Got the itch to act? Want to become a star of stage and screen, but aren’t quite sure where to start?
The Lakeview Public Library will host an Open Mic Night on Oct. 19, at 6 p.m., for aspiring young performers. The idea is to give teens a stage to show their talent in just about any area of the performing arts.
“The goal is to provide students an outlet for their creativity,” library employee Stuart Oates, a 2020 graduate of Malverne High School, said. “It’s catharsis for the feelings. Adolescence can be a difficult time for a young adult. This is a great way for them to express those feelings in a judgment-free environment.”
The Open Mic is open to those ages 13 to 22, but Oates said they allow younger participants as well. And performers don’t have to live in Lakeview — teens from nearby communities are welcome, Oates said.
In the past, the library has hosted 15 or more performers, and an audience of 50 or more. It’s another way the facility is opening up and expanding opportunities for community members to get involved.
Library Director Camina Raphaël-Lubin said that previous events have included a poetry slam and talent show.
“We encourage kids to be themselves,” Raphaël-Lubin said. “Whatever talent they have and want to display, whether it’s dancing or singing, the spoken word, whatever, we let them know they have an outlet to express themselves.”
Last year, Oates said, a group of 7-year-old girls performed a hit song and drew huge applause from the audience. “They had stayed home and practiced in front of their moms for weeks,” Oates recalled. “They were adorable.”
Oates said he takes pride in seeing children and teens step out of their comfort zones. The reward is watching young people find satisfaction in performing.
“They tell me, ‘It felt good to get out there and challenge myself,’” Oates said of some of the performers. “We see teens take the initiative, and they’re genuinely interested. We want them to be as authentic as they can. You got to be honest. If it’s how you feel, it’s how you feel.”
Raphaël-Lubin said that the small community of Lakeview supports the performers, and the events are great community celebrations of young talent. “They love the support they get,” she said. “Everyone is cheering each other on. Kids love it, and they really do come out for this. Everyone wants to show their talent.”
The library will offer prizes for the top three performers. And the Molloy University Workforce Development team will be on hand, offering scholarships and information about health care careers.
The library encourages participants to register early, so staff can ensure they have enough equipment for everyone. To register, visit the library, at 1120 Woodfield Road in Rockville Centre, call (516) 536-3071, or go to LakeviewLibrary.org.