My last in a series of ideas along these lines since the beginning of the open mic was to reserve the side room at the Wortley Roadhouse once a month and send out an invitation to all of our features, past and future, plus some others, to just come for conversation. No agenda. The more I thought about it, the more excited I got, because all it would take on my part would be to make the reservation and send out the invitation. But then I started looking at the cup half empty and concluded that no one would come, for any of umpteen reasons.
My last idea (with thanks to John Nyman) is a little less radical: simply make it easier for people to talk at the open mic. John frequents the different readings in Toronto and says many of them have no music at all, just the buzz of conversation. I think that now, after two seasons, we also have reached the point of not having to provide entertainment to get people to come.
We're going to experiment with it: I had decided to take January off from now on, to give myself a much-needed break in the middle of the season, but instead, at least for this season, we're going to have a totally-stripped-down, open-mic-only event, and see how that goes. No featured poet, with all the work that that entails for me, also no videos or photos to post, no summary to write, and, especially, no musicians--just Mykonos' normal piped-in background music. Only open mic readers the whole evening. And we'll try a little longer intermission: 20 minutes, instead of 15.
That'll be a test run. If it goes over well, we'll cut the music altogether after that, but of course not the featured poets.
What do you think?