PA’s Got Talent! Virtual Talent Show 2020

Emma Halman, Staff Writer

By Emma Halman

As he greeted the empty room facing him, senior Rafael Alfonso pressed record on his camera, took one final breath, and began to read aloud from his laptop an original story titled “The Sneaky Slippery Snoblin and the Bad Luck Day.”

Alfonso, an avid creative writer, was one of the 28 acts featured in PA’s 10th annual talent show, virtual edition. 

Although he has been telling anecdotes for as long as he can remember, Alfonso wrote his first real story in first grade. “I would just tell random stories to my parents in the car even though none of them made any sense,” he said. 

For the talent show, Alfonso decided to perform a dramatic rendition of the story he wrote in sixth grade. Ironically enough, Alfonso considers the story to be one of his best works, and one especially fitting for these tough times. He said, “I just wanted to perform something more lighthearted and funny, and I’m really proud of it.” 

Reflecting on the past seven months, Alfonso believes that quarantine helped him to focus on and better his writing. He explained, “For me, writing is very personal because I can really look at myself and understand what I’m feeling and why,” hence benefiting from his abundance of free time. 

The talent show featured a diverse range of entertainment, such as a modern dance performance from freshman Toryn Hester. 

Hester has been dancing since she was three years old and became very passionate about it around the age of seven after she joined the company at the studio where she performed her act. 

Hester’s relationship with dance over the past seven months has grown even stronger because “Dance has been an outlet for [her] during quarantine by keeping [her] busy rather than sulking in [her] room wondering when life will be back to normal. It has been great to help keep [her] mind off of things.”

Due to the regulations for handling COVID-19 this past spring, the theatre department faced various disappointments with the cancellation of shows and competitions, such as the competition One Act and auditions for this year. That being said, PA students rose to the challenge of performing in a virtual talent show, such as sophomore Bailey Lewis who sang “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” from Grease, class of 2020 alumni Andrew Christoff, Ryan Fish, and Cameron Hughes who filmed and directed a trailer for their short film “Wild Cherry,” junior Sean Curiel’s monologue performance from Joker, and a tribute to the PAHS 2020 musical, Sister Act. 

With the unusual challenges of holding a virtual show, many students were initially hesitant to pursue hosting one. Junior Zoe Zmuda, who has been a member of the PAHS Drama Club since ninth grade, explained, “[the student directors and performers] were definitely nervous to move the shows virtual, but, in the end, people wanted to do what they love, which is perform.”