What I’ve been going through for the last two weeks as a Judge for Steemit’s Open-Mic VenuesteemCreated with Sketch.

in #openmic3 years ago


So, it’s “just around midnight” (Stones reference) on Thursday November 16, 2017, and I just wanted to share some of my thoughts – for whatever they’re worth.

First and foremost, it is an absolute honor and pleasure to undertake this arduous task on a weekly basis. Mind you, I am certain that the battery of Judges who have been here from day one, can certainly relate to this ongoing challenge in no uncertain terms.

Though still very much wet behind the ears, I for one just wanted to share my personal experience thus far - insofar as the process in which I’ve adopted to do my very best to live up to not only my own standards, but to the standards and expectations of the Open-Mic music community at large.

Okay, so here goes – for whatever it’s worth.

First, I start out by listening to every entry from DAY ONE of each weekly contest. Once I get a “personal” feel for who I think really stands out, I start dropping them into a “long-list” of “must-consider” entrants.

I have so much respect and appreciation for each and every entrant that it is often rather difficult for me to leave anyone out of this “Long-List,” yet I must.

As a “judge,” I am called upon to use discretion of the highest order in order to fulfill my task in a most honorable way - not only to the sponsors, but to each and every one of the participants, and the community as well.

For me, it is first and foremost essential to be true to oneself in exercising complete autonomy as a “judge,” and secondly, as somewhat of an ambassador of the Open-Mic venue – to then be true to the community at large as well… And yeah, I guess doing so in that general order should more or less keep me on “the good-foot” as it were… At least that’s what I’m hoping…

As such, I begin to develop my “long-list” right from the moment the new contest week is announced… Thereafter, as the week draws to a close come Thursday and Friday, I have already amassed a rather “long-list” of at least 30 or more entrants who have captured my heart in one way or another.

songwiters RESPECT.png

So yeah, that’s the easy part! NOW WHAT???

Once I get that far, I must then listen and watch again – re-listen – and then yes, listen and watch yet again for several more times thereafter - to each and every one of my 30 or more, long-list of favorites.

Using somewhat of an objective list of categorical criteria from which to draw upon, (btw – nothing is totally “objective” in this process) I begin to order my selections based upon my six categories of performance criteria.

There is no doubt that certain artists/entrants are so overwhelming talented that by any fair measure – they will always (deservedly) “rise to the top” as it were. However, I do try my best to consider this.

Ascribing to the community ideal of not having a select few rather talented artists simply “take-over” the Open-Mic charts on a perpetual basis – I do indeed plan to spread my love accordingly to whatever extent possible.

That said, we should all tip our hats to these most talented artists who are ever so generous in sharing their music, extraordinary talent, and exceptional skills with us all.

They are indeed a never-ending source of inspiration for all of us. That being said however, I am both compelled and “subjectively” inclined to tweak my selections so as not to perpetually yield to the ongoing “cream of the crop” as it were – as much as they might deserve it, and no matter how much I may love them.

The Human Heart.jpg

Yeah, I’m a “free-market” kinda of a guy – and “bending” my selections beyond anything short of what’s objectively best – does kinda go against my grain. But this ain’t the stock market, man – this is about real people, expression, passion, art, music, and the community in which this shared expression is taking place.

So in consideration of the aforementioned, I must dutifully cast my otherwise libertarian/free-market principles aside. Oh, they’ll still play a role no doubt – but said inclinations shall not rule the day – not here anyway.

I trust these extremely talented artists will understand my way of thinking, and I suspect via the sheer community recognition that they receive, alongside up-votes, and the monetary rewards that these fine artists deservedly earn on a regular basis – that they would be so gracious as to help empower those not quite yet as talented as they are – and to give their fellow artists the chance, recognition, promise, and inspiration to forge on in their respective development.

Yet despite such admirable disclaimers, I must at the end of the day yield to my heart, alongside and in concert with the objective judging criteria I’ve selected to constrain it.

In closing, I think you all now have a much better idea of where I’m (subjectively) coming from with regard to my selection process. I hope and trust that my approach is one that the community at large generally approves of – and one that I will try my best to honor so long as I am part of the Open-Mic team.

Thank you once again for all of your support and for all of your wildly fantastic talent that each of you provides for this rather amazing and ongoing endeavor of artistic expression and community. It is truly nothing short of a miracle! And, I for one - am so ever grateful to have experienced and become part of it.

