Good food and great ‘tunes at Open Mic night

At local restaurant, pizza fuels the body, music fuels the soul

On Friday, Oct. 20, Pizza Pi entertained their weekly Open Mic Night, hosted by Richard McDevitt. The performances ranged from Rap and Rock to acoustic melodies and singer-songwriter tracks.

“It’s people of all ages, people who just want to get out and play, to perform and try out some songs they’ve written,” McDevitt said. “That’s why I like the place. It’s really informal. There’s no pressure. It doesn’t matter if you make a mistake or forget the words. It’s just get up and play. No one cares if you forget a chord or anything like that. It’s a very inclusive place for everybody.”

McDevitt began attending Open Mic Night because he met a guitar player who was visiting Kamloops from Nanaimo. The guitar player’s aunt asked McDevitt to join them and watch his performance. Some of McDevitt’s other friends were there, too, and they asked him to play with them.

“I probably hadn’t performed on stage in sixteen years,” McDevitt said, “because it just wasn’t something I thought I wanted to do or thought I was capable of doing in any capacity. But I did it once and started doing it again. It’s just the repetition and being comfortable on stage.”

For McDevitt, public speaking was always one of his weaknesses. Like many kids, he wanted to be a rockstar, but he suffered from stage fright when he was younger, so he disliked performing and had to work on getting over his shyness.

“I [hated] being alone on stage with a microphone and having to talk to a room, and I did for the longest time,” McDevitt said, “but now that I’ve been doing it for a good [eight months], I’m weirdly comfortable with it now. You just have to get up and do it.”

“I’m doing this for fun,” McDevitt said. “At [forty-one years old], I’m not going to be a rock star. Those days are gone. If I’d known and not been so scared to get up earlier, I probably would have been performing all the time.”

McDevitt encourages everyone who’s afraid of the stage to step up and seize their chance to perform.

“If you haven’t performed, and you want to, but you’re nervous about it, if you have stage fright, this is the perfect place to come and just try it,” McDevitt said. “You don’t have to knock it out of the park the first time because that’s probably not going to happen, but you do it over and over again, and you get better.”

Every Friday is Open Mic Night at Pizza Pi in Downtown Kamloops from 9 PM until late.