Open mic shines spotlight on talent

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Illustration by Estefania B. Alonso

By Michelle Delgado

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

The Cheshyre Cheese Club will present its Open Mic Night in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month 6-9 p.m. Sept. 29 in the cafeteria of Loftin Student Center.

The event is free and open to the public.

Anyone is welcome to step up to the mic, said Jane Focht-Hansen, English professor and writing center director.

“If you want to come up and rant, practice a comedy routine, bring your guitar and sing or dance, all are welcome,” Focht-Hansen said. “We always hope to have a good time, hear new voices and learn something from each other.”

Participants can perform a maximum of two songs, she said. If someone wants to include adult material, they must give a warning to parents before beginning.

“There’s talent across this campus,” Focht-Hansen said. “I can’t even describe how creative people are here. It’s amazing.”

Focht-Hansen said she’s looking forward to a “rad” evening.

“People want to communicate what is on their minds,” she said. “Because the English department is a proponent of writing, we want to continue to support creative expression; for us, any sort of poetry, short story, music — that’s all human expression, and it’s part of what we do.”

The Cheshyre Cheese Club gets its name from remembering Dr. Samuel Johnson, who wrote the first English dictionary in the 18th century and hosted monthly dinners for friends at a pub called The Cheshyre Cheese Club, which still exists in London.

His dinner companions included an actor, politician, musician and writer.

Although the dinner meeting was composed of men, it was women who founded the club at this college more than 70 years ago; officers would portray Johnson and his friends during club meetings.

The club was interested in something new, the idea of an open mic night where all sorts of people, like Johnson’s friends, would come together, drink coffee and enjoy some treats.

“We’ve changed the constitution so the club officers do not have to emulate Dr. Johnson and his buddies,” she said.

“We’re the contemporary Cheshyre Cheese Club that includes everybody — tall, short, happy, sad, English major, health occupations major; we don’t care, because we know all human beings are creative,” Focht-Hansen said.

“As a student, you’re using your brain diligently to get assignments done,” she said. “Sometimes you need to kick back, drink a little coffee, inhale a bit of sugar and just have some fun, if for no other reason than to laugh with each other.”

Any student at this college can join the Cheshyre Cheese Club. Meetings are at 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays in the writing center, Room 203 of Gonzales Hall.

For more information, call Focht-Hansen at 210-486-1436 or visit the Cheshyre Cheese Club SAC Facebook page.

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