The O-town Scene

March 03, 2011

The O-town Scene - Oneonta, NY

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Traveling open mic: Next stop, Autumn Cafe SUNY Oneonta college student Julia Yarinsky organizes opportunities for musicians, poets, comedians and any other performing artists who want to try out material. Between applying for internships, starting work as a stage manager at the Oneonta Theatre, being the treasurer of SUNY Oneonta’s Songwriters’ Club and studying for classes, it might seem hard for Julia Yarinsky to find time for a personal project. But that’s just what she’s done as the producer and manager of Julia’s Open Mic, a series of local concerts. Yarinsky’s continuing endeavor began as the result of her connec- tion with Clint Henderson, the for- mer owner of Seen Unseen, an arts venue at 77 Main St. in Oneonta. “I was so lucky that he gave me the opportunity to start booking and running events there,” she said. “It was a lot of responsibility _ dealing with the bands and audi- ences, setting everything up, clean- ing afterwards _ but I enjoyed every minute of it.” After hosting her two first open mic nights there, Seen Unseen closed in the fall 2010. Though the loss of that space left Yarinsky feeling temporar- ily lost, “in flux” as she put it, she filled the gap in her creative world by moving Julia’s Open Mic to the Oneonta Theatre. The change in atmosphere from the small confines of Seen Unseen to a theatre more than several times its size was exciting, but Yarinsky never considered re- maining sedentary. “My plan was not to stay at the Oneonta The- atre,” she said. “I wanted the open mic nights to jump around like a traveling show _ a tour of Oneonta.” So far, that tour has tak- en her from her original locations to Stella Luna’s Restaurant on Market Street, and, most recently, The Autumn Café on Main Street. Yarinksy has also fielded offers to hold her concerts in other lo- cal bars and venues, as well as the homes of some local students. The next edition of Julia’s Open Mic will start at 10 p.m. Friday, March 11, at The Autumn Cafe. It will be her second time hosting the event there. She especially enjoys bringing to each new location the offbeat elements that made her original shows at Seen Unseen unique and memorable. “I love to use silly props,” Yarin- sky said. “I bring hula hoops and mannequins, we move the tables to Contributed SUNY Oneonta student Julia Yarinsky stands outside of the Autumn Cafe on Main Street in Oneonta, where she will host an open mic night Friday, March 11. the sides of the room and lay down these very bohemian rugs, and I think it creates an environment that’s peaceful and relaxing, a kind of escape from everyday life. My goal is that everyone can have their own great personal experience, because that’s really what music is about _ self-expression.” Lets Tokyo will provide a sound system, and each performer or act will be able to perform two pieces. Performers may sign up for one of the 15 slots starting at 9:30 p.m. The open mic is open to those 18 or older, with a $5 cover, or $3 for those 21 and older. There is no cover for performers. _ Sam Spokony March 3, 2011 O-Town Scene 19

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