Student talent show entertains lively campus audience

Sean Thompson, winner of the 2013 SFSU Talent Show, performs a surprise encore  on Friday, August 23. Photo by Ryan Leibrich
Sean Thompson, winner of the 2013 SFSU Talent Show, performs a surprise encore on Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Ryan Leibrich

At Friday night’s SF State’s Got Talent show, an over-capacitated McKenna Theatre erupted into a dance frenzy to Britney Spears’ hit “Till the World Ends.” The entirely student produced event featured judges, MCs and performers all from SF State’s student body.

“This is purely a student production,” said Dean of Students Joey Greenwell.

The blue and gold lit stage, also designed by students, was graced by acts including acoustic guitar performances, a dance routine, solo singing, and an opening performance by SF State comedic improv group, Improv Nation.

Adviser for the Student Life Activities Board and manager of this year’s show, Arnold Paguio, wanted to use the event to show the communal environment SF State has to offer.

“I hope that students understand that this is a place where you can express yourself and that San Francisco State will support you and guide you in doing so,” Paguio said.

“There is something for everyone at San Francisco State,” Greenwell said, in reference to the slew of entertainment activities the school is offering to welcome in new students.

SF State’s Got Talent has been a popular Welcome Days tradition. The series of events works to welcome freshman, international students and transfer students into the school community.

“The events so far have been fun,” Mark Reynolds, an 18-year-old cinema major, said. Reynolds heard of the event through the Welcome Days website, and said he was looking forward to seeing “other people’s talents since I’m interested in music and performing.”

“I think the talent show is a wonderful idea,” Veronica France, chair of arts and culture for SLAB said. “Not only does it bring the incoming students and returning students together, but it also shows everyone how talented SF State is.”

As different acts made their impressions on their families, peers and student panel of judges. The crowd supported the acts through cheers and glowing smartphones.

The winner of Friday night’s event, Sean Thompson, 20, music major, won the crowd’s vocal excitement with an original acoustic guitar composition, “Encounters.” The piece featured his unique style that blended fingerpicking, tapping and hard-hitting chord attacks. One of the judges remarked that she had never heard guitar played in that way.

“Overall, it was a very well put together production,” Thompson said. “To win a talent show before school even starts? Best welcome to college ever.”

France expressed praise for anyone entering the talent show, because “not only are they representing their class but they are having the confidence to go up in front of a packed house and show everyone what they got!”

The event organizers aimed to support students in showcasing their talents.

“Kudos to anyone who even considered doing this,” Paguio said. “Putting yourself out there and showcasing your talents is what life is all about and San Francisco State is here to support that.”