Acalanes Talent Show Goes Digital

By Julia Poole, Online Feature Editor

// Be it musicians, dancers, singers, or 3-D animation designers, Acalanes High School students displayed a multitude of talents at this year’s talent show. Students worked hard to show off their unique talents to the virtual crowd on YouTube.

   Instead of adding the annual talent show to the ever-growing list of canceled events due to COVID-19, the Associated Student Body (ASB) worked hard to host the show virtually. 

   ASB President Maddie Wilson reached out to the applicants and asked for videos of their performances. 

   “For some students, especially seniors, the talent show is a really amazing opportunity for them to show off their skills. We didn’t want to take that away from them so we did our best to make something happen,” Wilson said.

   The show’s host and senior John Kalil paraded around Lafayette in a tuxedo to record snappy introductions for each of the performers. Leadership commended Kalil’s efforts to make the show special. 

    “I am so grateful for John Kalil being willing to film despite not having a ton of time to come up with a script, and I know the senior hosts are always a draw for people,” Acalanes Leadership teacher Katherine Walton said. 

   Over 145 students and their families watched the event, demonstrating that the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t break students’ school spirit.

   “The mantra for our school right now is that ‘community can’t be canceled,’ and I think that was apparent during the talent show given how many people tuned in to watch. These events are not worse, just different,” Kalil said. 

   One key distinction was the lack of a live audience during the performances, changing the participants’ overall experience. 

   “The major disadvantage to having a talent show online is that performances, whether that be singing, dancing, or hosting, are always enriched by the energy of the crowd,” Kalil said.

   Some performers, however, felt less pressure and had the freedom to perfect their act since they did not have to perform live.

   “There is a huge advantage for the talent show being virtual because when I was playing ‘Don’t Stop Me Now,’ I had to restart three times, but in a live performance that would not fly,” junior Jack Innenberg said.

   Another benefit to this year’s format included the lack of technical difficulties as opposed to previous years. 

   “The talent show always has technical difficulties, so it was nice to be able to prepare everything beforehand. I was a little nervous that the YouTube premiere wasn’t going to work, but it all ran smoothly,” Wilson said.

   Many students appreciated that Leadership hosted the talent show despite the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

   “It provided a sense of ‘normalcy’ when nothing is normal about our current situation, and it was nice to connect with the Acalanes community while we all watched the same show,” Walton said.

Schedule of Events

Stephanie Liu singing “Toxic”

Brooks Broumand with “Test Your Might”

Brady Sugrue singing “Turning Tables”

Jack Innenburg playing a series of songs

Cole Swensen singing “Six Feet Apart”

Oliver Lane with “Live in the Moment”

Molly Ransdell singing “Telescope”

Zhangyang Zhou dancing to “Ants”

The District Band playing “Doll House”

Katie Bettencourt and Audrey Passalacqua singing “Someone You Loved”

Mila Mathias and Stephanie Liu singing “Empire State of Mind”

Watch the recap below!

By Keith Johnson, Head Videographer

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