Pandemic Open Mic Mondays

At 10 am Pacific Time (6 pm GMT) every Monday, I host an open mic on the Facebook page of Popular Resistance and various other platforms.

Where you can watch the open mic:

You can also listen to the open mic after the fact in podcast form if you look for This Week with David Rovics on any podcasting platform.


The purpose is to have a shared event, an open mic, just like the open mics I used to host in cafes, but online.  There are no qualifications for participation, other than having something you’d like to share to an audience in a livestreamed open mic, along the lines of a song or a poem or a short story that’s 10 minutes or less.

The Process for Participants

  • Sign up anytime before 9 am Pacific Time (5 pm GMT) on Monday (including on any day of the week prior to Monday).
  • At approximately 9:40 am Pacific (5:40 pm GMT), check your email for a link to the Streamyard broadcast studio and other information.
  • After each act, I will come back on, announce who the next lineup of participants will be, and then I’ll introduce the next person, and hand the stage over to them.

Best Practices

When you’re entering the broadcast studio, Streamyard will give you a message with lots of useful information on it.  For many people, this information will come too late to be especially useful.  So here are a few pieces of advice for anyone new at livestreaming — stuff I’ve been only recently figuring out myself.

  • Connection speed matters.  If you have a laptop with broadband plugged in, this is ideal.
  • Mics matter, and where you put them matters even more.  If you have a USB mic, experiment with where you’re putting it.  If you don’t have a mic stand for it, that makes this experiment harder, though not impossible.
  • If you’re just using the mic built in to your laptop or phone, quality will suffer a lot, but where the phone or laptop is placed will also make a huge difference in terms of getting the best sound from your voice and/or instrument.
  • If you’re using a headset (and ideally also an external mic of some kind), and you’re playing an instrument in addition to talking or singing, then before you go live with me on Streamyard, go to the Settings icon to the right, and click the box for “disable audio processing.”  If you’re not using a headset, disabling audio processing will make things worse, so in that case, don’t do it (but your instrument is not going to sound good in that case).  This bit of advice also applies if you’re using Zoom for musical purposes.
  • Whether you’re using an external webcam or the camera built in to your laptop or phone, the best visual involves a background that is not too cluttered and not bright.  It also helps immensely if the camera is directed straight at your face, and not up your nose.