On Friday November 4, Berkeley High School (BHS) students gathered in the Little Theater to watch the BHS Talent Show. The show consisted of mostly musical performers, and one stand up comedian. The show was organized mostly by student leadership, primarily sophomore leadership, with help from John Villavicencio.
Starting off the show were the hosts, Ariana Yerovam and Clemens Mayer. They reappeared onstage between acts to tell music themed jokes and introduce the performers. The first act was a guitar cover of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” performed by Lucas Srinivasan. Next up was the first singer of the night, Shifra Worthington, performing “From the Inside” by Linkin Park. After that, Miles Aki performed “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana on the drums. Before the next act, Mr. Villavicencio came on stage to thank donors and the audience for their support, and had the audience participate in a math themed rap. Following that was the heavy metal band Fetus Mastication, with a performance of “Babykiller” by Devourment.
As the next performer came on stage, the fire alarm went off. One of the audience members, Elias Leung-Brown, commented on his reaction.
“Some things never change,” said Leung-Brown, referring to BHS’s history of false fire alarms. Despite this reputation, Leung-Brown still noticed how the audience was slightly shocked. “They were also a little in disbelief, because it was 7:00 and no one was at the school.”
The fire department arrived on Allston Way, and the show was put on hold for several minutes. The official cause of the fire alarm going off was not disclosed, although it was determined to be a false alarm. Audience members, performers, and stage technicians talked amongst themselves while waiting.
“Honestly, I think it made it funnier,” said Leung-Brown. “It was like an intermission, you got to talk about (the show).”
After the building was cleared to be re-entered, audience members took their seats and the show resumed. The hosts came on stage to briefly address the fire alarm, then introduced the next act. As the second singer of the night, Ty Walthall performed “Cherry Wine” by Hozier. Closing the evening was Manny Lane-Scott performing original stand up comedy, with anecdotes about family and the upcoming holiday season.
“(The talent show) is an important way to just bond the community,” said Chiara Hyman, a sophomore that helped organized the talent show. “It’s a really good creative outlet for students to share whatever they’re working on, and I think it’s also an important way for people to maybe face their fears.”
Hyman also commented on how having the opportunity to perform in front of a crowd can be really important in helping students discover things about themselves and gain confidence.
“It was awesome,” said Ty Walthall, one of the performers. “I really like performing, it’s super fun. It was amazing to see all the other really talented people performing too.”
Walthall explained that they’d always loved singing and performing, and the talent show had really been an opportunity to have fun.
“It’s super nice to see other people putting themselves out there and just playing or singing or whatever-ing their heart out,” said Walthall.
An audience member, Andy Melendez Garcia, talked about how the talent show was important for students who are talented but not in any of the school’s music programs.
“Shows like this tell students their talents are something that should be shared and amplified,” Garcia said.
They also complimented both the performers and stage tech crew, and further emphasized the value of giving students opportunities to express their creativity.
“I would love to see another performance like this,” Garcia said. “I love seeing the amazing things other BHS students can do.”