Love Honor and Respect.jpg



You are so sweet!

I was so excited to see that you were a judge. I really believe it was a great decision. You are so supportive and just a pleasure to watch/listen to!

I'm sure it's a LOT of work, but you are MUCH appreciated.

Added bonus: I love reading your writing. It's somehow comforting. And so easy to read.

Congrats on the new position. I trust you will rule with honesty and integrity.

YOU are so sweet for your gracious comment @carrieallen! Thank you ever so kindly... Much love... :-)

Admirable passion brother @passion-ground .. :) .

I feel you, just go with the feeling in your heart with all of this and you know it will be right. :D

Your comment and support is so very much appreciated, brother... Thank you, man!

Thanks mate, I'm sure you are doing your best.

Props, Joe! I'm tryin'... :-) Totally digging your entries by the way...

You know, now that you mention the fact that there are really great musicians on open mic, and, frankly speaking, some that are not as good, it seems to me that the best ones could have a separate category so that the other musicians have a better chance of being rewarded for their efforts. I think that if you put forth an honest effort at making music on this platform, that should be worth something, even if you're not professional quality. I know that this is a tough subject to figure out, that's just my 2 cents.

Or like my grandfather used to say, you got to shuck a lot of oysters to find a pearl.

Not everyone can be a star, somebody's got to buy the tickets.

never herd that before, i'm using that at some point in the future! haha

FANTASTIC point @amberyooper! Your sentiments are in large part what I've tried to express in this post... But we do have to give props to those that are exceptionally talented - for it is they who provide the inspiration for the rest of us... I think there is ample space within this most awesome community to provide a warm welcome for all... Thank you for this most relevant and meaningful comment! Much love...

Whatever you're doing it's working really well.

Thanks luzcy - but it ain't what I'm doing - rather it's what all these artists and performers are doing - it's all them, man!

Hello @passion-ground

You are really doing your best, I know is not easy to go through bunch of talented writers, singers and instrumentalist and to decide who take the lead despite your own tight schedule, you still find time to do that. All your approaches and efforts are fully appreciated.

Keep the good job moving.
More grease to your elbow man.


Quite nice of you to say @maintain4real-eu! Much obliged!

you do great bro!!! :)

I love it, here is gold buzzer with 1000 yes for you. bbeeeeeeng.....

Wow, nice - "The Gold Buzzer." Cool! Thank you, @jenara! :-)

This post has been ranked within the top 80 most undervalued posts in the first half of Nov 17. We estimate that this post is undervalued by $5.27 as compared to a scenario in which every voter had an equal say.

See the full rankings and details in The Daily Tribune: Nov 17 - Part I. You can also read about some of our methodology, data analysis and technical details in our initial post.

If you are the author and would prefer not to receive these comments, simply reply "Stop" to this comment.

An overwhelming message from the ever supportive co entrant and now the honorable judge of this weekly event.. I know you can do it well sir. You inspired a lot of musicians here in steemit, I'm one of them even though I'm not a real musician myself. When I first joined here, your comment was the first thing that encouraged me a lot and to try it again despite of the quite little earning of my first try, anyhow I'm so delighted when I saw your words below my entries so in my following openmic entries I'm always looking for that name in the comment section @passion-ground. Thank you so much sir, I know its so hard to pick the best one 'coz they're all the best for me. If I have the power to give them what they deserved I really will but huhuhu I'm just a poor man here dreaming beyond reality.. wtf Im kinda drama here.. hehehe God Bless You Sir.

What a nice thing to say @g10a, thank you, friend!

I am certainly not the only poetic wordsmith around here. Great literary post bro. I know you shall judge with due diligence, fairness and respectable discernment. I look forward to your week's top list :) You have already proven your worth and value to the community many times over and this is no exception to your progression as a role model and inspirer. Keep it up @Passion-Ground!

@verbal-d - Wow, so totally awesome of you to say, "D!" Thank you, man... Much love, brother!

You're most welcome. Much love

You are just the best!!! Thanks for all the effort and the appreciation! LOVE ❤️

Awe shucks, thank you so kindly, @melavie ... So, so glad you feel that way! :-)

Here comes da judge !

Too funny, man! Ha! :-)