The Inspired Mic Recap – September 13, 2018


What a night! Our first foray into St. Augustine’s was a huge hit! We had around 60 people in attendance! For me, as an original founder of The Inspired Mic, I was humbled and honored that the restaurant owners from our past venues not only came to this Grand Opening event, they participated as presenters! Carol Fisher, who gave us our start in Flagler Beach in May of 2013 was there as was Alida Ferrena from the Europa in Palm Coast. Liz and I could not have felt more touched by this.

A wonderful photographer, Suzanne Caperton, shot quite a few pics of the event and shared them with me. I shall now share them with you as I recap the evening!

The Inspired Mic Stage at Borillo’s

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The lovely Liz Bouvia gets the evening started!

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Liz and I going over what The Inspired Mic is all about!

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A extremely accomplished musician, Borillo’s owner Gerry O’Hare kicks of our very first St. Augustine Inspired Mic with an excellent version of Sting’s “Fragile.” He would be the first of three restaurant hosts on the stage this night. The following is a snippet of his performance.


Carol Fisher, past owner of the Beachhouse Beanery on A1A in Flagler Beach gave The Inspired Mic its first home. This night, as the second presenter of the evening, she presented a “Spoonerism” titled, “The Pea Little Thrigs!” Always an ear-bending experience, Carol’s Spoonerisms have entertained us for years.

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I don’t have a picture of Alida Ferrena on the stage but she is at the first table in this picture watching Mystic Mel do his thing! Alida and her brother Ambroz supported The Inspired Mic so much, I was revitalized by the time we were able to spend there at their restaurant, the Europa. Truly people who support the arts, again, Liz and I are so touched that she came to this inaugural event!

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Steve Boone of Lovin’ Spoonful fame, first came to The Inspired Mic in 2014. He’s been an amazing supporter of our event. For someone whose been on huge stages and hung out with the Beatles and many other rock n rollers, as well as the Lovin’ Spoonful’s 9 top-twenty hits in three years, his support and compliments for The Inspired Mic makes us feel awesome! Steve did a masterful job of telling a story and leaving the stage with an amazing plug for his book, “Hotter Than a Matchhead.” We look forward to hearing more from Steve in the future!

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Laura Schwalm did an tremendous job of “reading” various audience members. AsĀ  a Master Psychic Healer, she’s known as a “Pure Energy Hearler.” Laura was dynamic, engaging, and she had us all mesmerized by her energy. She is also a featured presenter for September on this site. Please check the previous post for more information on who she is and what she does!

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Susan Slater first came to The Inspired Mic back in 2014. She has presented numerous times before, and I believe at each one of our hosting venues. Susan’s new book, “Under a Mulberry Moon” just recently came out. The book setting is St. Augustine therefore this venue was an appropriate place to let folks know about her new effort. Susan is always delightful and engaging as a presenter and it was so nice to see her again at The Inspired Mic.

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We switched the lineup and placed John Brady up next so Mystic Mel could assemble his magic show. John always brings his stories, this one about the perfect way to get revenge on his wife of 50 years even though he had never won a single argument in all that time. John loves to play his stories to an audience off-the-cuff which makes the presentation even more inviting.

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Yes, same pic. This is Mystic Mel on the stage telling a story from his excellent book, “Behind the Eight Ball – The Misadventures of Mystic Mel.” Mel loves to incorporate humor into his speaking and magic. He pulled the humor off with practiced expertise and had us all laughing! Mel is always a joy to hear and watch. If you get the chance, you should catch him when he’s out there performing! His book is AWESOME as well!

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Phil King came up next and read from his newest book, “Rising Love: A Spiritual Journey.” Phil is not only a writer but a professional photographer as well. This was his first time presenting on The Inspired Mic stage. We don’t have a picture of him on the stage but you can see him in the picture above on the far left just behind Judy Weber who is wearing the white visor.

I’m going to use the same picture above for Dana Gregory. She is sitting back under the umbrella on the right in the blue blouse. Dana brought many of us to tears with a heart-wrenching description of why she is involved so much with her creativity and the mission she is on.Her presentation grabbed our hearts. Dana exemplified one of the main reasons The Inspired Mic exists and thrives. When people take the vulnerable risk to tell the world their truth, good things happen.

Michelle Emberton took the stage next and reprised a song she sung at August’s Inspired Mic at the Europa in Palm Coast. This is an original song and Michelle is learning to conquer her fear of the stage. Again, Michelle, like Dana, exemplifies the intent and mission of The Inspired Mic. Michelle has a beautiful voice, and the lyrics to this song can bring you to tears. She continues to improve and her voice is beginning to outshine the butterflies. I’m excited to hear her again.

Jackie Dobrosky came up next and gave a wonderful speech about “Aging with Passion.” Jackie’s first book, “My Unexpected Journey” has her speaking and exhorting people to recognize that no matter what you’ve been through, if you’re still breathing, there is still something wonderful for your life to accomplish. Reading her book is a picture of incredible hardship, seemingly insurmountable, yet there she is, on The Inspired Mic’s stage, inspiring others to live in the moment.

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Robin Soprano let it out of the bag that I twisted her arm to be a presenter! LOL! Guilty as charged. Since she was coming anyway, I told her this would be a great time to read something from one of her books. She chose “Gypsy’s Gift” which is a touching story about a dog who helps his human friend pass over on his death bed. Robin did a wonderful job of presenting a section of the story without giving away the ending. Robin can be seen looking at the camera just over Phil King’s head.

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I am reticent to include this next photograph, only because it is of me and I cringe at the sight, but I want to give a shout out to Suzanne Caperton who took these wonderful pictures and shared them with me. This shot shows off how talented she is. She also has an incredible singing voice and is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. A very positive lady, The Inspired Mic is grateful for her contribution to our first ever St. Augustine Inspired Mic! This is a night we will never forget. Thanks to Suzanne, we have some wonderful pictorial prompts as well as the two videos she recorded to help us with our memories.

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Our next Inspired Mic at Borillo’s will be Thursday, September 27th at 6:00 pm. If you’re planning to attend, I HIGHLY recommend you consider staying after The Inspired Mic ends at 9:00 pm for the After the Mic Jams. We run this in a true “open mic” format. We had some amazing musicians perform up to 11:00 pm. Here’s one young lady named Brittany who did an incredible version of “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” that rocked my world!






The Inspired Mic Recap – September 13, 2018 — 4 Comments

  1. Mike
    Great evening, thank you for inspiring me to take that last minute step and get my self back in the game. I am doing a blog tomorrow at 12 noon about the same speech. I have sent the invite to every social media I am part of along with all my heart patient groups.
    Mike I don’t know how I can ever tell you how much I appreciate your help in getting me to move forward. I sort of got stuck for a little while, but last night brought me back. You are awesome !!!

    • Jackie, your presentation last night was a glimpse of who you can be as a speaker. It was by far your best yet and I was blown away by the presence you exuded from the stage. You rocked it last night!

  2. Hey Mike:

    I was originally scheduled for October 11 but I had an accident yesterday and fractured my shoulder. I will be out of commission for 6 to 8 weeks, longer if surgery is necessary so I would like to reschedule for later in the year if possible. Thanks. Gary Benesko (904) 377-2188.

    • Ouch! I’m so sorry to read this about your shoulder! No problem. Just email me when you’re better and we will work you in! I hope your healing goes quickly for you.

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