If you’ve seen me perform anywhere, you’d probably think that I have never been nervous to perform. You could probably throw me in front of 500 people now and demand, “Play guitar and sing right now!” and I would be really excited to do it.

While that’s true now, I wasn’t always that comfortable singing or playing guitar in front of people. It might be hard to believe but I used to get really nervous about performing in front of anyone—even my parents and close friends. I mean really nervous in the stress-out-all-day kind of nervous.

The first time I ever played anything in front of a crowd was at a small open mic at a local coffee shop during my senior year of high school. There were maybe 10 people there who I didn’t know, and I honestly felt like I was going to throw up.

It wasn’t until my first performance at Mugshots on West Campus during my freshman year when I was able to get over my fear of performing in front of people.


Photo by winona.edu/housing/mugshots


As a junior, I was a bit of a seasoned Mugshots veteran. I’d performed there five times with one or two of my musically inclined friends for the whole night.

As a musician, Mugshots is a really great opportunity to get your foot in the door. It’s great experience with professional equipment like microphones and amps, but the pressure isn’t as high as it would be if you played in a more serious setting.

At Mugshots, it’s okay to mess up occasionally–I’ve even started a song over once. It’s also a great place to sing those silly or really inappropriate songs that only college students can appreciate. For example, as freshmen, my friend and I made an acoustic version of “Get Low,” which was a huge hit!

Oh, and did I mention that Mugshots also pays its performers?? It’s not only easy money, but also it’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had while getting paid.

Plus, not only is it easy for my friends to get there because it’s on campus, but random students whom I don’t know come to listen too. It’s just fun to share my music and perform for my peers–and it’s pretty great that I can even make an extra buck while doing it, too.


Updated by Hailey Seipel (06/27/2019)

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Kim Schneider

Kim graduated in 2016 with BA degrees in Mass Communication and English. She is from Roseville, MN and enjoys playing guitar, watching live music, volleyball, running, and kayaking at her family cabin on Lake Vermilion.