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Students share poetry and songs at Naked But Real open mic

Texas Wesleyan University students assembled into the Baker Building on Thursday for an open mic event held every semester called Naked But Real hosted by Residence Life.

RAs Nikita Dhoubhadel and Akeel Johnson host the spring 2018 Naked But Real event in the Baker Building.
Photo by Matt Smith

The event gives students a way to express emotion and broadcast their talents in front of their Ram family in a judgment-free room.

This semester’s performances included poetry, raps, singing, monologues, and more. The room was filled with around 60 people, which resulted in a nerve-wracking experience, said rap artist Eric Johnson, also known by his stage name, Juice.

Eric Johnson (center), also know as Juice, along with Rob Thomas (left) and Dion Rogers, perform at Naked But Real.
Photo by Hannah Onder

Johnson said he came to watch Naked But Real because of how much he loves how the performers get to express themselves on stage.

“It is really beautiful because it is a judgment-free zone, and it feels good to receive praise from your peers,” Johnson said.

After Johnson performed, he said it felt inexplicably good to be able to perform at the event for his second time.

“This time around people in the crowd knew the words to my songs and were singing along, so that made my world,” Johnson said.

Music major Julian Rodriguez performed at the event by singing “Words Fail,” by Dear Evan Hansel.

Senior Julian Rodriguez performs his first song of the night at the Naked But Real open mic.
Photo by Hannah Onder

Rodriguez said that he attended the event because he tries to support all the different avenues of art, and Naked But Real is a great and safe place to do that.

He thinks the event gets better each time the school does it because the people who are purely in attendance become inspired to perform in the next event because they see the performers’ vulnerability.

“I think it is a great opportunity to showcase some hidden talents or even just to be real with people,” Rodriguez said.

Senior psychology major Kiersten Mebane said she was in attendance this semester because she wanted to support her fellow Ram family.

Mebane said she enjoys every open mic event she goes to because it give her peers a great opportunity to showcase the skills they possess in a room full of people who want to see them succeed.

Mebane said that she was amazed to see how much the event has grown the past couple years and even said Residence Life might need to find a bigger place to host the event since so many people showed up this semester.

“Naked But Real is always a fun event to attend because there’s always a few performers who come out of nowhere and steal the show,” Mebane said.

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Students share poetry and songs at Naked But Real open mic