Nightlife & Music

Amateur Night: Best Places To Take The Stage In Charlotte

May 16, 2013 8:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Doing comedy or performing a song, be prepared to take the stage without rambling into the mic. That’s wise advice from a local humor academy instructor. Musicians love the opportunity to perform at an open-mic gig. It allows the artist to polish up skills and become more confident. There are several opportunities around the Charlotte area, even for kids:

Mugs Coffee
5126 Park Road, #1
Charlotte, NC 28209
(704) 733-9014

Mugs of Coffee is located in the South Park area. It is a local, independently-owned coffee shop. Its laid-back atmosphere attracts poetry types, singers and artists. The monthly open-mic session is on the second Saturday of every month at 8 p.m. Each artist is allowed five minutes to sing, play an instrument, read poetry or present a piece of work. Some months feature an artist’s den open mic. The coffee shop also holds events for kids. Call to schedule a book club or poetry event. Only coffee served at this venue, no alcohol. The menu includes traditional coffee and espresso, like macchiato, breve and white mocha. Real ice cream and shakes are served!

The Carolina Singing Star Singing Competition
Comedy Zone at the North Carolina Music Factory
900 Seaboard St.
Charlotte, NC 28206
(704) 535-1124

Date: June 9, 2013

Price: $8 per person

The Charlotte Music Awards is all about promoting music to the Carolinas. Genres range from country, rock, blues, women in rock and more. They are accepting applications for a singing competition to be held at the NC Music Factory. Contestants will perform two songs, using their own music tracks. This is a good opportunity for local talent to check out the competition and gain valuable performing experience! The Charlotte Music Awards conducts eight to ten showcases every year for the emerging entertainer.

3306-C N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 372-2633

When: Tuesdays
Price: $10 general admission

Poetry open mic is held every Tuesday at Wine-Up.It is sponsored by Touch One Productions. Wine-Up is located in the NoDa arts district, and it has become a hub for poets, entertainers and musicians. Doors open at 9 p.m. The party goes on until 2 a.m. Open-mic poetry in Charlotte is becoming popular in the arts community.

Related: Best Places For Film Buffs In Charlotte

The Humor Academy
900 NC Music Factory Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28206
(704) 877-1746

Serious about being a comedian? Check out one of the classes at The Humor Academy. Debbie Millwater offers preparation for open-mic events! Millwater conducts classes at the Comedy Zone in Charlotte. Fundamentals through advanced is covered in start-up, improv, sketch, comedic acting, voice acting and comedy writing. Looking for a fun activity, a way to enhance creativity or just want to get over stage fright — check out these classes. Millwater advises to have a clear idea of what to say before taking the mic. Avoid rambling. Make sure to have a good laugh per minute average. Yes, there’s a scientific formula for this calculation. Keep the funny coming, and bring a good attitude to the stage!

The Comedy Zone
NC Music Factory
900 NC Music Factory Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28206
(980) 321-4702

When: Tuesdays (check calendar)
Price: $5 cover fee

Newbies to professionals have a shot at winning $100 for the best act. The Charlotte Comedy Zone features acts such as Jim Bellushi and Adam Dodd of MTV and ABC. On Tuesday evenings, talent comes in from miles away to get behind the mic. There are 15 contestants in each show. Each contestant gets three minutes. Arrive at 7 p.m. for a chance at becoming a wild-card contestant. One wild-card spot per show. No experience is needed. Contestants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Doors open at 7 p.m. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. and concludes at 9 p.m. Enjoy the evening with dinner and drinks. Here’s another great opportunity to work on stage-craft skills!

Related: Best Circus Experiences In Charlotte

Catherine Lash engagingly connects with people. She has learned that interested listening and thoughtful questioning are the means through which collaboration creates a story. She grew up traveling the world and learning military life in an Air Force family of seven. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and three kids. Her work can be found at

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