The University High School (UHS) talent show was a great chance to see just how unique and skilled the UHS student body is. Ranging from magic shows to beatboxing, the talent show had a variety of performers to keep everyone entertained. The show was managed by Ms. Ranae Bettger (Drama Dept.), with the help of the Drama Club President, Alexandra Kramer (Sr.) and Drama Club Vice President, Sami Lodi (Sr.).
The show began with two very powerful acts. The first performance was an acoustic version of Michael Jackson’s “PYT (Pretty Young Thing)” followed by a masked performer who danced fluidly to a compilation of songs with a light show in the middle of his performance. While these two acts were hard to upstage, the performers kept delivering. Towards the middle of the first act was a mesmerizing guitar solo along with a hilarious skit that added to the diversity of the talent show.
The later stages of the first act were characterized by impressive singing. A local band, The High Tides, made an appearance, as well as a couple of other highly talented individuals. Guitarist and vocalist of The High Tides, Shiva Verma (So.), said, “We love performing at shows like this. The energy is great, and when our audience is having a good time, we are too.” The finale of the first act was a magic show, executed exquisitely by Rabby Yang (Fr.). He maintained the mysterious aura of magicians, and the act itself was highly entertaining.
A few of the more impactful performances in the second act were the dance performance featuring a masterful use of hula hoops by Anastasia Melinkova (Fr.) and beatboxing done by Thomas Seo (Sr.). Both Melinkova’s and Seo’s acts were unique and entertaining. Seo’s beatboxing sounded like Skrillex or Dubstep, but the sounds were formed from his mouth, not a machine. The most amazing performance of all was the finale: “What Does the Fox Say”, by Hunter Craft (Sr.) and fellow seniors. The song itself was very fun to watch, and the crowd loved it.
While the performances were spectacular and mesmerizing, not many people think about the work that goes into making these performances happen. Ms. Bettger said, “The talent show, for the most part, is largely student operated. Of course, I make sure everything is running smoothly, but the credit for selecting which acts to feature in our show go to Alexandra Kramer and Sami Lodi, the Drama Club president and vice president.” Considering that the talent show had only one week to prepare, the result was extremely impressive.
In terms of act selection, Ms. Bettger, Kramer, and Lodi prioritized diversity. Ms. Bettger said, “We try to balance out the number of students from each grade, as well as from each act…A running joke is that we’re the UHS singing talent show, so that’s naturally the most competitive field.” The most rewarding part of running a show like this, according to Ms. Bettger, was the exposure to students who are not currently enrolled in the arts core. Ms. Bettger said, “It’s a shame that some of these very talented kids can’t practice their art at school, but at least I get to work with them during the talent show.”
Exhibiting spectacular talents wasn’t the only objective of UHS Talent Show. The drama department uses the money they earned from admission to fund school shows and drama club field trips. They fell short of their goal of $7,000, making $1,500, so the selling of tickets for future shows and receiving donations is crucial to keeping the current production value of performances.
The UHS talent show was a highly entertaining, fun show that has something for people of all ages. There were plenty of surprises to keep the audience guessing, and of course the singing, dancing and beatboxing were all expertly executed. I would encourage anyone to go see next year’s talent show if they missed this year’s.
By RYAN CORNELLIER