There were nineteen poets on the open mic list at Writers' Block last night. My job was to get them all on stage and keep the audience engaged. There was also a slam. That's a lot of poetry to introduce. I've hosted three open mic/slams now and have to say it's been quite the education.
As emcee you give and receive a lot of energy from the activity around you and I've been on an adrenaline rush combined with complete exhaustion at the end of the night each time. My admiration for those who do host open mic nights week in and week out at venues not just in Columbus, but all over the country has increased greatly over the past month. It's hard work!
Emceeing was an experience I was hesitant to do, it's the fear of completely screwing up, having nothing to say that kept me away. Introducing seven hours of poets at Arts Fest last year chipped a good part of that wall down and when opportunity presented itself at Writers' Block this year, I asked Scott Woods and he said yes. I even hosted during two of the four weeks of Black History Month, thanks Scott.
Writers' Block has also had some amazing audiences recently. We're seating people on stage, the room is packed. None of this could be done without them, and Kafe Kerouac. The poetry has been great too. Cheers to all the poets and the Writers' Block crew who also make the night one of the best open mics in the city.
For me, it's back to being a happy groundling.