Music lover runs Be Here Now open mic nights

The Daily News

Emily Myren stands at the front of Be Here Now as the first of several performers at Tuesday’s Open Mic Night. Emily Myren, a student at Ball State, runs Open Mic Night, an event that features students, local artists and bands who stop in during their tours.  DN PHOTO RJ RICKER
Emily Myren stands at the front of Be Here Now as the first of several performers at Tuesday’s Open Mic Night. Emily Myren, a student at Ball State, runs Open Mic Night, an event that features students, local artists and bands who stop in during their tours. DN PHOTO RJ RICKER

Dim light, soulful singing, acoustic guitar and a bar full of people fill Be Here Now every Tuesday for open mic nights. Singer after singer comes up to the corner stage by the bar. People stand and sit on stools with pints of beer on their hands, tapping their feet to the rhythm.


Emily Myren, a sophomore sociology major, is the host and a performer of the open mic nights. She started going to open mics last year when Ryan Rader was the host. When Rader couldn’t continue, she asked Be Here Now’s owner if she could take over. 


Now she introduces open mic nights and performs several songs at 10 p.m. every Tuesday night.

 

One song she performed last Tuesday is “I Am,” an original song inspired by her struggle with religion. 


“I believed everything that everyone told me to believe, and it made me uncomfortable,” she said about being in Catholic school for 12 years.


Running the open mic night is more than just performing though. Myren has to make several preparations before each one. 


She creates a Facebook event page every week, puts fliers around campus and the Village and contacts other artists outside of Muncie to showcase. Also, Myren comes at least a half an hour prior to set up the sound system and make a sign-up list of performers. 


One such performer last week was Peter Dragoo, a senior telecommunications major. He said he performs at open mic nights to see people’s reactions to the songs he composes. He performed his own songs and a cover last Tuesday as a part of his set. He said many of his songs are from his personal experiences.


“I can get over something if I can write a song about it,” he said.


Dragoo said there are many talented people in Muncie. He gets songs that he hears on open mic nights stuck in his head all week.


“I’m blown out of the water every night,” he said. “You‘d never hear it if you don’t come to open mic nights.”


Shawn Ayala, 22-year-old Muncie resident, played four original songs and a cover of “Stone Hands” by Balance and Composure. He said his favorite aspect of open mic nights is when people perform covers. 


“Some bands don’t play covers at shows,” Ayala said. “When people play covers [at open mic night], they play it to their own interpretation.”


Ayala’s favorite original song is “First Season Ted Mosby.” He wrote the song while watching an episode of the first season of the television show, “How I Met Your Mother.” He said it’s a story about how the character Ted Mosby fell in love with Robin. 


“The lyrics are funny and sometimes personal,” he said. “It’s a story, a riddle.”


Like the other performers, Myren is passionate about music. She said she is even considering dropping out of school to have more time to spend with her music.


“I decided not to do what makes my family happy, but what makes me happy,” she said.


Myren learned how to play guitar when she was a freshman in high school. The death of a friend later drove her musical inspiration.


“After he passed, I tried to do it for him and make him proud,” she said. 


Open mic nights give Myren a chance to experience different kinds of music and meet many musicians. She said she has learned a lot from other musicians who play.


“Open mic nights are a really great thing in my life right now,” she said. “I’m very grateful for it.”



Marg:

What: Open Mic Night

When: 10 p.m. every Tuesday

Where: Be Here Now


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