As a singer / songwriter myself, I have some personal experience in the world of crafting, preparing and presenting songs. Every person's experience is unique whileat the same time, some aspects are shared by most or all. No matter what path a performer takes, the opportunities to get in front of an audience are few and far between for the average person, especially in the beginning stages of their "career". I have been fortunate over the years to have performed in bands that played my songs, been on stages with some better known bands (in their day) as an opening act, done video, TV and recorded my own self-funded and produced CD. And yet, landing a gig as an original artist remains a challenge... and hardly a lucrative enterprise. Knowing how frustratiing this is for me, I find myself wanting to do what I can to make it different - better - for those starting the pursuit of their singer / songwriter dreams. When the discussion around bringing music to The Creative Center lead to the idea of the songwriter's open mic, I knew my chance had arrived.
Providing a place where artists can share their craft is a personally fulfilling endeavor and one I am proud to be a part of. But I have bigger hopes and aspirations for the whole process once it takes hold. I would like to see connections made with local venues that would allow those who have refined their craft and presented quality music in a professional way, to come and perform in their clubs / restaurants and pay them to do so. I would very much like the open mic venue to become "the place to go" when it comes to bringing new faces from ALL GENRES of music to the stage to find their voice and their audience. I can see our "Cafe" being much like the "Bluebird Cafe" in Nashville, or others of that nature across the country. I can envision having those that have proved themselves in front of our audience being brought back in a larger show / event where they are featured and given more stage time during our production of a quality event showcasing purely local talent, drawing larger crowds. I can see us creating an atmosphere where artists are in touch with those who can help their progress, like photographers, recording studios, promoters, etc., by having people from these fields in the audience when they perform. I dream of building the creative community and making the listeners much more aware of their vital contribution to the area as a whole. With the technology at hand, I hope to bring the open mic to the internet and broaden our audience even more. The biggest vision I have is that one day the "Cafe" might turn into something like the program "Austin City Limits"... known for bringing top notch musicians from all backgrounds to the stage in a live perfomance recorded for broadcast, or even streamed live.
My hopes and dreams are big. And... I cannot achieve them on my own, but I will cling to them and keep my thoughts focused, while doing my best to maintian the belief that it CAN all happen...
Learn more about local musician Kris Ferris at his official website.
Open Mic Night Details
The next open Mic Night at The Creative Center's Showcase Gallery and Cafe will be held next Friday, April 20, 2012. For more information about this monthly event, visit this page. To read all blog posts related to our open mic night, click here.