On Friday, February 17, UNIS’ annual talent show was put on by Operation Smile and the UNIS Senate to celebrate the wonderful talent we have here at UNIS: ranging from singing, dancing, comedic acts and complex yo-yo tricks.
The talent show managed to sell out the entire theatre, and you could sense the excitement in the air as the MCs, Zeke and Minh Quan, stepped out to introduce the first act. Not only was this to shine a spotlight (literally) on the 22 acts who performed, but it also served as a way of fundraising for Operation Smile, the service learning group dedicated to helping young impoverished kids with cleft lip or cleft palates get operations. Cleft lip or cleft palates can often result in speech problems, eating problems, dental problems and are more susceptible to ear infections. More information can be found here and here.
Since this was such a prominent event in the school’s calendar, The Flame got special backstage access to interview several contestants. This year features a diverse group of performers from different genres of entertainment (skits, singing, playing instruments), thus we were able to get a variety of opinions on the show.
There were many more performances that were not interviewed but should be mentioned. Each one of them were incredibly brave to sign up and display their talent, to the approximately 400 audience members on Friday night. Unsurprisingly, they were all nervous just before the event started; the gymnastic troupe cartwheeled their way across the hall, dancers stretched at unbelievable angles, singers spread along the hallways at different corners of the building, to sing and warm up their voices, all anxiously anticipating their time in the limelight. Fortunately, they all did a stunning job and the night was a huge success!
In my opinion, the event can only get better and better, which is why you should buy your tickets as soon as they go on sale next year! Of course, you could get in for free by signing up to perform as well. “I don’t have a talent!” I hear you say. Nonsense, everyone has a talent, but are you brave enough to show everyone? Well, here is a list of everyone who was:
Megan Larkin (6), Lilly Noda (6), Abigail Shahar (6), Isabella Brazil (6), Chi Lu (6), Daisy Taylor (6), Maly Bullard (6), Abigail Eduri (6), Trang Pham (6), Quinn Darby (6), Elione Goncalves (6), Daisy Taylor (6), Joong Gun Lee (6), Mark Lever (7), Elione Goncalves (7), Mina Mok (8), Pichayabha Rajatasankha (8), Grace Cenere (8), Joshua Scott (9), JiYoon Kang (9), Ye Won Kim (9), Eun Sae Ko (9), Da Hyun Yu (9), Su Bin Yang (9), Hye Min Lim (9), Chinh Mai (9), Vi Nguyen (9), Hannah Fujii Bennet (9), Totti Ybarra (10), Max Knight (10), Thanh Le (10), Amani Parvathaneni (10), Koko Christiaanse (11), Sebastian Cortes Freeman (11), Yoav Shahar (11), Hyunjoon Choi (11), Lea Zoe el-Hage (11), Yihan Zhao (11), Maia Wallace (11), Celine Chee (11), Rachel Lee (11), Sabin Ybarra (12), Duy Truong (12), Phuong Trinh (12), Minh Nguyen (12)
Finally, a statement from Operation Smile to everyone who helped or were in the show:
“Operation Smile thanks everyone who participated in the event – whether it be the Senate members who spent days and nights planning the event, the contestants who spent weeks if not months preparing for their act, the teachers who were involved from planning to supervising to judging… and perhaps most importantly, the audience members who actually made this event possible and contributed so much to helping a few children smile.”