The MultiCultural Center Lounge hosted an open mic event last night where students and community members performed poems, songs and stand-up comedy by candlelight.

Held quarterly by the MultiCultural Center (MCC), the Night of Self Expression was open to singers, poets, dancers, musicians and comedians from UCSB and the community.

The event was guest hosted by Ted Burnes, a third-year doctoral student in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education.

“There needs to be a space for freedom of self-expression,” he said. “People are finally away from familial influences. It’s also a great way for people to connect.”

Burnes read three of his own poems in between other acts throughout the show.

Jamie Godley, a second-year film studies major and head of the Open Mic Club, read two of his poems, one of them a love poem.

“Perry, fairy, elements of my dreams, who are you and what to me?” Godley said in one of his poems.

“Open mics are my life’s blood,” Godley said. “I like to write and I like to perform. It’s a perfect opportunity to combine mediums.”

Keith Marshall, a cosmetologist and UCSB alumnus, performed a stand-up comedy act.

“I always wanted to be a comedian, so I figured this was a perfect venue to start at,” he said. “I also wanted to see what youthfulness was like, so I know what my daughter will be like when she gets to college.”

While on stage, Marshall urged the audience to complete their education, and not have to come back to get a degree 26 years later like him.

“Back in my day, in the ’70s, we had some really, really good parties, I tell ya,” he said on stage. “They were good clean fun.”

A music student followed who played recordings of mixes he created based on the tunes of cell phone rings.

Local resident Richard Whitney also read a poem.

“Performance has always been in my blood,” he said. “It’s always been my dream to have a one-man show, because I feel like I have something to say.”