The Mic

The Mic can be your worst enemy. In truth, it is the most ruthless critic you will ever come upon. It will soak up your words and notes and spit them back at you exactly as you said them. You cannot, under any circumstances, lie to the Mic. Even if when you’re singing in the shower, you hear the most beautiful aria ever performed from The Civic to The Mett, our ears can lie to us. Honestly, think about it: how many tone-deaf people have absolutely no idea that they’re tone-deaf? It’s quite amazing, when I think about it; and of course, you can’t ever tell them that they’re tone-deaf if they don’t know already, because they’ll never believe you. That is, until they hear themselves on the Mic. Now, needless to say, I’m not talking about all Mics. Generalizing about Mics is like generalizing about people: you can never do it with any degree of accuracy or fairness, because humans, by nature, are so unique from each other. This rule holds true with the Mic. In particular, the Mic that I know best is a Shure SM7, and it rings your voice back (with optional reverb, of course) with a booming clarity that simply does not lie.

The Mic can be very intimidating, as well. If you have never heard yourself on a Mic, it can be very scary to heed. The first time I heard myself on a good Mic was in my Grandfather’s studio. Even though I was only six or seven, when I breathed into the Mic I sounded like the Big Bad Wolf huffing and puffing a house down, or at least I thought so. Later, when I got a little more comfortable with the sound of my voice on the Mic, I started doing poetry slams. The first time was rocky, like riding your bike without your dad running along side you the first time. I didn’t have the piece totally memorized, and as I tried to read from the paper in front of me, my hands began violently shaking because I was so nervous. I couldn’t even read the words two feet in front of my face. Later on though, when I had the piece down front to back, I did it again for a crowd, and it went so smoothly, I not only got a standing ovation, I placed first as well. Since the only trophies I’d gotten were from AYSO (the American Youth Soccer Association) when I was little, and every kid that played got one of those, getting recognition felt pretty good. So I kept writing, and kept confronting the Mic. Eventually, I met my boyfriend Chris, and, as fate would have it, he had a recording studio in his apartment. Once again, I was getting up close and personal with the Mic. At first, like so many other times, it took me a second to get my feet on solid ground, but once I did, it was incredible. It was just Chris and I, my Mic recording from the booth and his on from just outside, but not recording on a track. There were no speakers, just headphones, and it was like the whole world melted away. We sat there for hours, me singing and spitting poetry in the booth with the lights off, and he outside with just a small lamp lit talking to me in between pieces. Every recording that’s done in that booth, now relocated from south Evanston to east Rogers Park in our apartment together, goes under the name of Dark Closet Productions, because when you turn that closet light off, and it’s nothing but you, the Shure SM7 and whoever’s recording you, nothing else exists. It’s times like those, when the Dark Closet’s producing, that the Mic is your best friend. If you can handle it, it’s better than most things people feel in this world. Just don’t try to lie to it, ‘cause you can’t.

Shift: Journal of Alternatives

This issue: Home | Arts | Comics | Culture | Music | Science | Spirituality


Alternative Comics: Message comics, political comics, all style no substance comics, psychedelic comics and comic art.