Guitar in hand, Sydney Riley, a Humber cosmetic management student, stands in front of the spotlight. It’s a quiet bar room where piercing eyes and perked ears have all drawn their attention to her.
Anxiety and panic initially clash inside Riley’s head but quickly dissipate as she steps closer to the mic.
Riley adjusts her strap so her guitar rests comfortably at her waist and then delicately positions her hands around it. She strikes down her pick and the guitar bellows out the opening chords to Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”. Her voice quickly joins in singing, and so does the crowd.
This was what show time was like for Humber students who displayed their talents on Tuesday night at the second Open Mic Night event hosted by Humber Students’ Federation at North campus’ LinX Lounge.
Attendance was strong as singers, guitarists, rappers and poets took the stage, eager to perform for the audience.
“It’s a great opportunity for students to leave their comfort zone, make friends and unite a student community,” said HSF programing coordinator and Open Mic acting judge Kori Plaughman.
“I think it’s important to have events that showcase local talent because it allows us to grow and supports local musicians and the arts,” said Humber horticulture student and Open Mic participant, John Fry.
Crowd feedback and reaction plays a role in narrowing down the best contestants, while four judges decide the top two winners. The top two are announced privately by email in the following days, said Plaughman.
Prizes for the winners of the evening’s competition are $25 pre-paid VISA cards. On top of that, the winners also qualify for “Humber’s Got Talent” when all the open mic night winners throughout the year compete. Prizes for that event include $500 for first place, $250 for second and Toronto Maple Leafs or Toronto Raptors tickets for third, said Plaughman.
The Humber’s Got Talent event is slated for March 29.