As many of you will doubtless already know, the crossover event known as the Big, Dumb Open Mic Night, hosted last Friday by both UK’s esteemed literary magazine, Shale, and UK’s finest student-run newspaper, The Colonel, was an overwhelming success.
The editors of both publications reserved the Cats Den for the evening in order to showcase a variety of student talents, such as stand-up comedy, poetry readings, falconry, and musical performances. Of the seven hundred students who attended, eighty-nine had talents to share within their allotted time slot, and several more added themselves to a waitlist in case there was extra time at the end of the evening.
When asked whether they were surprised at the amount of people in attendance, one Shale editor commented, “I admit, I was surprised by the amount of students on our campus that are skilled in the fine art of fire-eating, but I’m absolutely not surprised by the sheer number of students that showed up to appreciate the arts; it’s by no means out of the norm at UK.” Adjusting her beret, the literary editor continued, “We’ve actually had to turn people away from some of our more popular events, like that e. e. cummings-slash-Beowulf-themed piece of performance art at the Singletary Center last month, because too many people showed up. We would have been violating the fire codes to let them all stay, unfortunately.”
A Colonel editor gave his thoughts on the variety of acts. “Well, at any open mic night, you open yourself up to the possibility of a few repeat acts, maybe multiple people playing ‘Hey, Soul Sister’ on the ukulele, or in our case, the old bagpipe fallback of the third movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5; I think we had three or four people playing that on the bagpipes. But a lot of the performances were much more unique and interesting, like that fellow with the dyed-black hair reading some stream-of-consciousness poetry about how he lost his virginity and then never saw that girl again.”
Crowd favorites included the professor who read her syllabus artistically in the key of E-flat while sitting cross-legged on the back of her hunched-over TA, as well as the Catholic handbell choir that stopped by to do their cover of “Talk Dirty To Me.”
“I think my favorite must have been when UK student Willie Cauley-Stein nervously got up to read his poem about how much he loves puppies,” said one audience member, blinking back tears at the memory. “It was just such a raw and emotion-filled poem, and his flawless iambic pentameter! Well. I know everyone at UK will know his name after tonight’s Big Dumb Open Mic Night.”
Door prizes given away at the event included a jet ski, a get-out-of-one-mandatory-student-survey-free card, a trip to the Bahamas, and, by popular request, a $10 gift card to the UK Bookstore.
“I’m just glad that so many people came, despite the snow, out of sheer love and appreciation of the arts,” said a Shale editor. “It would’ve been a shame if we had had to cancel the event.”
Byline: Rosie Summers