You’ve written the greatest song in the world and you want to share it with someone other than your cat. You’ve crafted jokes that would put Dane Cook out of work, but your friends are yawning at your routine. That poetry you wrote in the café the other day isn’t going to slam itself. The next phase awaits at one of Toronto’s many open mic nights.
Just off the Annex strip, you’ll find a welcoming open stage at the Tranzac (292 Brunswick, 416-923-8137) on Monday nights. The anything-goes, open-minded affair switches MCs weekly, but expect to see avant-garde musicians like Alex Lukashevsky on hand.
If you’re new to performing live and stage fright is an issue, Freefall Sundays probably sounds like a nightmare of an open mic night. Fear not – hosts Leh-lo and Steve York promise to prop you up with gentle hands at the Supermarket (268, Augusta, 416-840-0501) weekly singer/songwriter showcase.
If you want to break into stand-up comedy, you’re clearly some kind of sado-masochist looking for a life of insecurity and self-loathing. Spirits Bar & Grill (642 Church, 416-967-0001) can happily facilitate this act of self-destruction with its Wednesday-night open mic. But perhaps your jokes are a bit ribald for the mainstream and you need an audience more left of centre. Try your act at the Rivoli (332 Queen West, 416-596-1908) on Sundays at Laugh Sabbath, a weekly that encourages a weird sense of humour.
You just sweated out some verses, and now it’s time to slam it like you’re Hulk Hogan. Check with the Drake Underground (1150 Queen West, 416-531-5042) and Hugh’s Room (2261 Dundas West, 416-531-6604), both of which host ongoing Toronto poetry slam competitions.
Ever thought about acting out your professor-student fantasy? You know, the one where you give a lecture on a subject you know nothing about in front of total strangers? Well, Trampoline Hall at Sneaky Dee’s (431 College, 416-603-3090) provides this pseudo-performance art forum every second Monday. Check www.trampolinehall.net for deets.