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Talent galore at The Salon

Have you ever felt the overwhelming escape of air from the atmosphere after a relationship breakup and created art about it?

Spent a week with nothing but a pen, paper and your thoughts?Or played a set of music that felt as smooth as the cheers from your audience?

Poetry, tunes, dance and artwork from a multitude of genres fill The Creative Salon in Rochester each Tuesday at the venue's Open Mic Night (7 p.m. until 10 p.m.).

If I could give every Rochester-area resident a gift, it would be an evening of at The Salon, 324 1st Ave. S.E.., where C4 (Concerned Citizens for a Creative Community) invites locals to stretch artistically.

The artists I have seen so far are each, individually, spectacular. Sure, nervousness hints now and then.

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But all the musicians, including ones like Sterling Haukom or the duo The Naymes , will fill stadiums with screaming fans just as easily as any current music phenomif some record-industry leader notices their original songs.

I spoke with a C4 board member and learned Open Mic Nights, originally planned to last only until the end of summer, are becoming so popular they will likely continue "indefinitely."

That's pretty awesome news to share — since the audience tops out around 40 people and there's room for more.

Every time someone walks by on the sidewalk and the head slowly turns then stretches like a prairie dog's looking up and inside, I wanted to jump up, run out, grab the person by the arm and invite him into a world of fascination.

Sure, adult themes get mentioned, but performers pay attention to audience age, which includes teens, at least one five-year-old regular (himself something of a performer) and those of us who are a little more…well-aged.

I sit, dumbfounded, basking in my good fortune at being in the presence of such talent. The audience cheers, whistles and applauds energetically (including me) as the night flows from gasp-inducing poetry to humor and musician after musician, with a host reminiscent of The Tonight Show's glory days.

If you love performance, writing or art of any kind, grab a friend and head over. The Salon is also open mid-afternoon until 10 p.m. most weekdays for artist displays, some of which are for sale. Please go.

Pulse on Health is a weekly column by health reporter Jeff Hansel (285-7615). Follow him on Twitter @JeffHansel.

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