Open mic night hits the Web

Andy Warhol mused that everyone got 15 minutes of fame in their life. Now a new Website is offering wannabe musicians 3-6 minutes of that. Thestage

Launched in January, – a live streaming site, allowing performers to perform for whoever’s watching – has attracted more than 1,300 performers to day – who have put on over 50,000 performances.

The site is akin to an open mic night at the local watering hole. Anyone with the desire to perform publicly can do so and receive immediate feedback in the form of adulations and cash tips. An extended spot check of the site found a collection of fairly accomplished guitarists and a few singers who… well, have an obvious love of music, but will likely never attract the attention of a  major label.

That seems sufficient for the user base, though, which is generous with its virtual cheers (which earn performers extra camera time).

“We developed as a new and valuable form of web-based live entertainment, where users can enjoy diverse talent from all over world, and performers get an instant audience,” said co-founder Lisa Hull. “The open mic format is ideal for performers who want to promote a new song, attract new fans and subscribers, and sell their music.”

While there’s no chance for wannabes to advance in the music industry directly via TheStage (unless a talent agent happens to be watching), the site joins a growing movement by the entertainment industry to seek out talent via the Web.

Openfilm, a community for independent filmmakers, lets auteurs upload their short works and get feedback from peers and pros, including advisory board members James Caan, Robert Duvall and Scott Caan. A competition on that site awarded one indie filmmaker a $250,000 prize last September, and the opportunity to expand his short into a longer feature.

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