Under the limelight campus talents shine

On stage, lights blinded and hearts pounded. Courage struck to let creativity flow out of mind and into tangible form.

Spoken word, guitar strings, song and even some holiday jokes were performed in the Great Hall Wednesday, Dec. 1, for a night of sharing and exploration in the English department’s Open Mic Night.

Students and faculty performed a combination of original and professional pieces at the seventh annual event. According to English instructor Emily Anderson, they have hosted an open mic night each semester for the past four years.

“We’re really happy with the turnout,” Anderson said. “Everyone who wanted to present was able to. We ended a little late, but that’s good. That means it was lively.”

According to Anderson, there have been nights in which not everyone has been able to perform. This semester many of the pieces were well under the five-minute max, providing enough time for everyone.

Spoken word was the dominant art form of the night.

Pierce student Jessy Sulka has been writing and performing her work for five years.

“My junior year [of high school] I performed for my first time at a slam poetry thing and I won,” Sulka said. “My senior year, I performed at Poetry Outloud and made it all the way to state.”

Nathan Gonzalez saw the open mic night as a chance to step out of his comfort zone. He has been playing the guitar for eight years, but often not around friends and classmates.

“Performing in my school, in front of people I know, is kind of weird,” Gonzalez said. “It’s sort of weird, but I’m planning on doing it more often starting with Pierce. It’s such a big place compared to my high school. But here it makes me more powerful, I guess in terms of doing what I want to do as a professional.”

The eighth open mic night will take place in the coming spring semester.