Awkward! New Open-Mic Series in Toronto
Last night I attended the first in a new series of open-mic nights entitled "Awkward Show & Tell". Held upstairs in a trendy pub at Bloor and Bathurst, the first evening's installment was called "Things My Ex Gave Me".
The format is just finding its feet, as the erstwhile MC had never actually done a show-and-tell before, and they encountered a few technical problems as the evening progressed, but overall they did a good job. Some of the performers had agreed to show-and-tell as te event was planned, and some decided to bring something along upon finding out about the event. Still others (such as yours truly) found out about the event via Facebook a few hours before it started.
The presented material varied widely, from anecdote to letter to jewelry to giant foam robot costume modelled to a loud and supportive audience. One guy brought a let's-just-be-friends note from his first love which she had done as a bell curve. One girl generated bar-codes for the manila envelopes in which she kept mementoes of her exes; she gleefully described herself as "part-hopeless-romantic, part-creepy".
Some presenters went for comic delivery, while others spoke stammeringly from the heart. There was a mixture of angst, bitterness, exuberance, regret, and wonderment. The highlight of the evening for me was when , as a young lady spoke of the mister-perfect summer fling that she broke off, found the crowd chanting "Marry him! Marry him! Marry him!"
I'm sure the event will be slightly more organized next time around, and I'll keep an ear to the ground for its next occurrence. When given an opportunity, it's startling how much some people will open up to a roomful of complete strangers. Especially as winter closes in, Toronto is home to so many nearly-invisible gatherings such as this.