OLIVIA FOSTER, TRUMPET EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
After spending a summer doing comedy in New York, Mahmoud Osman, who goes by the stage name Huta, started hosting open mic nights in his room.
“I was just doing crazy amounts of open mics and I knew I was going to get back to Iowa and I knew there were legit no open mics,” said Huta, who is a third-year engineering major from Sudan.
From there, the open mic nights came together. All students are welcome to attend Huta’s open mic nights on Fridays at 8:30 p.m. in Hebron 62 by sending an RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or through a link in the Juice.
The open mic nights are an opportunity for students with various talents to showcase what they are capable of in front of a small audience. Comedy, singing, and dancing are some of the most common acts. Poetry, storytelling, magic, and anything else that can be performed is also welcome.
Three open mic nights have been held so far this year, on Sept.17, 24, and Oct. 1. The attendance has increased each time, from 20 people at the first open mic, 33 at the second, and 40 at the last one.
“It doesn’t matter what your craft is. I encourage everyone to come and try it out,” said Huta. “We need people whose talents are not very out there.”
The performances are a way for students to gain comfort in displaying their talents in front of small audiences.
“Some of the best acts are people coming up to me on the night and asking if they can do something,” said Huta. “I like seeing people become comfortable performing even when it is their first time and they are nervous.”
For more seasoned performers, the open mic nights are a chance to grow their act and have fun.
“I love watching stand-up comedy with my family,” said Hulices Mireles, a third-year student who does comedy for fun. “I had enough people tell me I was funny that I wanted to try it. It sounds really weird but I like watching for people’s reactions, especially if I say something a little off. I like shock humor.”
For Huta, the open mics are a way to perform and facilitate performances on his own terms.
“I get to decide what goes,” said Huta. “I’m not limited by time because I’m in control. And I can incorporate music and lights in different ways so that each time is different.”
In the future, Huta hopes to expand the open mic nights to include themes, such as an upcoming Halloween open mic on Oct. 29.
“This Halloween weekend we are doing a costume theme, so all the performers will be in costume and we will encourage the audience to be in costume too,” said Huta.