What is The San Francisco Queer Open Mic?

The San Francisco Queer Open Mic is a regular event offering a mixed bag of open mic performances (usually poetry and short stories, sometimes music or comedy) and kick-ass features. It primarily serves the queer community, it’s been running since 2004, and it takes place in San Francisco.

When is it?

The show is currently running every 4th Friday of the month, but please double check this website for dates and shows — they might change.

You should get there around 7:00pm, especially if you want to sign up to perform or want to get a good seat. The List fills up fast so get there a little early. We’ll start the show at 7:30pm. The show usually ends at 9pm.

Where is it?

Currently The San Francisco Queer Open Mic is being housed by the lovely folks at Modern Times Bookstore on 24th right in the Mission! The Modern Times Bookstore 2919 24th Street, San Francisco, California 94110.

Is there a cover charge?

Half-way through the show, we’ll pass a hat and ask people to put in a $3-5 donation. This donation pays the feature and helps support the Cafe. If you’re broke, don’t worry about it.

Do people have to be a certain age to attend?

The Queer Open Mic is open to all ages, BUT, the performances do often include “adult” content, though, and are proud to be a sex positive safe space,  so please exercise some judgment if you’re bringing younger people with you. So, the short answer is that normally the content is not for children.

Can I bring food or something to drink with me?

No. Not at all, we want to help the bookstore stay clean and happy with us, so please no food!

How does it work?

Usually, we have about 8 open mic slots. Baruch the main organizer is the sign up list, right at 7pm go say hi to him and let him know you’d like to perform.

Can I pick when I perform?

No. The host picks names from the list randomly.  Be prepared to perform and wait till your name gets called.

My friend is stuck in traffic can I sign them up?

No. They must be present in order to get on the list.

What if I’m late or don’t make it onto the official list?

Never fear, if you’re POLITE and PATIENT we will put you on the if we have time list. What does this mean? It means that if we have time, we’ll squeeze you in so you can perform, but no promises. We are every 4th Friday of the month, there’s always the next show or show up on time.

What kind of stuff do people perform?

Our show is mostly a literary reading, so you’ll hear a lot of poetry, essays, and short stories throughout the night. Some people mix things up with music, acting, or comedy, too. We love hearing things that are still in-process; there’s something intimate and beautiful about a piece that still feels raw.

How long do I have to perform?

You have a max of five minutes (including paper-shuffling and audience banter), and we have to enforce that pretty strictly because of time restraints. Violators are subject to public humiliation and/or boots to the head. Please time yourself practicing in advance. We don’t like having to be the bad guys. Well Baruch does. Blythe also likes it though, so don’t go over time.

Can I do more than one piece?

Nope. Just one. You need to pick the most important thing you want to perform and just do that. If you’re feeling frisky, though, you can bring an extra piece just in case we have extra time for it at the end of the show. But again, no promises.

Can I do a cover? Or read someone else’s work?

No. Why? We prefer you do your own work, that you made yourself. Our open mic is for makers, writers, poets, make something, make it your own, share it with us.

Does it have to be about being queer?

No — you can perform whatever you want. (Really.) As long as you respect the Queer Space and don’t piss off the host.

What exactly do you mean by “queer,” anyway? I’m not sure if I fit.

Our community has lots of labels, is comfortable with ambiguity, and appreciates all flavors of sexuality and gender. If you feel comfortable (or want to feel comfortable) in queer spaces, then Queer Open Mic is for you.

How do I find out about shows?

QueerOpenMic.com always has the most up-to-date information, so check back often. We’ll have a way for you to sign up for a mailing list soon.