How do you build the interest & content to host a county-wide Talent Show? When putting on a show that highlights local performers, how do you reach out to those talented individuals & groups wanting a chance to shine in the spotlight? How can you inspire residents to boldly step forward and let out the performer inside? And how do you notify the public that their friends & neighbors will be gathering to put on a diverse & entertaining show; one which will echo through Columbia County’s collective memories?
There are many options & steps to answer those questions. Some are newer and use modern technology, some rely on networking & human connection, and some are tried & true methods birthed in humanity’s history of hosting performance art. Volunteering for ShoeString Community Players is an invaluable opportunity to learn about all of these options, including the fundamental step of being visible to the public eye.
Saturday morning, before the Kiwanis parade, was one such opportunity. It was real ‘boots on the ground’ action creating one tested & successful solution to the challenges mentioned above – distributing sandwich boards around St. Helens. A small crack team gathered where the signs are kept.
We assembled each sandwich board with the audition call for Our County’s Talent Show, and placed them where they are most likely to be seen at locations where the residents can see the signs as they pass by, and folks can be inspired to come audition their talent! Or be inspired to become an audience in support of their friends & neighbors. Distributing these signs is real call to action, to gather the most talented, and increase the impact of the Talent Show. Yet to make it happen will required showing up, and giving it your all with one’s investment of attention & energy.
Volunteering provides a plethora of ways to be involved, as enjoyable or difficult as we choose when showing up to serve. No two activities are quite the same, it’s live and unedited, and I find this quality makes volunteering for SSCP very exciting! This particular early adventure included aspects such as:
- coordinating transporation
- tasty coffee (a MUST have for any morning activity!)
- great conversation
- playing with hammers & staple guns
- waving at local friends I’ve come to recognize in St. Helens
- a humbling slip to the ground when too focused on taking a picture, in front of witnesses!
- A LOT of hustle to finish before parade preparation time.
Where does the motivation come from to take these actions? What could possibly inspire someone to show up and go through this experience, when there is no paycheck involved? Life is busy enough, so what drives a person to make time for activities like this? What drives us to come back for more?
Every person answers these questions differently. That diversity is part of what makes life & humanity so interesting, and keeps the wheels turning. Sometimes the motive is like a burning coal in a person’s mind or in one’s heart, needing only a little fuel & fanning to ignite a bonfire of active service. Other times it is unknown when first showing up, and is discovered through deliberate steps along the way. Some motives are shared with fellow ShoeString Community Players, and some are unique to an individual’s perspective. The simple love of theater & the arts can be a significant driver to many volunteers for SSCP, which seems an obvious motive. Strengthening the value of a healthy performance art culture, and the value this culture contributes to a community’s creativity & resilience, are other possible motives.
Having observed many friends & local acquaintances who possess a particular skill or talent, whatever their current audience size, I often wish more of our community could see them perform. I have been honored to witness many of you display your skill or passion, and have not yet had the chance for others. Volunteering to promote Our County’s Talent Show to St. Helens & Columbia County is a way to help you and many other folks shine your talent to an audience who previously may not have seen what you can do. To be impressed as I have been impressed, to share in the “Wow!” factor, and to make memories together. These are reasons behind this volunteer’s intention when showing up to contribute towards the event’s success.
Drawing in more talent for the show and building a larger audience is another motive which resonates with some volunteers, and drives these promotion efforts. Actually getting on stage and performing is not this writer’s strength. Yet these promotional activities create the opportunity to practice my own passions – writing and making connections in our community. ShoeString Community Players as an organization provides many such chances, and Our County’s Talent Show is one of the most exciting ones on the radar currently! Volunteering attention toward this event opens doors for moving about town, being neighborly and a part of this community, networking and building connections, practicing my passion while giving a platform for other talented locals to practice theirs, and using a wide variety of tools to give the talent show the greatest impact possible. What a great set of motives! And what a great time to be a part of creating something together!
From assembling the sandwich boards Saturday morning, to placing the audition calls in the public eye, to recording the experience, and now writing about what it was like to contribute this small but important piece. It is a learning process to step up and show up to be a part of something amazing. Our County’s Talent Show is the chance to invest your attention & interest, whether you are a performer, a volunteer, or an audience member.
Where will you find your place? What passion are you already practicing, or perhaps have kept hidden and now feel the call to bring out? What individual talent or group performance are you wanting to share with your community? In what way can you volunteer, contribute, audition, and co-create what will surely be a magnificent display of performances that will be remembered and talked about long into our future? Our Country’s Talent Show is that knock of opportunity you’ve been waiting for!
Auditions will be held July 11th & 12th
7:00 PM at Olmscheid Auditorium, St. Helens High School
Our County’s Talent Show is open to ALL AGES… Young kids and older adults need not be bashful.
The show invites individuals & groups to bring their passion and showcase their skills, ranging from singing, dancing, athletic prowess, in a band, lip-syncing, musical instrument, martial arts, acting, gymnastics, drumming, magic, to juggling, martial arts, singing, tap dancing, dancing, comedy, gymnastics, and to edge of entertainment and other creative expressions of your talent! We are awaiting your presence.
Please pre-register at www.SSCPmusicals.com
We are asking for a $10 registration fee that includes a ShoeString Community Players membership. Scholarships are available for those in need! You need to audition and be seen and heard!