Talent is something that comes in many forms and various degrees of usefulness. There is natural talent, or learned talent, and one can be talented at anything, juggling, tightrope walking, bowling, any talent is talent. Well whether you’re born with it or you practiced hard the SMCM Talent Show is a good place to show your talents. The acts ranged from river dancing to comedic band performances. Some acts were serious where others were lighthearted and fun.
The show started off strong with a performance from the SMCM drum core, something about pounding drums boosts my heartrate, and if the goal was to get us hyped up for the next acts it succeeded. The second person on stage, but the first act, was Conor Burke who surprised me with some river dancing. The name of the act was Blackthorn Stick, the name of the Irish dance he was performing. It was phenomenal, his speed, his flexibility, his precision it was all so very impressive. In the realm of talents I could hope to achieve the skills that Conor exhibited were not even in the realm of possibilities.
The second act was a rap and song performed by Bry Ulrick and Kebron Negesse. They had obviously put a lot of effort into their performance, as demonstrated by the quality of both the rap and song. A little quiet at times, but that was made up for by their fun stage presence. They were both so plainly upbeat and happy to perform that one couldn’t help but feel upbeat as well.
The third act was original poetry written and read by Robert Thompson. Robert spoke to a topic everyone is familiar with, which is unreciprocated affection. Robert had a strong voice and presence on stage, and managed to hold the audiences’ attention, which can often be difficult when giving a poetry reading.
Act four was something right out of my elementary school experience. The “Double Dutchess” Olivia Nowlin did some Double Dutch jump rope which was always my favorite performance. I remember looking forward the jump rope troops visiting my middle and elementary school. So in that context I loved this performance it was equally nostalgic and impressive.
Rebecca LaMora was next singing the classic song “Everybody Loves Somebody” was incredible. I am not a musician or someone who considers himself musically inclined, but her performance was amazing. Her voice was clear and in tune. Not to mention the fantastic choice in song, picking a Dean Martin song to exhibit her voice was a good choice.
Acts 6 and 7 were both bands, though the two had very different performances. The first, Almost Famouss, was what you would expect of a college band, good sound good vocals, but what impressed me was the songs they performed. As far as I could tell, which may not be far, as I have previously stated I am not a musician or even an avid music consumer, they were original compositions. That I find is equally impressive as their good sound. The second band did covers of pop songs, but were also comedic. The band, The Sexy Panclarkes, introduced themselves under caricature pseudonyms of famous musicians, and gave a really fun performance. To summarize their performance, during a song one of the guitarists, or bassist I can’t tell the difference from the audience, stopped playing to juggle. It was a great performance and The Sexy Panclarkes have a great stage presence and audience working skills.
The last act was fire breathing with Molly Rigby. The performance was good, if a bit undertone for fire breathing. In the moment I was expected spouts of fire and spinning torches, but the clarifying view of hindsight reminded me we were indoors, which can severely limit the possibilities for fire breathing. Still the act was very reminiscent of those mid twentieth century carnival sideshows, or circus acts featuring the exotic fire breather, and it was overall quite entertaining to watch.
I must recognize as well that event planning is a talent like any other, though perhaps harder to perform live on stage. The talent show was a Desousa Brent semester project that was organized by Minjee Kim, Ami Oliver, and Selena Newton, who did a fabulous job organizing the acts and the multitudes of things that go into an event at the scale of this one. In their pamphlet they name their aim as “To give students an opportunity to express their talents, meet students with similar interests, and promote diversity of hobbies on campus” and I don’t think they could have been any more successful.