Open Mic Contestants Compete for a Chance to Take the Stage at TEDxNavesink

Asbury Park, N.J. (January 6, 2017) – TEDxNavesink, one of the largest TEDx conferences on the East Coast, is partnering with Asbury Park Boardwalk to host open mic auditions for its fifth annual event.

The open mic will be held Friday, January 20 at the Paramount Theatre, 1200 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

In its fifth year, TEDxNavesink brings thought-provoking talks, art and entertainment to Monmouth County, mixing local, national, and global themes and talent. This year, the event will explore the theme of Identity, with featured talks from former NJ Governor Jim McGreevey and Beatles expert and author Ken Womack along with speakers and entertainers from all walks of life.  

Each year, hundreds apply to give a TED talk at the event, but only about 30 are chosen. The open mic gives local talent a unique opportunity to impress the public and TEDxNavesink organizers and earn a spot at the event.

“More than 90 percent of our audience highly recommends TEDxNavesink to friends,” said TEDxNavesink founder Brian Smiga, a Rumson native. “Each year we discover and amplify local heroes and their ideas. Our Jan 20th open mic night is a chance for us to recruit and develop new talent.”

New voices can enter the auditions by applying at Applications are due Jan. 13 at midnight and applicants will be notified of selection via email on Jan. 15. Contestants should come prepared with a 5-minute talk, slideshow, song, dance, experience or performance art.

Attendance is free but limited to 200. Attendees must pre-register at Audience members will be entered in a raffle to win two tickets to TEDxNavesink IDENTITY. After the Open Mic, Anchor’s Bend will have TEDx drink specials.

TEDxNavesink IDENTITY will explore all aspects of identity: America, authenticity, brand, communications, design, DNA, education, entertainment, fakery, gravitas, gender, and Jersey. After selling out its first four years at the Two River Theatre and Monmouth University, TEDxNavesink moves to the Paramount Theatre on the Asbury Park Boardwalk on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased at

“Our team blends locally discovered ideas with leading speakers and entertainers from around the globe to build a community of idea-loving people on the garden shore,” said Smiga. “People are re-examining our identity in this post-presidential and pre-New Jersey election year. We seek problem-solvers, comics, and iconoclasts.

“A TED Talk is best at presenting a single, new ‘idea worth spreading.’ Whether you perform a song, comedy, slides, or give a talk, try to come with a core new idea.”

About TEDxNavesink
Founded in 2012, TEDxNavesink is a self-organizing annual Monmouth County-based event dedicated to education, community, innovation, and “ideas worth spreading.”  Each year, a different theme is chosen to build the day of nonfiction theater. Business and nonprofit leaders, artists, and students from local universities plan, manage and fund the all-day event.