– Louise Thacker
As an introverted person, I was doubtful as to whether my involvement with the open mic night, which aimed to raise money for ‘Avon and Somerset Mountain Rescue’, would be something I could enjoy. So as expected, walking into Juno’s, the noisy atmosphere filled me with a sense of awkwardness. Yet being there to take photographs and record videos of the performances, I was greeted with warmth and sincerity as the herd of performers began to fill the space.
I had never been to such a social event but the laid-back atmosphere and inclusivity of the performances made me feel at ease as I took my seat. With glittery lights and the smell of wine and cider, the first brave performer, a musical theatre student, took to the stage with her own version of a song from the musical Wicked.
A tumultuous round of applause erupted through the crowd.
With each performer, the positivity and enthusiasm from the audience grew, which was a welcomed addition to the evening. The diversity of the acts kept the momentum going; from a rap being sung, over cheery ukulele renditions, comedy sets all the way to my favourite- Jazz!
With a few intervals to reconvene from the mass heat and pungent smell of burning from the kitchen below, the first half progressed and the audience relaxed (as one does, after a glass of two) and started to enjoy themselves. It was fun to be able to capture the creativity of the performers by photographing and filming them.
Some of the performers seemed more enthusiastic than others but I admired all of them for having the courage to put themselves forward in the first place. Their creativity was evident and certainly added to the evening’s entertainment.
Next came the raffle. As everyone rushed back to their seats after a short break, people began pulling out their raffle tickets and anxiously waited for their number to be read out, it was hilarious to see their reactions when they realised what they’d won. One boy seemed both disturbed and curious when he was handed a book called ‘How to poo your way to the top’.
Even though the venue was maybe a bit too small, there was no shortage of creativity and positivity as the performers gave funny, imaginative and thoughtful performances. Seeing as the event was to raise money for a charity that saves lives every day of the year, I felt privileged to be a part of it, and to capture the night was a memorable experience.
As the night ended, I felt proud of what we had achieved and knew my anxieties were worth overcoming, because surprisingly, I really enjoyed myself.
– Louise Thacker