Award show celebrates BECA students at SF State

In Studio 1 of the Creative Arts Building at SF State, a group of 40 students run around working like efficient ants.

Some are practicing lines from a manuscript, some are dragging stage linoleum, others are adjusting lights and three of them discuss whether the table with the awards should be standing on the stage or off.

”Off stage,” responds a woman with a clipboard.

The students are all in the final stage of rehearsing for this year’s “BECAfest” that will took place on Friday, May 20. 

BECAfest is a showcase of work that the students in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Department have done over the course of the semester. It also is an award show where a professional jury awards the best projects a Becky statuette in 15 categories such as ”best studio production,” ”best fiction video” and ”best on-air talent.” The ceremony was broadcasted online so people could follow the show at home.

”Think Oscars or the Emmys,” said Jeff Jacoby, a professor of audio and radio in the BECA department and teaches the class that runs the BECAfest production.

He explained the show was originally targeted at the BECA community – students, faculty, staff and family.

”But because it is so entertaining – we are talking about a full out script, performers and rehearsals and the whole 9 yards – it is entertaining for anybody,” Jacoby said.

One of the busiest people at this evening’s rehearsal is Alexandra Rivera, a graduating BECA major, who with a clipboard and a plan runs the production of the show.

Rehearsals for the BECAfest in Studio 1 in the BECA department at SF State. The BECAfest is an annual, live award show and showcase of the work the students in the BECA department have produced during the semester. The show is also live broadcasted online. (Cecilie Lyngberg / Xpress)

Rehearsals for the BECAfest in Studio 1 in the BECA department at SF State. The BECAfest is an annual, live award show and showcase of the work the students in the BECA department have produced during the semester. The show is also live broadcasted online. (Cecilie Lyngberg / Xpress)

She said the biggest challenge by staging this show has been the scale of it.

”When producing a stage – and broadcasted show, there is a lot of components to it and a lot of things to oversee,” Rivera said.

“Just the scale of the show, and how important it is to the department – you want to make sure that you do it justice.”

On the other hand, this is also why she encourages other students to come and see the show.

”We do not only have an award show, we also have two really good hosts,” Rivera said. “They are hilarious. And we have a great scripted stage show as well as the honoring of the nominees. So it is going to be really fun.”

This year’s hosts are A.J. Beck and A.J. Datanagan, who are both BECA majors and graduating seniors.

They both said some of the best things about BECAfest so far has been the people they have gotten to know – and to work so intense and close with so many people.

”But I think the best thing is yet to come,” Datanagan said. ”There is a moment before every show that I really like. It is when your heart starts going, and you can feel the moment coming, and you just know it is showtime, and I gotta make this or break this. That is the kind of moment I live for.”

Jacoby noted that he is looking the most forward to the moment before the show is about to go on air, where he retreats to the control room, opens a bottle of wine and just enjoys the show.

”My heart grows exponentially every time a student winsAnd that is my favorite moment,” Jacoby said. ”For the students, winning the Becky is as exciting and as moving as winning an Emmy. And they are thrilled by it!”

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