By Samantha Castro ‘16 and Kieran Bissessar ‘16
Performers showed off their skills at the 10th annual Talent Show Tuesday evening on October 21, in order to raise money for cancer prevention. Help out Poverty Stricken (H.O.P.S.) organized the event. They planned past talent shows and every year they donated to a different organization; this year they raised money for the cancer society. At the first annual talent show, H.O.P.S. raised money for the victims of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004. Since then Midwood has been producing successful shows to donate to charity.
The talent show was the first for many, whether they were a performer, a spectator, or even a judge.
First time spectator, Anas Cheema ‘16 said, “I expect a show full of creativity, surprises, and diversity.”
Mr. Penna, who judged for the first time, said that he was unsure of what to expect. One of his students, who was also the host, Lisa Zeema ‘16 persuaded him to do it. “I just said why not,” said Penna.
Twenty two students performed at this year’s talent show. Many singers, musicians, dancers, and even a poet showcased their skills in front of a small audience comprised mostly of students. The crowd was full of energy and enthusiasm. Even when there were a few mistakes, the audience still cheered them on. The show started with a strong start when Daniel Shmulyarenko ‘18, who was one of the winners, took the stage and sang If I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars. The audience was astounded by his singing, for no one had expected his voice to be so powerful especially with his small physique.
“The way he hit the high notes blew me and most of the crowd away,” said Jarred Cross ‘16.
Another memorable performance was by Sabrina Karasik ‘15, who was also a winner. She sang Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid. Her look fit the song because she had red hair like the main character of the movie, Ariel. It was a “throwback” for the audience as they sang along.
“I wanted to do this for a great cause, and I’m just happy to do what I can to raise money for those fighting cancer,” said Karasik.
Lindsey Lonnie ‘16, an inspiring cancer survivor spoke out in the language of poetry. She recited an original poem called Stop and Frisk Me. Her aggressive tone moved the audience. As she spoke passionately into the microphone, the spectators couldn’t help but understand Lonnie’s feelings about stop and frisk. “Spitting that piece for a cause so close to my heart was an incredible experience,” said Lonnie.
Girls in the audience lost it when Joery Barthold ‘17 showed off his hip-hop moves. He stunned the audience as he swaggered across the stage. “I never knew Joery could dance like that,” said Nekengie Charles ‘16. “He’s so innocent and sweet and seeing all the girls go crazy over him was surprising.” When the performances were finished, it was time to judge. The winners were Shmulyarenko, Karasik, and Barthold.
Penna explained how difficult it was to judge the contestants. For example, he and the judges felt that there were two contestants in particular that were both great, but they were forced to come to a decision.
Ms. Kaufman, another judge, said, “I’m very happy with the turnout and proud of all the contestants.”