VIRTUAL OPEN MICS & VIRTUAL OPEN MIC PROTOCOLS

Here are the Virtual Open Mic Protocols. If you continue to scroll down, there is a list of all the Open Mics currently happening and a brief description of how they each operate.

All the usual Open Mic protocols apply (that are not specific to singing live and in person) so please read my previous blog in Sue’s Views at:  https://www.cabarethotspot.com/sues-views-singing-protocol/

  • Come prepared to sing having pre-tested your track to vocal levels (see below).
  • Have your music track ready and cued up and at the level that you tested.
  • MUTE! MUTE! MUTE yourself when anyone is singing. We do not want to hear your dog barking or the white noise of your air conditioner or eating noises. There is a little microphone in the lower left-hand corner on Zoom that you can just click. When a red line goes through the mic, you are muted. Stay muted until you sing or until the host talks to you. Most Open Mics, the host will mute everyone and then allow everyone to clap but them mute everyone again for the next singer.
  • Be attentive and give “good face” to everyone singing. Do not look down at your cell phone or take yourself off camera and just come on when you’re singing. Do you like this when someone does it to you when you are singing? Just sayin!
  • Try to stay for the whole Open Mic and support those who supported you. Sometimes there are other things happening of course and you have to leave early but don’t make it a habit of singing and leaving when you’re done.
  • Plan on what you’re doing and don’t keep changing your mind. In this new way of performing on Zoom, no one wants to have to wait as you fiddle with setting up at the last minute.
  • Keep your song set-up (patter) to a minimum. Again, there are a lot of folks waiting to sing so do not over-stay your welcome or take time from someone else who may not be able to sing due to things running late. (Most of us cannot take more than 2 hours at a time on Zoom and several of the Open Mics are only an hour and a half!)
  • Do not do an epic medley or smush 2 songs together just to sing longer. Again, there are usually a lot of people wanting to sing and this is just not cool to do. One song.
  • If a medley is a mash up of two tunes that are the same length of time as one song would be (2:30-3:00 max.) that’s fine. General rule: song + patter = 2:30-4:00 max. If they allotted 4:00 minutes per person this would only technically be 25 singers in an 1 ½ Open Mic or 30 singers in a 2 hour Open Mic. This is also not allowing for the host comments and singer transfer time so…just be mindful of taking too much time.
  • If you are singing a capella, there is even MORE of a reason NOT to do a medley…the musical interlude between two songs usually connects the songs creating the medley but, if there is no music, it’s really just you singing 2 songs and everyone knows this.
  • Most of the Open Mic hosts let you know when you are up prior to start time. Note who you go up after and make sure you’re ready to go but also be ready to go up one person early in case someone doesn’t show up.
  • When you are done, say thank you, interact with the host (if they do that) and MUTE!
  • Dress nicely (at least from the waist up) because you are still making an impression and performing.
  • Advertise your appearance on the Open Mic and make sure you list the link or how to register, etc.

Step-by-stop preparation for playing your music in the room over a blue tooth speaker near your microphone

Most of the Open Mics work this way. If you are playing your track over your phone on a blue tooth speaker or live in your room, the music usually sounds much louder than your vocals in the room but not over Zoom. Many times, we can barely hear the music on our end. This is because the music track has to be a little louder to be picked up by our microphone which should be right next to your blue tooth speaker. Please also make sure that you are singing right into your mic TEST THIS by recording yourself on Zoom. Do the following prior to the Open Mic:

