North Texas Daily

Talented students perform for prizes tonight

Talented students perform for prizes tonight

Talented students perform for prizes tonight
April 06
23:59 2015

Kayleigh Bywater / Staff Writer

Rappers, dancers and more will make their way to the stage as part of the Progressive Black Student Organization’s annual talent show.

Got Talent, open to all members of the UNT community, starts at 7 p.m. tonight in the Gateway Ballroom. The goal is to shine light on talented individuals and give them an opportunity to show others their potential.

“Our talent show is not as big as the school’s talent show, but it gives students the opportunity to get to do whatever they love to do in front of a crowd,” PBSO ambassador and marketing sophomore Erin Porche said.

A historical group

PBSO began in the mid-80s and became the second black organization on campus. The founders hoped the group would serve as a social and political awareness organization and create a forum for minority issues on campus.

Today, many of those principles still hold true. Kinesiology junior and PBSO ambassador Da’Vonte Wade said as soon as he interacted with the group, he felt at home.

“PBSO really focuses on making progress for minorities in the community and on campus,” Wade said. “They just stood out to me because they were so down to earth and willing to help in all aspects of the community.”

In addition to Got Talent, PBSO holds forums in which members of the organization and those interested can discuss relevant issues.

Marketing senior and PBSO president Kandice Horton said these meetings are her personal favorite.

“We take issues that seem to be so broad and make it specific for our age demographics,” Horton said. “The forum topics can range from humorous discussions to more serious and controversial topics that everyone can get involved in.”

Totally talented

Got Talent is one of PBSO’s biggest events of the year, Horton said. The executive board selects 14 group members to serve as ambassadors for the project.

“We are here to help [the ambassadors] along the way, but they make almost all the decisions from where they want the venue to be to whether they want to charge for admission or not,” Horton said. “We give them the freedom to do whatever they want with the executive board’s guidance.”

Porche said it takes a lot of time and participation from everyone involved to build the perfect show.

With $100, $75 and $50 prizes on the line, Porche said it is important to find talent to carry a unique show.

Each act interested in performing filled out forms and auditioned in front of the ambassadors last month.

“It is really hard to cut the acts because everyone is so great at his or her talent,” Porche said. “We probably had around 25 acts that auditioned, but we could only have 14 acts advance.”

One student who made the cut is English education senior Rodderick Parker, whose talent is poetry and spoken word. He said he loves performing and this was the perfect place to show it.

“I remember being exposed to poetry and just falling in love with words,” Parker said. “I wanted to participate in the talent show to support PBSO, as this will be my fourth time performing at this event and to be competitive with my art.”

From there, the ambassadors hustled to get everything ready for opening night.

“We split up tasks based on peoples’ strengths,” Porche said. “For example, people who are more outgoing are in charge of public relations, so they go around and promote the event and hand out fliers.”

As for the actual event, Wade said the audience can expect to see a wide variety of performances and talents.

“We did not want to limit anyone,” Wade said. “We just want to showcase peoples’ skills and put on a great performance for the community.”

Tickets for talent

Horton said the show provides more than enough enjoyment for the price of $3 per ticket.

“We have seen the attendance of the event grow more and more each year,” Horton said. “We want to provide students attending with a fun environment and give them an escape from studying.”

Even though there are cash prizes, Horton said the ability to perform in front of an audience is, above all, a learning experience.

“This show can benefit the performers because it puts different artists that may not be familiar with each other’s work on the same stage and level,” Parker said.

Wade said he hopes people see all the hard work that PBSO puts in to this event and recognize the talent that they will see.

“I have pretty much gained a family through working on this event with PBSO,” Wade said. “I have seen so many people come out of their box and gain confidence because they have the ability to showcase their skills in front of people.”

Featured Image: Executive members and ambassadors of the Progressive Black Student Organization gather after the 2014 talent show. Photo courtesy of PBSO Twitter

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