Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

Thumbnail Open Mic Guide

Thumbnail Open Mic Guide

In 2008 I returned to performing music in public for the first time in nearly 30 years. During those decades I continued playing at home in my living room, but it never occurred to me to play in front of an audience. That all changed when after the encouragement of a few friends I decided to try to play at my first open mic, in Shanghai, China, and then picked up again on in Paris in November 2008.

I not only became addicted to playing my songs and music in open mics, but I also decided that I would create a side project linked to the open mics. I had been so enthusiastic about playing in open mics all over Paris over that first winter between seasons in my job as a journalist covering Formula One, that when the 2009 season came around I was wondering how I would live without the open mic adventure. Then I realized that the adventure did not have to end, but that it could become much, much bigger: I could take my guitar to every Formula One race to the nearly 20 countries around the world that I would travel to, and I would find a place to play in an open mic or open jam session.

Still, I wanted to add another media level to that adventure, and I decided to write a book about that first year on the road in the open mics of the world. I never imagined it would take me more than five years to complete that book.

Then, each successive year that came along, I decided to create a new multimedia project in conjunction with the open mic adventure.

But after five years of this massive multimedia experience and journey, I have decided this year, in the sixth year of the adventure, that it was finally time to consolidate the entire experience and bring to final fruition all of the projects.

At each Formula One race that I travel to this year I will complete the corresponding section of the open mic film and I will put up a very short rough trailer excerpt from the section. (If there is no corresponding section – i.e. the races did not exist in the past, I’ll replace with a race that was part of the past journey.)

Here is an outline of the Worldwide Open Mic Multimedia Journey from its beginnings to today:

Year 1 (2009): Playing in at least one open mic in every country of the F1 championship + writing book about the journey
Year 2 (2010): Playing in at least one open mic in every country of the F1 championship + blog about the journey
Year 3 (2011): Playing in at least one open mic in every country of the F1 championship + recording footage in every country for open mic journey film
Year 4 (2012): Playing in at least one open mic in every country of the F1 championship + Interviewing on podcast organizers at each open mic for blog + recording myself playing with musicians in ever country of the F1 championship
Year 5 (2013): Playing in at least one open mic in every country of the F1 championship + writing a song in each country (only got something like half the countries done, idea was a bit of a failure + creating a Thumbnail Guide to Open Mics and Jam Sessions in every country of F1 championship + finishing completely the book
Year 6 (2014): Year of consolidation, completion, and worldwide promotion and sale and assembly of the package.

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