the storm – I still was in amazement and thought of seeing so many’s performers souls willing to be shared with so many others.

I appreciate the catered food that welcomed us as we came out courtesy of the The Bear Cafe (The Bash), who were AMAZING, but also realized the contributions of these amazing individuals, are the reason why we have inspiring moments at all.  Seeing the seats so full helped bring this home even more than usual.

About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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