The 7 Best Open Mic Venues in L.A.!
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do” - Eleanor Roosevelt
So, I’m going to encourage you to try something new. Have you ever dreamed of doing an open mic but let fear get in the way? I’ve been in your shoes. In fact, the thought of getting up in front of people still makes me sick to my stomach. But, after much encouragement from my sister, I finally did my first open mic a few weeks ago. And you know what? It turned out much better than I expected. The crowd was super supportive and I even made some new friends. But, more importantly, I did gain courage, confidence, and strength from that experience. I put one foot in front of the other and climbed what felt like a mountain. And let me tell you, I’ve never felt so empowered.
I’m asking you to to share your passion with us. Do what makes your heart pitter patter. And don’t set any expectations. Don’t go to an open mic with the hope of being discovered. Go to connect with a community of wonderful and supportive artists. Whether you want to sing, play an instrument, do some stand-up, spoken word, or poetry, there is room for everyone.
Some tips to remember:
1) Have fun.
2) Don’t be too hard on yourself, there is always room for improvement.
3) Don’t talk while others are performing. Respect them and give them your full attention.
4) Don’t leave when you’re done with your piece. Stay and support fellow artists.
5) Give positive feedback to the artist who just performed.
Here are some of my favorite open mic venues:
Left Coast Wine Bar: Every Sunday at 8:00 PM. Get there around 7:30 to sign up because the list fills up quickly. Located within walking distance from Americana Mall. One of my favorite Open Mic spots.
Kulak's Woodshed: I’ve really come to love and appreciate this place. It provides a safe and comfortable environment for both old and new artists. It’s like my second home (and I’m saying this after only two weeks of coming here). Sign up is at 7:00. Names picked at 7:30. Open Mic starts at 8:00 every Monday. Also, for $20 you could get a CD recording of your performance!
Tuesday Night Café Project: “Tuesday Nice Café is on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month, April through October. It’s held outdoors in the Aratani Courtyard of the Union Center for Arts in Little Tokyo. Open mic sign-ups and lottery are at 7 P.M. and show begins at 7:30 P.M. Parking is available at the Aiso St. parking lot across the street; they charge a $3 flat rate after 5:00 P.M. and are open until midnight on Tuesday nights.”
Bob’s Espresso Bar: This hip and happening spot in the heart of NoHo is intimate and kind of has that Central Perks from "Friends" vibe. Who knows, you could be the next Phoebe Buffet of this joint! Open Mic is every Wednesday from 7-9:30. Get there around 6:30 to sign up. P.S. Even if you’re not a performer, I suggest you come here for the coffee alone! It’s amazing!
Malibu INN: This is the place to see and be seen. I know I said don’t do an open mic with the hope of being discovered, but you really never know who will be dining at The Malibu INN. Definitely practice and bring your A-game! Open Mic starts at 7:30 every Thursday, and you can play from 3-6 songs in rotation. Out of all of the listed locations, you are probably getting the most mic time here. One last thing -- Terence Davis (the host) will soon have a show on KBUU FM radio (a new radio station operating out of Malibu), and each week he will be choosing several artists to perform on the show. So, yeah... stop by and do your thang!
Jumpcut Café: “Open Mic at the Jump Cut Café is the only independent cinema-inspired cafe in Los Angeles. Come share your songs and talent (spoken word, comedy, music) in the ‘nicest open mic’ in Studio City. There is a $3 sign-up fee. Two songs or seven minutes, which can be originals or covers.” Be there or be square every Friday night at 7:15, yo!
TRiP: Open Mic every Saturday from 2:00pm until 6:00pm “Come hang out with some cool musicians, jam out on stage, and enjoy a cold one.”
You may also find more open mics in a city/state near you by visiting this website. I hope you will come out and join us at any one of the above locations!
(Photo via Rita Korkounian)