“Open up, it’s Mike”: Last WEB Open Mic of the semester

Marian Sandoval Lemus, Campus Life Reporter

Photo by Jake Lee.

Last Friday, the Whitman Events Board (WEB) closed up their Open Mic Spring series with the open mic titled, “Open Up, It’s Mike.” The event took place on Reid Side Lawn, where blankets were provided for students and participants to enjoy the performances featuring comedy and music.

First-year and WEB Music & Entertainment Director Emmanuel Sakala organized the Open Mic Spring series, which took place Feb. 17, April 8 and April 29. at Reid Campus Center. The series provided students with a space to showcase their art and talents and promote the creative values that define a liberal arts college like Whitman. 

“Ever since I got into WEB I always wanted to put up open mics, and here we are,” Sakala said. “Personally, I believe in people expressing their talents so I feel like open mics is a time when people can share their talents and their gifts with people around campus… I think just people having a platform where they can do something they love doing is something I really wanted to do as a member of WEB.” 

One of Sakala’s favorite memories from the Open Mic Spring series was the time he got to perform a stand-up comedy set for the first time onstage. 

“It was [my] very first time on a stage… That was my favorite time, but also seeing different people, having different students performing arts, that was just amazing to me,” Sakala said. “Open mics are definitely going to continue.” 

It was first-year Katie Spegar’s first time attending an open mic at Whitman. Although this was the last one of the semester, she was delighted by the performances.

“They were only two acts tonight so there wasn’t a lot of variety, but still fun. There was one that was musical, kind of a karaoke thing, and I am totally a fan of karaoke, so that was fun. And then a stand-up comedy one which was really funny,” Spegar said. 

A highlight of the night for Spegar was having the open mic event outdoors. 

“It was great that it was outside, that was a fun atmosphere to have with little picnic blankets,” Spegar said.

Photo by Jake Lee.

One of the night’s performers was first-year Shantenyka Thompson, who opened the show and performed four songs from a variety of genres, including “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars. She likes open mics because they are good chance for her to practice her singing. 

“It’s more of good practice for me, and also to express myself and talents. It is also nice when my friends come and cheer me on and enjoy the songs that I perform,” Thompson said.

“For me, I was only really able to do the open mic because I did karaoke night for Orientation Week for first-years. I have never performed in front of people before, like singing by myself. I was scared during the karaoke but then I went up there and it was a total blast. I heard from a lot of people that my performance was the best performance, not to brag. Then I was like okay, I will do the open mic and sing.”

From stand-up comedy sets to spoken word to school bands performing their new singles, the WEB Open Mic Spring series had a variety of performances this semester. It gave Whitman students a chance to see the talents and gifts of artists and performers on campus and enjoy a night out with friends. For more information regarding WEB events and open mics for the upcoming semester, follow their Instagram page, @web_events.