Forget American Idol! Residents from New York City Housing Development showed star power times ten in their stunning performances for NYCHA’s 42nd Annual Talent Show Competition on April 21st, 2012. Taking the stage in the Miccio Community Center at Red Hook Houses, Brooklyn were over 100 participants from ages 9 to 90, each of whom fought fiercely through a demanding audition process for the opportunity to be included in one of the 14 acts ultimately selected to perform.
Some seriously high-rolling members of New York’s performing arts community step up each year to produce, judge, and entertain in this professional-level talent competition, which features dance, music, drama, and the spoken word. This year theatre producer Juan C. Santiago directed the excitement, with judges like radio icon Bob Slade and Broadway belter Dana Moore by his side. The celebrated NYCHA Youth Chorus and NYCHA Senior Chorus also joined the festivities, sending the audience’s spirits soaring with their melodies.
The real highlight of NYCHA’s Talent Show Competition, however, are the residents who throw their hearts and souls into crafting breathtaking performances in the hopes of not only being selected as a winner, but of showing their community and the world the magnificent talents they have to offer. Contestants earn their place in the entertainment line up through challenging auditions and weeks of intense rehearsals in which they receive coaching from industry mentors. This year’s artists delivered some especially poignant performances, but I have to say that the kids really inspired me the most. This competition is a chance for them to build their confidence and self-esteem, as well as to learn how rewarding working hard for something you truly want and believe in can be. These kids really showed us that they’re going somewhere – that the world is their oyster, so to speak. What a chance to express themselves!
The show truly has no losers, and every contestant is awarded a trophy for the hard work they’ve dedicated and the inspiring talents they’ve shared with the community. StudioNYCHA, an online space created by the Housing Authority to showcase the artistic creativity of the over 600,00 residents living in it’s network, has posted photos and videos from and about the Talent Show that are almost as thrilling as the live show, just in case you couldn’t make it. NYCHA’s Photostream on Flickr always does a wonderful job covering their events, and you can see NYCHA Talent Show photos there as well.
I can’t wait for next year’s show, and it’s still a whole year away!