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Holy Cross Hall to put on first annual talent show

| Tuesday, March 3, 2020

On March 16, the students of Holy Cross Hall will gather for one night only to perform in a hilarious spectacle of wonder, amazement and talent. The first annual Holy Cross talent show will begin at 8 p.m. and feature acts from underclassmen and upperclassmen.  

Ally Strasen, Holy Cross Hall director, said the talent show allows students to come together in a fun and unique way. 

“It gives students an opportunity to showcase their talents but it’s also a chance to do something fun and goofy with your friends and get involved with the residence hall community,” she said.

Ministry assistant (MA) for Holy Cross, senior Nicole Popow, and senior resident advisor (RA) Anastasia Hite will be performing a dramatic reading of the vampire romance novel “Twilight.” Popow said the idea was born out of Hite’s love of the series and their desire to encourage students to participate in the talent show, even if they have “less than traditional talents.” 

“[Hite] is obsessed with ‘Twilight’ and I have a love/hate relationship with it,” Popow said. “I’m Team Edward.”

Hite said that she has only recently rediscovered her love of the ‘Twilight’ series and that her relationship to the brooding vampires of Stephenie Meyers’ claim to fame has helped her to bond with the friends she has made throughout college. 

“I was so obsessed with ‘Twilight’ in middle school and once I got to college I made my friends rewatch all the movies with me,” she said. “I just have an appreciation for how bad [the series] is, and there are a lot of fans of ‘Twilight’ in this hall so they’re all excited for the talent show.”

The pair will read from the first book in the series, although which section they will be reading will remain a mystery until the night of the event. 

“It’s going to be a lot of fun and we encourage everyone to sign up or come to the event to support us,” Popow said. “We’re trying to get a bunch of staff members to do kind of wacky things, so that’ll be exciting to see what people do.” 

All types of talents are welcome at the show, Hite said. 

“We’re looking for out-of-the-box talents as well as traditional talents like singing or dancing,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be a talent you would take on a show like ‘America’s Got Talent,’ it can be whatever you want.”  

The idea for a talent show was inspired by the freshman dorm McCandless Hall after they put on their own all-hall talent show, Popow said. 

“It was something that we had never really thought to do in the past,” she said.

The talent show is a part of Holy Cross Hall’s all-hall event. Popow said all-hall events differ from RA section events because they are often bigger events that everyone on any floor is invited to attend. 

“RAs individually have their own section events, but the purpose of an all-hall event is to build community in the whole dorm,” she said. “It gives RAs and MAs from different floors a chance to work together and come up with really fun ideas. And, a lot of the time, the budget for all-hall events is bigger than the budgets RAs have for their section events, so it gives us a chance to go all out.”

Hite said the all-hall event is made to build a better dorm community.

“Especially since this is an upperclassman hall, people kind of get stuck in their groups and don’t talk to other people on other floors,” she said. “And so an all-hall event is meant to bring groups of people together … it’s meant to give you a break from just sitting in your room or going to class.” 

As a ministry assistant, Popow said her role in the dorm is to serve as a bridge between campus ministry and residence life. 

“The RAs are a support system for the halls, but I’m also a support system and I remind residents to take care of their spirit as well,” she said. “We talk a lot about physical health, emotional and mental health, but spiritual health is a big part of one’s life and it’s not something we really think about.” 

On behalf of all RAs, Hite said she wants to remind students that RAs are not just in the halls to police behavior — they are there to build safe and healthy communities where students can be themselves and have fun, too. 

“RAs are people, too,” she said. “A lot of times we’re seen as people just out to get you in trouble, but we like to see you grow as students and we design these events so that they’re enjoyable.”

Even though Hite has stage fright, she elected to do the talent show because she knows it will be a funny and memorable experience for all students who attend and participate. 

“I would have never gotten up in front of an audience to do a talent show before, but I’m doing this because people are going to enjoy it — I want it to be funny and I want to help build community,” she said.

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About Gina Twardosz

Gina Twardosz is a senior English Writing and Communication Studies double major at Saint Mary's College. She's the co-editor of the Investigative Unit, a Saint Mary's social media liaison, and she occasionally writes for SMC News and Scene. Gina is a tried and true Midwesterner and yes, she does say "ope" often.

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