  • Cue up your track on your phone.
  • Make sure your blue tooth is on in Settings on your phone.
  • Turn on your blue tooth speaker (I have an OontZ Angel 3)
  • Put the sound up on your phone by pressing the top button on the upper left-hand side.
  • Put the phone right next to your speaker which is placed right next to your Yeti Mic (or whatever microphone you are using.)
  • To test your levels, before you do the Open Mic, if you have Zoom, open up a NEW MEETING.
  • Click on the GREEN button on the bottom SHARE SCREEN – Click on ADVANCED (middle bar) – Click on MUSIC OR COMPUTER SOUND ONLY (middle bar) – Click on SHARE (lower right hand corner) – You will now see a GREEN bar on the top of your screen saying you are sharing sound and a RED band next to it saying END SHARE.
  • Go down to right next to the GREEN button and click RECORD then RECORD TO COMPUTER. You are now recording yourself as a test…no one else can hear or see you.
  • Press on your track at the levels you pre-set…remember, trust me, the track is a little louder in the room than you’re going to like…SING while recording yourself.
  • NOTE: If you do not Share Screen/Music you will hear the music through your computer or headset, but it will not record the music with your vocals.
  • Click RECORDING again when you’re done. This stops the recording. (Little red circle in upper left hand side of Zoom disappears.)
  • Click END and you will see your recording processing…WAIT!
  • Go to that file, it will say Zoom_0 or _1 or _2 depending on how many times you recorded yourself. Click it on and listen back to see if your vocals match the loudness or softness of your track. If not, do another test adjusting accordingly then DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING! Once you have it where you like, leave it all set up like that for your performance. Phone track cued up – blue tooth speaker on with blue tooth function on – speaker placed next to your microphone – you are now ready to sing at the Open Mic! No futzing!

Step-by-step preparation for playing your music through the Zoom system by sharing your sound

Please watch this video on using Zoom to refresh yourselves on how to best use this medium.
https://www.cabarethotspot.com/how-to-use-zoom-settings/

If the host on Zoom allows you to share your sound and you’re singing that way, have your track ready to go and cued up in iTunes (or whatever player your computer uses), pre-test your sound by taping yourself on Zoom before the Open Mic to check that your music level isn’t overpowering your vocals. It’s the same pre-preparation as above to test your levels but this time:

  • Open a new Zoom Meeting for your test.
  • Find your track in iTunes (or your computer player), get it cued up, set the sliding sound bar to half-way to start. NOTE: when sharing the sound through the computer, the opposite of what happens above is true…the sound of the track is usually louder to the listeners than it is to you over your headsets so you may not hear it as loudly. Again, this is why we need to do a pre-test.
  • Once your track is set, minimize the player to the bottom of your screen.
  • Back on Zoom, click on the GREEN button on the bottom SHARE SCREEN – Click on ADVANCED (middle bar) – Click on MUSIC OR COMPUTER SOUND ONLY (middle bar) – Click on SHARE (lower right hand corner) – You will now see a GREEN bar on your screen saying you are sharing sound and a RED band next to it saying END SHARE.
  • Go down to right next to the GREEN button and click RECORD then RECORD TO COMPUTER. You are now recording yourself as a test…no one else can hear or see you.
  • Minimize your Zoom meeting to a smaller box so that you can see and access your track/player. Press record then…
  • Press on your track and sing while recording yourself.
  • NOTE: If you do not Share Screen/Music only you will hear the music through your headset, but it will not record the music with your vocals. And, if during a performance, the audience will not hear the track.
  • Click RECORDING again when you’re done to stop recording.
  • Click END and you will see your recording processing…WAIT!
  • Go to that file, it will say Zoom_0 or _1 or _2 depending on how many times you recorded yourself. Click it on and listen back to see if your vocals match the loudness or softness of your track. If not, do another test adjusting accordingly then DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING! Once you have it where you like, leave it all set up like that for your performance.
  • When it’s your time to sing, the host will allow you to share your sound and you do all of this, minimize your Zoom so that you can access your track, do your song set up, press your track, go to full screen on Zoom and SING!
  • When you’re done, STOP your track as your player will usually try to play the next tune.
  • One final note on performing at a Viral Open Mic…look at your camera not straight ahead. If you look at the camera, you are looking at the audience. Test it on your Zoom pre-test when you’re recording to check your sound levels. Look straight ahead and then look at your camera. You will see the difference in how it appears to us, the audience.

HERE ARE ALL THE CURRENT OPEN MICS:

MONDAY

8:00 pm EST Jim Caruso’s Pajama Cast Party on YouTube Live Streaming. Watch Cabaret Hotspot for weekly updates. While Cast Party has traditionally been an actual Open Mic every Monday at Birdland Jazz, during Covid, it is an invited Open Mic format. Jim books his guests in advance and they appear LIVE during the show. There is a very high level of talent appearing. There is no charge, but donations are gratefully accepted. Every Monday @ 8:00 pm.

