This is a profile I wrote as an assignment paper for my English class last semester. I had a good time so I’ve decided to post it here, too.
Part of the indie culture in El Paso, Texas, has a few places to share their works; music, poetry, stories, and some good jokes are a few things shown at The Rock House. You can see it from a few blocks away. A small house connected with a long wall full of graffiti that yells art instead of gang activities. The smoke of some expecting cigars can be smelled, and the chimney being its counterpart invites all of these non-smokers. Really weird considering the stereotypes of these places.
From folk to rap. From poetry to comedy. The place was already opened by 8:30pm. Everyone had a nice welcome; open doors for everyone. Richie, one of the hosts and professor at El Paso Community College started: “This is an open-mic, a free event where you can just sign on the list if you want to participate, spread a word among poetry and music.” And yes, he recognized some coming faces, and said “What’s up!” to most of them. At first, you don’t think the place could be fully crowded. Compared to most ‘sophisticated’ places it may be true. However, the vibe was really natural; friends hanging out together, aligned in front of a scenario, talking, laughing, and remaining silent while some performers do their jobs showing talents.
It started with a few laughs. A stand-up comedy with a guy with a pony-tail and glasses. He received a positive clapping from the small crowd in front of him. Then, some drummers started bringing some rhythm to everyone. Who doesn’t love music? People were happy by listening to them. Both comedy and music warmed the crowd, just to give them something to start with.
A quieter guy brought a few papers. Some poetry written on every sheet. His words spread some thoughts and reflections of life. He made a fantastic work pulling people’s attention from the beginning to the end. You could hear some whispers of every poem; what was the meaning for each one. It would have been greater if each person shared their thoughts in front.
Some more comedy after poetry came. A brave kid cheered up the life reflective group in front of him. Small and innocent jokes draw smiles everywhere. A big clapping was heard at a distance. He left the scenario feeling happy because he have done it.
And one of the biggest highlights of the open-mic that night. Jorge Guzman. A man from Puerto Rico who shared a few folk classics with his accordion. Everyone just called him “the accordion man”, but no one will deny the magic that he made out of his fingers and the instrument together. More than one person just ran to the scenario just to have a closer recording of each song. And no one said a single word until he finished his performance. It was a huge disappointment that he didn’t last too long, or maybe time went really fast when he captured everyone’s love and attention. Who knows?
If you visit El Paso, Texas, make sure to visit The Rock House. 400 W Overland.