A night of courage, wonder at Troy's Got Talent
“It takes balls to do that.” Those were the words of wisdom my friend had to offer as we witnessed a bold solo performance at Troy’s Got Talent on Saturday. The first annual Troy’s Got Talent was hosted by the Community Relations Committee of the Student Senate and was held in the Heffner Alumni House—a cozy locale for the 50-or-so attendees.
The event started with the introduction of the judges, all of whom were business owners in Troy. Following that, the first performance of the evening was from RPIgnite. Founded in 2013, this avant-garde music club prefers to use everyday objects as instruments—like using trash cans as drums—instead of traditional equipment. After banging out an invigorating performance, they received a torrent of applause.
Following that was a series of energizing dances performed by the dance team from the African Students Association. They performed a set of three dances, each bolder and more energetic than the last, throwing in a few stunts towards the end. With beautiful choreography, immaculate coordination, and bold, purposeful movements, the dance team quickly drew cheers and claps from the audience.
The next performance wasn’t quite as refined. Four students introduced themselves as imitators of The Charlie Daniels Band. Their comedy routine got off to a rocky start, but they kept the atmosphere lively with a few clever quips. Despite some obvious hiccups, the audience gave them a round of applause in recognition of the effort they put into their performance.
The first solo performance of the night came from a graduate student at Rensselaer named Andrew Kraus who introduced himself as AJ. Although a bit hesitant at first, the moment his fingers brushed against the strings of his guitar the entire room was enraptured by his charisma and talent. His smooth, soulful voice elicited a massive round of applause from an excited audience, so much so that he did an encore. Truly, it was one of the highlights of the evening.
After a short intermission, which included popcorn and drinks, the second round of performances began. Starting off was RPI’s famed a cappella group, Rensselyrics, who sang “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles. Their impassioned performance quickly captured the hearts of the audience.
It really does take courage to do a solo performance in front of a crowd of people; dozens of eyes staring at your nervous body, analyzing all your actions. But that didn’t stop Kedaar Iyer, another student from RPI, from pouring his soul out by singing “Baby, I’m Dancing In The Dark” by Larry Stylinson. Despite some nervousness when singing the first verse, he quickly drew the audience in, who only let him leave the stage after showering him with claps, punctuated with a few whistling cheers.
This was when my friend leaned over and made his comment about bravery. Simply coming to a talent show and performing anything, no matter how basic or banal it is, is an act that requires courage. Everyone at Troy’s Got Talent showcased that courage, especially those who performed solo. To them, we tip our hats.
Finally, the audience was treated to a duet dance routine by Allison Daboval and Chang Ju Kim, who were introduced as Alice and CJ, from RPI Ballroom Dance. They danced along to the song “Senorita” by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello. It wasn’t an especially long performance, but it was entertaining—a fact that was obvious from the audience’s fervent positive reactions.
Following another short intermission, the winners were announced, with Rensselyrics placing third, RPIgnite placing second, and the ASA dance team in first. Not to leave out the numerous other brave, talented souls who chose to participate, the organizers awarded every single participant with a medal. The event ended with a group photo of all the participants.
All in all, Troy’s Got Talent was a night filled with riveting performances put on by people who wore their hearts on their sleeves. This was the first time Student Government hosted this event, though they plan on organizing it annually from here on. I can only hope that the next Troy’s Got Talent will be just as exciting as this one, if not even more.