Tucson’s Maker House Presents
Stage 1: Open MicWritten by Philip Harvey
Stage 1 is the fastest growing Open Mic scene in Tucson. Jessica Douglas & Lee Perez started Maker House‘s Tuesday night shindig almost five months ago. “I had heard about Maker House through word of mouth and decided to go check it out. I spoke to the founder, Tony Ford, about performing there and he allowed me the chance to play that night. Afterwards, Lee connected with Tony on similar ideas for community events and music.” Jessica explains.
“We wanted to bring a good show to Tucson.”
“We had been wanting to do a weekly show in Tucson for awhile. For a long time we had a monthly show in Plainview, TX – we would drive out to visit my family and host this show. When we were able to start Open Mic here though, we were really nervous in the beginning. We wanted to bring a good show to Tucson,” says Lee.
Back in its inception there were only a handful of performers but through constant promotion, perseverance and local acts joining in on the newest venue in town, Lee & Jessica have helped “Stage 1” become amongst the top Open Mic stops in Tucson.
“For some, this will be the first time they hit the stage as performers.”
“Stage 1” might seem like a presumptuous name for an Open Mic night, but Lee & Jessica see the name more as a simple label, a stepping stone for beginners. “For some, this will be the first time they hit the stage as performers. We just wanted to create a space where people could focus on cultivating their art.” Said Jessica Douglas about Stage 1.
“We are performers creating an event for performers,” says Lee Perez. You see, Lee & Jessica have been musicians for years and have a sense for how difficult being in entertainment can be. Jessica got her start in Tempe, AZ where she met famed musician Walt Richardson. “He took me under his wing as far as song writing and performing and he introduced me to the stage. He was a big influence in my life and Stage 1 allows me the ability to give others what he gave me.”
“The room is impressive and lends a hand to the ambiance of the event.”
Stage 1 is located in the Corona room located at the Maker House. The room is impressive and lends a hand to the ambiance of the event. The performance area includes a projector screen background that has fantastic three dimensional graphics.
Jessica & Lee are very easy to work with and open to any type of act seeking a place to perform. Each night also includes an introductory performance by one of the two who are themselves extremely talented. Each being able to play multiple instruments and add vocals to original tracks, created on the spot.
Performing at Maker House can be an exhilarating experience. As a singer myself, I find it easy to be on stage in front of that crowd in particular.
I’ve even been able to land several gigs from performing there.
“It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before in Tucson!” says flutist Tygel Pinto about performing at Maker House. “I feel like I can connect with my audience more and further my music.”
“Lee & Jessica have created an environment that is very polite and supportive,” says Guitarists/Bassist Matthew Casebier.
“It’s a place where I can try new things. At Maker House I can be my raw imperfect self, and feel safe. Because when I do make mistakes, I know I have the love and approval of my fellow musicians.. my friends.” Bassist/Guitarist Marshall Prescott adds.
Every artist that performs is recorded live and receives a copy of their performance for their own use.
“We want to give everyone something tangible, something they can use to promote with or help them to grow as an artist,” says Lee.
Stage 1: Open Mic at Maker House is a classy event for people of all tastes. New performers constantly cycle through. Everyone from musicians to comedians and poets, to MC’s and DJ’s have played there.
If you’re a musician or have an act and would like to perform live, or, just enjoy a good show then you’ll need to stop by this Tucson Tuesday night event. Sign up begins at 7:45pm artists must sign up in person, and the show starts shortly after at 8:00pm. Be sure to show up early to get a slot as the list of artists is always full and the line is growing.