MusicDish e-Journal - November 20, 2019
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Find Out About Open Mics With Long-time Open Mic Host, Spook Handy
Finding One, Starting One
By Anne Freeman, The Aspiring Songwriter®
(more articles from this author)
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Read the interview with Spook Handy by Anne Freeman in the free MusicDish e-Report, "Getting Heard Above the Noise: A Guide To Open Mics & Showcases."

Getting Heard Above the Noise: A Guide To Open Mics & Showcases
The 5th Report in the "Songwriters in the New Millennium" Series


Open mics and showcases have become important career tools for any aspiring and performing songwriter. An open mic is synonymous with "open stage" where any songwriter/musician can go up on stage and perform for the audience. In contrast, music showcases provide songwriters and bands an opportunity to perform in front of a panel of music industry representatives for various types of prizes and recognition. This report is meant to familiarize the reader with these forums to expose their works and steps to maximize their benefits.

To learn more about open mics and how songwriters can use them to further their careers, The Aspiring Songwriter founder & MusicDish Associate Editor Anne Freeman spoke with performing songwriter and open mic host, Spook Handy. Spook runs the Spook Handy Show open mic at The Corner Tavern in New Brunswick, NJ, which is the longest running open mic in New Jersey and among the longest running in the country. The ensuing discussion provides a comprehensive look at this career-building forum, from preparing for your first open mic to starting your own.

For those already familiar with open mics, one of the highlights of any songwriter's career is unquestionably performing the famous Bluebird Café. Bluebird Café owner Amy Kurland gives the low down on playing the premier listening club for singer songwriter in the United States, and one of the top songwriter venues in the world.

In addition to conference, Performing Rights Organizations have also played an important role in organizing showcases of promising members for music industry representatives. Steven Mirkin, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly, illustrates how BMI utilizes showcases to "create a songwriter's community, where musicians can try out new material, find collaborators, and quite possibly, get the contract or publishing deal that is an important stepping-stone to success."

So you've played that showcase or open mic, only to be told that you were out of tune? (Ouch!) Professional songwriter and master session guitarist Gary Talley provides the basic tips to prevent your performance from turning into a nightmare.


The report was made possible through the support of these leading firms: BMI, LiveWireContacts and Rainmaker publicity.

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