The Coffee House, hosted by the Literary Magazine 83, took place Feb. 20 in the Black Box. Students and teachers performed songs, slam poetry, speeches, stand up comedy and more.
“Public performances tend to lead to additional opportunities, plus you get the satisfaction that whether or not people came for you; they’re there watching you, and this is your opportunity to make a lasting impression of them,” said junior Dylan Ponomar, who performed and spoke about the meaning of life.
For some, this was a first time performance and a notable achievement for them. Getting over the anxiety of reading aloud to peers and teachers was one of the obstacles students had to conquer with confidence and perseverance.
“Exposures are key in fighting panic disorders, and to do this performance meant that I would be taking a big step towards lessening my anxiety in this specific field,” said sophomore Zoe Buss. “I was very nervous while performing, like I am at most things, but the thought that I kept bringing into my mind was ‘speaking in front of people will not kill me, nor harm me in any way, so I might as well do it’.”
Sharing something personal can be challenging and nerve racking, yet can lead to a sense of accomplishment and pride, as for many of the artists.
“I read one of my favorite short stories, ‘The Autistic Normal’. It’s about my brother and his experience with autism as well as my journey as a sibling to someone with autism,” said senior Mickey Wamser. “I was terrified. I was more nervous than perhaps any time in my life. [But, I learned that] no matter what your passion is you can perform it at the Coffee House. It was a really amazing experience for me, and I think that it could be for so many more.”
To teachers, the event was a success, and many hope for a continuation of the tradition.
“This year was the best turnout I’ve seen in the last seven years, and I hope that next year is even better,” said activities director Molly Tomlinson. “It’s such a positive and supportive environment where you can share your talent or watch others showcase their talents.”