By Kasey Borduas
On Tuesday, Nov. 19, in a small space tucked away on the second floor of MilkBoy ArtHouse in downtown College Park, Terpoets held their biannual open mic night.
Light jazz played through the air as Terpoets president Ambi Narula stood up to address the room. “This is a safe space, things that are said in this room don’t leave this room,” she said.
One participant was University of Maryland junior journalism and history double major Elana Morris. As a comic, she faces some unique challenges at an open mic.
“It’s weird to perform [comedy] for just a general open mic because [the audience] hasn’t been primed for comedy. So, it’s very chill – probably to a fault – but it’s fine,” Morris said.
“I started doing a little comedy writing my freshman year … but I started doing standup around the end of last year,” she said.
Morris is co-president of The Hysterics, an all-female comedy group on campus, with Narula.
“[Narula] just let [The Hysterics] know [the open mic] was happening so I was like ‘Yeah, I’ll come down,’” Morris said.
While Terpoets hosts open mic events every month, this event at MilkBoy was a unique one.
Narula, a senior journalism major, explained, “This [event at MilkBoy] is a semesterly thing. We have a signed contract with The Clarice, so we [have a] partnership to host an open mic and MilkBoy is our venue. So this is our place every semester.”
Open mics that happen on a monthly basis happen at a variety of venues on campus.
“We’ve had them at the [now closed] Co-op, we’ve had them at Queen Anne’s multipurpose room, places just around Stamp, we’ve had them just around campus,” Narula said.
Narula has only been a member of Terpoets since 2018, also as long as she’s been president.
“It’s really funny, I was not really a member … it was like one day I’m a member, next day I’m the president,” Narula said.
Narula, a member of the Writer’s House living and learning community on campus, explained that all students in the community are required to join a campus organization.
In the fall of 2018 she picked Terpoets as her club to join and found out that the president was graduating.
“They were like ‘Oh, we need a new president, they’re all graduating. And then they were like ‘Oh, you’re it!’ and I was like ‘Ok!’” Narula said.
“[Now] I host the open mics semesterly and our meetings every week.”
Terpoets meets every week on Mondays at 8 P.M. in the Queen Anne’s Hall multipurpose room.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Cameryn DeLuca.
Kasey Borduas is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.