Today we’d like to introduce you to Jam.
Jam, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m a little black girl from Indiana who moved to Vegas when with my family I was 5. I’ve always been the over-achieving go-getter, and that trait has led me to many successes (and few learning opportunities). I’m a life long writer, poet and performer. I earned a BA in Literary Studies from The New School University, where I co-founded an experimental writing collaborative, interned for Belladonna, co-founded the Akilah Oliver Scholarship for Poetry and ran an open mic series. NYC made me fall in love with the open mic and poetry scene, so when I came back home to Vegas I knew I wanted to help establish the arts culture of our own. The JAM LV began in 2018 and has now flourished into beautiful, high spirited and exciting experience in downtown Las Vegas for musicians, entertainers and art lovers alike.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Ha nothing has been smooth! One of the biggest struggles I’ve had along the way is putting too much pressure on myself to succeed. Being a black woman, I’ve always known that I have to do 10X the work to stand out and to be given credit for my hard work. I love a good challenge, and if someone tells me I CAN’T do it, I love to prove them wrong. But from kindergarten through college, I simply put way too much pressure on myself to be the best. It led to burnouts, meltdowns, and really odd career choices. Now that I’m a little older and little wiser, I’ve learned to better manage my own expectations for myself. To accept the fact that although I hate failing, it’s okay to suck at something new. And it’s okay to not be perfect. I can still achieve my goals without trying to get an A+ on every single detail along the way. The most important thing is that I keep doing what I love and stop trying to be Little Miss Perfect all the time.
Please tell us about The Jam LV Open Mic and Show.
The JAM LV Open Mic and Show invites artists from all walks of life to share their talents on one of the hottest underground stages in Las Vegas. Hosted by JAM every Monday night at Ninja Karaoke, The JAM LV is known for its amazing vibes, outstanding talent, and vibrant culture that keeps you wanting more. From the moment you walk through the doors, you feel nothing but love — and that’s intentional. We pride ourselves on having a fun, friendly, and welcoming open mic that’s a turn-up, every time.
I’m so proud of how quickly our show has become a pillar of the dtlvarts community, that we attract talent from around the nation and the globe, and that we do it all based on love. Our show isn’t your typical competitive, cutthroat open mic — we are a supportive family. Whether you’ve never been on the stage before or have toured the world, the JAM FAM receives you with open arms. Plus we have a live band (which makes things really fun), a 2nd half Cypher (for our emcees) and a live DJ on set at every show. It’s a party every time at The JAM.
What were you like growing up?
I was a hyper, outgoing, imaginative, go-getter type kid. I always had a thousand things going on, whether soccer tournaments or school writing contests. I was a busy kid who didn’t like to sit still (I still don’t). I always knew I wanted to be a writer, and I would write short stories all the time. My favorite thing was when my teacher would acknowledge my work in front of the class, always saying my writing capabilities were beyond my years. That always made me feel awesome. I like to stand out. And talk about competitive — in kindergarten we had a competition to see who could read the most books that year. So to make sure I won with a landslide — I read 100 books — at the age of 5! So, yes, you can say that I’ve always had the drive to succeed — the drive to push the boundaries. I always got straight A’s, always made the GATE team, always won the essay and writing contests, made Varsity soccer and track. I was just that kid who wanted to be great.
- The JAM LV is $5 to enter, Must be 21
- Address: The JAM LV at Ninja Karaoke
1009 S. Main Street, Las Vegas NV
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @thejamlv
- Facebook: @thejamlv
- Twitter: @thejamlv
- Other: @jam_poet
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