The definition of an ‘Open Mic’.
By Jess Radnidge
1. ... To be honest with you, I didn’t know what an ‘Open Mic’ day was. So what do you do when you don’t want to look like a failing millennial? You Google it! Google told me that it was a live show in a coffeehouse, nightclub or a pub somewhere that amateur people performed their chosen talents.
a. And it turns out Google was sort of... kind of... right.
2. So as the days drew closer to discovering what the entirety of an ‘Open Mic’ day was, I became more an more interested in why I was so freaked out about taking part in this team day. Maybe because of the following:
a. Open Mic day occurred on my second month of full-time employment.
b. I was still getting to know where I stood as a member of the team/family.
c. I was working al ong side some incredibly talents design peeps.
There were days that would pass where a comment or idea was thrown out as if it was a passing comment, but not for me, so I was taking down some serious mental notes to later Google on my lunch break to try and figure out what is was that we were actually going to be doing.
Here is what I knew:
a. The team was going to create something.
b. We had a time limit of 1 day.
That was it.
The day arrived, and yeah, I was well prepared with the little information I had, and concluded that Google could help me if all else failed on my creative side. So as the morning brainstorm began, we started expressing our ideas of what we were going to create, and what seemed like a disadvantage at the time ended in the following — create a Jaxzyn zine without the use of technology.
Man, was I confused... A zine? I honestly couldn’t even comprehend what the word even meant, and well, Google wasn’t going to be able to help me, as technology was now out of the picture.
a. So yeah, I was so not ready.
3. The questions started rolling around in my head as others were finding humour in calling the zine a ‘JAXZINE’. Which meant it was time to ask the question — “Hey Guys, what exactly is a zine?”
a. for those who are like myself... It turns out a zine is a small magazine that is filled with creative ideas around a topic or train of thought, often delivered as a A5 booklet in black and white.
1. Once the team explained the whole zine thing, we all headed out to the People Mover* to travel over to a near by inspirational place called ‘The Dust Temple’.
a. And because my ability to describe something isn’t great, here is their website: www.dusttemple.com.au
2. Our regular coffee orders arrived as we began to discuss all the different elements that we would create to go into the zine. For some context, they ended up being ideas around all the things we do at Jaxzyn (e.g. How to brew Buddha’s Tears, where to park, how to cook like Jen, how to get free muffins, and much more...)
3. We then selected the ones we wanted to help create, teamed up, and went to find a place to discuss how we were going to present our topics in the zine without the use of technology. First up... Buddha’s Tears.
4. Jen and I were tasked with creating a 2 page spread for Buddha’s Tears. It started with the big ideas, like the journey of how Buddha cried, and displaying how much each tear costs to both your pocket and the child who rolled the tea leaf.
a. So I don’t know about you but when I have little confidence in what I am about to say, I like to pass it off as a funny joke to see if anyone actually thinks it’s a good idea.. Yeah it’s not a great habit, and Open Mic day helped me to see why.
b. Hint... it’s perfectionism, as it is the main cause of my lack of confidence... which was a trait that was fast removed when we got back to the office.
5. As we got back to the office to start bringing these ideas to life we soon realised that it was more difficult than we first thought. So I just grabbed the tea pot and started to brew the tea. Jen pulled the leaves out at each stage and displayed them on paper, and then we scanned it. We thought to add some writing and realised that our handwriting wasn’t great. So we walked next door to the massage lady who knew how to write in Chinese, and wrote 'Buddha’s Tears' and the brewing method for us in her language. We scanned the writing and the unravelled stages of leaves together, and BAMMMMM... the most elegant 2 spread page of the zine was created.
a. It wasn’t until this stage that I realised that the ideas in the first stage are really just teasers for the ideas that you get along the way. I discovered that perfectionism is created over time and often needs to be refined over and over... It was kind of my aha moment.
6. We then swapped and repeated the process with another team mate until 5pm where we put together what we now call our beautiful ‘JAXZINE Issue No 1 - June 2017’.
Ok, if you haven’t realised by now I was trying to be all creative by giving a ‘definition’ of an Open Mic day through the format of what a definition looks like on Google? Get it?... Yeah ok, I’ll stop.
In the end I finally understood what an Open Mic Day was... It was a time to recognise the small things like feeling comfortable to ask a silly question, or jumping into a car with your work mates to feel like a family, or just being a part of producing a final product that you thought was impossible to create. And also recognising the big things like the journey of perfectionism... oh and finding out how useful technology really is! No really, I’m serious.
After all that, if you are still unsure on what our final product looks like, there’s some photos below.
Talk to you soon... Jess
* The People Mover is Timothy’s car. It’s big, white, and can move people.