BY ALEXANDER MARGAVIO
“All love, all the time.”
This slogan was chanted by a Sheridan Student Union member along with the almost full-house at the Trafalgar Campus’ Marquee, officially kicking off the new season of monthly open mic nights. The mantra encapsulates the aim of open mic night— a safe space for students to get on stage and perform whatever they want in front of a crowd filled with friends and strangers for fun, and a $100 cash prize.
The three hours of the event were filled with people of different backgrounds and talents strutting their stuff on stage. Whether they were flexing their pipes through song, stand-up, and even rap, or if they walked on stage with an instrument, and laid out some tunes of their own, the whole bar was glowing with positive energy as people used the venue to show off their creative talents.
Some of the acts of the night with the biggest ovations include Akil McKenzie, who rapped some fast-paced and powerful verses he wrote himself, Stephan Guschewski’s light and relaxing acoustic guitar act, and Anna Vagabova’s intense and electrifying dance routine played to the tune of some robust pop songs. Vagabova ended up taking the prize of the night, thanks to the crowd’s thunderous applause that followed her act.
“I’m here for the people, man. Because the kind of art people bring is so different. There’s a guy who said ‘moist’ last year in 11 different ways and it was glorious to watch,” said contestant Jon Kirkwood, whose act was playing acoustic renditions of songs he enjoys.
The informal nature of open mic night also helps a lot of students with little to no experience preforming at professional venues to feel the same satisfaction of entertainers in the industry as they stand on centerstage, with the roaring crowd cheering them on, and supporting the hard work they’ve put into their acts. Not only is it a gateway for new artists to get a taste of stage life, it’s also a good motivator for people who have fallen out of their hobbies to jump back into the swing of it. “I’m a musician and I haven’t performed in a long time, so I thought this would be a good way to get back out there,” said Sheridan film student and ukulele player Taylor Gaudon, who played a catchy yet strongly-worded song she wrote herself about her ex-boyfriend.
Be sure to check out the Student Union’s website to find out when the next open mic night is being hosted.