I went to a fairly unique high school. Once a month, we had a “showcase” where students could share their art forms with us. This ranged from dances to original songs to classical performances and slideshows of illustration and photography. It was a chance for students to express themselves, and a chance to share their talents. I had yet to see the college equivalent of this, until tonight when I attended the 11th Annual Larry M Talent Show.
The Larry M Talent Show is hosted by the hall councils of Lander, Maple, and Terry on west campus of the University of Washington. Typically, they gain RCSA (residential community student association) and RPB (residential programming board) funding to put on a fun, two hour talent show, open to all campus residents. While residents watch comdeians, dancers, singers, and many other performers, they can also enjoy snacks and connect with their communities.
On March 1st, 2019, they had their 11th talent show, with many wonderful acts. With a few comedy acts, many original songs (on guitar and violin!), a unique variety of dances, and some fun covers, the talent show was diverse in both the people involved and the acts shown. Some of the stand out events included a comedy act and a beautiful traditional Indian dance. Also at the talent show was a sassy dance, and an AMAZING drag queen!
So, why are events like this such a big deal?
First off, I can’t think of any other place where I can watch a drag queen have an outfit change on stage flawlessely, and watch a traditional Indian dance routinue. The Larry M Talent Show offered what my high school did once a month: an open environment for people to discover they had what it takes to not only create something beautiful but to convey a message with their artform. They were able to create and showcase their passion, and be brave enough to do that.
The environment was also so positive. Everyone was supportive and excited to be watching the acts, laughing at all the right moments and showcasing support when there was a slip up. There were many first time performers who looked so confident to be permofing in such an accepting crowd. If you are going to start somewhere, in front of your school community seems like a fantastic place to me.
These events are also put on by student leaders in this community. Events like this are leadership oppurtunities for many students in the community, witha huge reward.
Friday night, I learned that bravery looks like a lot of things, including a student walking up, doing a bottle flip, and walking off. It also looks like a singer and songwriter perfoming in front of a crowd for the first time and doing absolutely amazing. Overall, it was such a fun and engaging event dripping with talent, and if you are living on campus next year, look out for the 12th annual Larry M Talent Show, because no matter what the performances are, I can guarantee they will be wonderful.