At Speak! Fridays, There's No Egos, Just Expression

Two cats hitting the skins at Speak! Fridays.
Two cats hitting the skins at Speak! Fridays.
Photo by Geoffrey Paugam

Us saguesera kids usually get left out of all the cool, hip cultural events going on in Miami due to our geographical disability (not living on the East Side). Lucky for us, with the Bird Road Arts District making a comeback and events like the Hell Yeah Open Mic, it looks like we can start saving some gas money and get culture closer to home.


Speak! Fridays at Inner Look provides a platform for expression to artists, musicians, spoken word artists, dancers, and actors. This place is so hot that spoken word artists from HBO Def Poetry and Brave New Voices regularly grace the stage.

Check out the jump for an an illuminating Q & A with organizer and host, Robert Lee:
Robert Lee, host and organizer of Speak! Fridays.
Robert Lee, host and organizer of Speak! Fridays.
Photo by Geoffrey Paugam

New Times: How did Speak! come about?

Robert Lee: I attended my first poetry/spoken word event three years ago. I remember thinking, "wow this is so cool. Tthe performers are inspiring the audience and the audience are inspiring the performers!" The room was filled with different emotions and points of views which left me thinking...this is exactly what our community needs...this is exactly what the world needs!  So with the help and encouragement of family and friends I started Speak!

Tell us a little something about the performers.
We encourage everyone who attends to hit the stage if they feel inspired to regardless of it's their first time performing or if they are veterans of their craft.  We are frequently graced with performances from seasoned poets who have have been featured on programs such as HBO Def Poetry and Brave New Voices.  Comedian Clyde Gordon who has appeared on HBO Def Comedy and BET Comic View is one of our regular contributors at Speak!

Some open mikes tend to be a bit, shall we say, full of themselves. Does Speak! follow that trend?
Our motto "No Egos...Just Expression" really says it all. There are are no pretenses. 
New Times readers can expect to be welcomed and embraced in an open family-type forum of self expression. They can expect to be encouraged to speak on and express their thoughts and opinions free of judgement. They can expect an environment unlike any they may be familiar with, where their opinions and thoughts drive and direct the show. Expect to be inspired. 

We heard there's a cool, techie aspect to the evening.
A key ingredient to the show is the interaction and discussion that takes place between the performances. We have what's called Text Your Thoughts, which gives everyone the opportunity to voice an opinion or ask a question while remaining anonymous.

Describe Speak! in two sentences.
Speak! is Miami's most diverse open mike. It offers a haven for those seeking a forum for free thought and expression through spoken word, song, dance, art, and all manner of self expression.

Here's a video:



Check out Speak! Fridays at Inner Look 
(4925 SW 74 Court, Miami). General Admission costs $10 and $5 for performers (snacks and non-alcoholic beverages included). Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Call 786-252-1424 or email speakfridays@att.net.


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