TUESDAY

EVERY OTHER TUESDAY @ 7:00 pm EST Natasha Castillo’s Virtual Spotlight on You Open Mic. To register please send a note to: spotlightonyouopenmic@gmail.com. All levels are welcome to participate. Singing spots are limited so you must make a reservation to sing. Non-singing viewers are welcome. There is no charge, but donations are gratefully accepted. Once you are registered, you will be sent the Zoom link. The next one is on August 11th.

WEDNESDAY

8:00 pm EST Bob Egan & Friends Virtual Piano Bar. On Bob’s Facebook Live page & YouTube Live! To sing please contact Bob through Facebook. All levels are welcome, but this is by invitation only. His “Open Mic” is a true Piano Bar experience in that Bob sends you a track of him playing a song of your choice (just like for an in-person performance) and you then record yourself singing to the track and send it back to Bob. (See my blog in Sue’s Views this week on how to record through Zoom.) The show is edited and presented as a pre-taped “live” performance with Bob actually hosting live. His Wednesday shows usually have a theme honoring a particular composer, lyricist, artist, era, or song style. There is no charge, but donations are gratefully accepted.donations are gratefully accepted. Every Wednesday @ 8:00 pm

THURSDAY

EVERY THIRD THURSDAY @ 6:30-8:30 pm EST Singapalooza Open Mic on Zoom. Hosted by Lennie Watts. To register please send a note to: singapalooza@singnasium.org
All levels are welcome to participate. Singing spots are limited so you must make a reservation to sing. Non-singing viewers are welcome. There is no charge, but donations are gratefully accepted. Once you are registered, you will be sent the Zoom link. The next one is on August 20th.

EVERY THIRD THURSDAY @ 8:00-9:30 pm EST Metropolitan Zoom Open Mic on Zoom. Hosted by Bernie Furshpan. To register please go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdLsHRYu9J-P5BfO4YJ-H2FIo0eM5qKVjaky23KpjfwGcP1JQ/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&fbclid=IwAR3HQ59Ypg0qIEHtBk_0j7GjMxGZuGw6ZaL2xQqqWImgGGnUFUSZu-gR094. All levels are welcome to participate. Singing spots are limited so you must make a reservation to sing. Non-singing viewers are welcome. There is no charge, but donations are gratefully accepted. Once you are registered, you will be sent the Zoom link. Bernie encourages all singers to present themselves as if they are singing in an actual club and offers a critique on the overall performance and performance value after each person sings. The next one on August 20th

FRIDAY

EVERY OTHER FRIDAY @ 7:00 pm EST Natasha Castillo’s Virtual Spotlight on You Open Mic. To register please send a note to: spotlightonyouopenmic@gmail.com. All levels are welcome to participate. Singing spots are limited so you must make a reservation to sing. Non-singing viewers are welcome. There is no charge, but donations are gratefully accepted. Once you are registered, you will be sent the Zoom link. The next one is on August 7th.

7:00 pm EST MAC Roving Open Mic comes to Zoom! To RSVP write to host, Jennie Litt @ JennieLitt@gmail.com. Only MAC members are allowed to perform. All levels are welcome to participate. Singing spots are limited so you must make a reservation to sing. Non-singing viewers are welcome. There is no charge, but donations are gratefully accepted. The next one is on July 31st. Zoom link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84208172726?pwd=bGV2ZHdrQU5BQzQ5YUlML3ZlYUFPUT09

SUNDAY

8:00 pm EST Bob Egan & Friends Virtual Piano Bar. On Bob’s Facebook Live page & YouTube Live! To sing please contact Bob through Facebook. All levels are welcome, but this is by invitation only. His “Open Mic” is a true Piano Bar experience in that Bob sends you a track of him playing a song of your choice (just like for an in-person performance) and you then record yourself singing to the track and send it back to Bob. (See my blog in Sue’s Views this week on how to record through Zoom.) The show is edited and presented as a pre-taped “live” performance with Bob actually hosting live. His Wednesday shows usually have a theme honoring a particular composer, lyricist, artist, era, or song style. There is no charge, but donations are gratefully accepted.His Sunday shows are usually a “mixed bag” of music. There is no charge, but donations are gratefully accepted. Every Sunday @ 8:00 pm