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  • F.A.M.E. Board of Directors Top Ten Tips for Maximizing Your Open Mic (OM) Experience (and the audience's)

    From our perspective everyone should approach the OM like an audition/musical job interview.  You never know who is in the audience listening.  Just ask International touring, performing songwriter and F.A.M.E. workshop presenter Amy Speace! www.amyspeace.com/

    1.  Be present.  Stick around after signing up, don't have to be chased down. Be near the stage when the performer before you goes up. (Think "on deck," like in baseball.)  Additionally, stick around for the other performers, too, for as long as you are able to; don't just come and play your set and leave! (Bad karma!)

    2.
      Be prepared!  Before going on stage, be in tune/have a tuner; make sure your guitar pick-up battery is charged (bring a spare!)

    3.
      Be equipped.  Have accessories you need on stage, e.g., pick, guitar strap, capo

    4.
      Be microphone savvy.  Maximize the mic regardless if you don't sing, i.e., speak clearly even if it's just your name and the name of the song / instrumental.  Don't sing too closely or too far away from the mic: about 4" to 6" is usually good.  Lips touching the mic muffles words!  If someone is running sound, set your guitar tone controls to a neutral position and the volume to about 3/4 high, then let the sound person adjust volume and tone.  Only adjust controls yourself if the sound person is not there -- what sounds good to you on stage may not sound good to the audience.
     
    a.  Make stealth microphone stand adjustments without causing terminal damage:
    1) always loosen knob first
    2) adjust mike stand to desired height, angle, then
    3) tighten knob.
    To yank on a tightened mike stand to adjust it ever-so-slightly contributes to the slow death of that mike stand.
     
    b.  Microphone technique finesse:
    Plosive words beginning with "p," sometimes cause an annoying, distracting popping noise. On those occasions, do not sing directly into the front and center of that mike (as you usually would); instead, place your mouth slightly off to one side of the microphone or the other and aim accordingly.  Works like a charm.

    5.  Be known, immediately  Introduce yourself: where you're from and your song (give credit if a cover song).

    6.  Be accessible  Make eye contact with audience, smile if and when possible (remember you are entertaining).

    7.  Be respectful  Observe house rules if this is a "Family Friendly" establishment, be respectful of audience.

    8.  Be your own Agent  Self promote (CD, website, FaceBook, Twitter), but don't promote playing somewhere else by name unless you specifically have permission from the host and the venue (we sometimes promote other F.A.M.E. events, for example, or other events that are not in conflict with the venue).

    9.  Be a patron  Support the venue: BUY SOMETHING!  Tip your waitperson where appropriate!

    10. 
    Be Thankful  Thank the audience and host
    .