Preview: Zoom sets the stage for 5C talent show

A drawing of students participating in the Pomona zoom talent show.
(Crystal Yang • The Student Life)

On Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. PDT, the Pomona Events Committee will turn Zoom screens into a virtual stage for 5C student performers.

To participate in the 5C-wide talent show, students can either submit pre-recorded videos of themselves performing a talent or perform it live, and 5C community members can watch the show live or watch a recording afterwards. The EPEC (normally known as PEC, but with an added “E” this semester to reflect their electronic nature) created the show as a space to allow students to showcase talents that may go unrecognized during Zoom classes, especially among first-years that may not know each other.

“A lot of times when you see a talent show, you probably see some [students who] you didn’t really notice have a special talent or skill that they had all along. Then through the show, you can see talent across your classroom,” said Timi Adelakun PO ’24, an EPEC team member who has taken the lead on the event.

The organizers also wanted to take advantage of the new possibilities the Zoom format affords — unlike an in-person talent show, performers aren’t limited to just what they can bring on stage. As such, the performers are bringing a diverse range of talents, ranging from singing to juggling to aerial performance.

“We’re trying to step aside from just singers — we encourage people who are doing comedy acts, who can do a skit or anything like that outside of just the arts,” Adelakun said.

In some cases, the virtual format has even encouraged more students to participate than an in-person show would have.

“I might have been less likely to [participate] because actually being there in person might have been a bit stressful,” said Sierra Tai-Brownlee PO ’24, a talent show participant who will perform a juggling act. “But I think that since we’re all online it’s definitely a different environment, and, in a way, it does seem like there’s less of that being right on the spot.”

EPEC also wants the event to be a way to help foster community among all 5C students in a time when it’s easy to feel disconnected from students in one’s own classes, let alone all five colleges.

“[The show is] an important thing, because we still interact with 5C people in classes and stuff like that, so I think being able to come together and just relax and enjoy each other’s company is an important thing, especially right now,” said Immacula Celestin PO ’21, the ASPC commissioner of campus events.

Many of the participants also felt a similar drive to join the show and help boost community among the colleges. One such participant is Ekeka Abazie PO ’23, who is currently taking a gap year but still thinks it important to remain connected with the larger 5C community.

“I feel like since we’re in Zoom University right now, and not Pomona College, I think actually connecting as a community is the only thing that’s going to make this in any way, shape or form manageable,” Abazie said.

Above all, the EPEC wants the talent show to be a relaxed event where students can show off their talents, cheer on their friends and bring together students and community members all across the 5Cs. Participants highly encourage community members to stop by and check out the show.

“I encourage as many students as possible to go and check out the talent show, because I think [for] a lot of people go[ing] into virtual events doesn’t seem exciting, because doing another virtual event can kind of get tiring, especially since our classes are all online,” Tai-Brownlee said. “But I found that once you kind of get past that and then you just decide to go, usually you don’t regret going and you don’t feel like your time is wasted.”

The talent show will be held Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. PDT. This post will be updated with the link to the show once it becomes available. For now, stay up-to-date with the EPEC via Instagram @pomonaeventscommittee and their Facebook page PEC (Pomona Events Committee).

Editor’s note: Sierra Tai-Brownlee PO ’24 is a business associate for TSL.

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