Since Blue Owl in East Lansing launched its weekly open mic series – known as Mic Drop – back in 2019, it has welcomed new performers, poets, singers, dancers, and other creatives to the stage. Today, the event continues to showcase talent, including a guest appearance from a Hamilton cast member, according to Alexis Rosado, host of the Mic Drop, which occurs every Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.
The latest pre-booked special guest for Mic Drop includes a cast member of Hamilton, which is coming to the Wharton Center for Performing Arts from March 29 – April 10. Rosado says one of the cast members, Meecah, will be performing a special event on Monday, April 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Blue Owl East Lansing. Meecah, who is a singer, dancer, and actress, is part of the curated lineup, performing a 15-20 minute set of her own music.
“We kind of get to see her, not only as a member of Hamilton, but see her as a creative; as an individual,” Rosado says. “That’s the goal.”
Just as any successful event series leaves room to adapt and cater to what the community needs, so has the Mic Drop, which changed the way it operates.
“I have kind of shifted it to ‘brave space,’” Rosado told EL in an interview, with the hopes of creating a space where people can be brave to show who they are as a person.
“I want people to bravely share what’s going on in their world and their work, bravely try something new, and then bravely go after their dreams,” she said. “Hopefully, we can create that culture by bringing in special guests, or even by having artists in our town that are already established, having them be an opener or a closer so that we’re helping them with their audience.”
The Mic Drop had been an authentic open-mic night, with no pre-bookings or advance sign-up sheets, but due to the popularity of the event, Rosado says she wanted to create space for new people to perform too. Another change is the special guest booking – a big focus of this year – in hopes of bringing in talent to inspire other performers and encourage them to go after their dreams. Each of the April events will feature a special performer of the night, and some new hosts as well.
Rosado hopes the East Lansing area can act as a springboard for creative talent and create a nurturing, networking community.
“The open mic is really just creating a space where creatives are finding their place,” she said. “There’s already been creatives in our community, I think there’s just been a lack of opportunities to connect. That’s why this is here every week. I’ve thought about moving it to once a month. It’s a lot to do every week as one person – to set up sound, and have people line up – but because there is such consistency in people from the community coming. I think we’re on our way, we just need more opportunities of engagement.”
The weekly series has also been the birth of many other creative business endeavors, according to Rosado, including production studios, audio/visual recordings, and artists getting their material up on Spotify for streaming.
“I think East Lansing is going to be more of a launching pad for creatives to prepare for an even bigger city,” she says, “but you can make a small city bigger by having community and connections. I think that’s what we’re doing. It’s starting to feel larger than itself, and larger than just a college town. We have people who are doing cool things, that are evolving, that are building their brands, and that are launching their purpose.”
Due to the success of younger performers at the Mic Drop at East Lansing location, Blue Owl REO Town is also launching a Monday night open mic night, specifically curated for those 18 and under.
Interested performers can sign up for the East Lansing open mic online through the QR code.