Colorful tapestry blends into the background of the fairy lights as singers and bands take turns going on stage to sing or play instruments. In the back lay tables of baked goods and drink stations that provide options of hot chocolate and of course, coffee.
Coffeehouse is organized by Litmag each year and they sold around $350 in presale. This record-high of 70 tickets made Coffeehouse promising as only less than 20 tickets were sold in presale last year.
Litmag unintentionally used different tactics to promote the Coffeehouse event this year. Last year, they created a promotional video and put it on the morning announcements. This year, they only wrote out the speech that was read on the morning announcements as well as improved their signs and flyers. The Litmag group was initially scared that they would not get a lot of recognition because they did not have a video to promote Litmag. They also only sold tickets at a table in the Commons this year. They continued to make flyers and hand them out during lunch.
What makes Coffeehouse different from other talent shows is the relaxing environment Coffeehouse creates for both performers and the audience. “For set up, members of Litmag stayed after school until 10:30 p.m., so students were at school from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.. We plan on making it more of a cafe vibe compared to last year where all the furniture faced the stage last year,” senior Editor-in-Chief of Litmag Kristina Tsakos said. “I am staying right after school to set up and prepare for the show to until the show starts at 6 p.m.. We are letting whoever wants to emcee volunteer.”
Coffeehouse is held two times a school year: once in the winter and once in the spring. “Coffeehouse is one of my favorite days in the year. At the end, my legs are so exhausted from lifting furniture but it still feels great when reality exceeds my expectations of the members of Litmag and the show,” Tsakos said. “It is such a rewarding experience. No one needs to be perfect. Imperfection is overlooked when everybody always gives their best effort. With less pressure to have a perfect performance, it cultivates creativity and the atmosphere created is way less intimidating than of a big stage.”
Litmag holds auditions for each Coffeehouse event and this year roughly 23 submissions were received. “With the limited amount of space, we couldn’t accept everyone that submitted. If we could accept everyone we would. It is important that every performer takes it seriously and presents their best self,” Tsakos said.
Timing was also a difficult part of planning the event. Some difficulties were that there was an ACT test was the next morning and also Hanukkah. December is jam-packed month but the editors on Litmag felt it was an optimal time to hold Coffeehouse because everyone feels comfortable being almost a semester into the school year. “It was my first time going and it was a very good time, I wish I went to previous events earlier,” senior Sam Bai said.
Another challenge was that people had different preferences as to when they want to perform. “We try to listen and respect all performance requests but compromising was a must,” Tsakos said.
Senior Mina Senthil and member of Garbáge Band enjoyed performing at Coffeehouse again. “It is exciting to perform in a nice and peaceful setting. We just enjoyed ourselves. It is also a wonderful opportunity to show yourself off,” Senthil said. “There are four people in our Garbáge Band: senior Rita Zhang on drums, senior Xiwei Peng on piano, senior Deepa Kori who sang and I played the ukulele. We performed to ‘Redbone’ and it was a blast, we may come back next Coffeehouse.”