Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
It has been interesting how many local bands share common themes in how they first came to be. One of the most predominate threads has been a connection to open mic nights.
These nights offer musicians and opportunity to hone their craft and network with each other in a supportive space. Although there are various open mic night’s in the 850 area, it is hard to deny the passion that Kc Phelps’ has for her open mic night every Wednesday 8pm-midnight at The Other Bar in Panama City Beach.
Even the start of Phelps’ open mic was organic, “Initially Wednesday was my gig. Then all my friends would show up and I would let them play. Then other people in the crowd, who didn’t even know played, I’d let them up. Eventually I found out that I was only playing like an hour of that gig and the rest of it I was setting everybody else up.”
What further makes Phelps’ open mic special is that it is without limits. “It is an open mic for any skills or talent.” A battle cry for jugglers, comedians, poets, and any type of musician to join in the fun.
Phelps herself isn’t new to the world of music, “I played in groups all through the 90’s in an area that was very creative. There was no open mic, but everybody played. It was like open mic all the time. Maybe that is it, maybe I am trying to recreate that excitement or inspiration – to bring people together and have people excited about art and music. I think that is just in my nature.”
“I enjoy listening to people learn new stuff, and I like supporting people. I like getting people playing that might not do it normally.”
“I’ve watched people go from being really novices to getting stage time under their belts and becoming serious about it. Realizing that they really do have talent, that they really do have skills and they got that support from the open mic night. Just by making that one step forward it made a world of difference.”
Citing how the open mic community is quick to ‘acknowledge an artist’s growth,’ Phelps calls the night a source of personal inspiration as well as being a positive outlet for the music community.
If you’d like to test your material to a respective audience, try an open mic night. It may be the confidence booster that helps you take your dream to the next step. And with Kc Phelps’ open mic night you will be in very good hands.
You can also catch Phelps doing solo shows and shows with The Screamin’ Fleas all along Panama City Beach.