I’m back, Brutes, with a shout out to three jams that a wannabe must perform at. The first thing you should do when trying to perform is have 3 or 4 songs ready. I barely have 25 mins of material ready but I am out there strutting anyway. Even if you are a newbie like me, you probably still got a few songs cooking, please, by all means get out and show off. The sooner you get on stage, the better off you are going to be.
The first place I am going to mention is The Velvet Olive. The Olive has a great open mic for artists from beginners to experts to explore. This place is really kind to beginners and has a lot of veterans that will support you. Once you start getting known, and the nerves start to go away, other musicians give you a bit of advice and seem genuinely interested in what you’re doing. After a few times there, the place begins to feel like home. Kudos for the Olive for supporting the up and comers.
The only place in town where stars are actually born is The Vat. This jam is actually an important part of the Alberta scene and is where everyone has to start out. Careers begin and disintegrate at places like the Vat. Just being on stage at such a big, and well known venue, is a thrill that you will tell your kids about. If you got the dream, and someone other than your mom is telling you to go for it, the Vat, is the best feather in your cap you can have.
Bring your friends, have a bit of an entourage , be the star you actually are. Please spend a few bucks while you are there, open mics are usually small losses for venues so having a few friends supporting you really makes a difference. The other musicians at the Vat are really friendly, very, very good and accomplished artists. If you’re gonna make it, you’re probably already a regular performer at the Vat.
The Thursday Ross St. patio open mic. If you want an audience that isn’t mostly musicians the patio is the place to be. You will have between 60 to 80 people watching. These are actually people out having fun, enjoying the scene, discovering new talent. I would suggest having stuff that’s actually polished for this one, but you get noticed by people out for a good time. That means someone other than your mom is listening and enjoying your stuff.
Being a beginner, getting out there is hard, but if you want a shot at it, the open jams are a necessity. Once you are ready for a shot, and you have what it takes, the people you meet and get to know at these places and events will probably help you get a show but you most definitely won’t be a beginner anymore. It takes years to get established, it takes time to get to know other musicians, it takes work to get good. Put in the time, the work, be friendly, and humble music will pay off.