by Erika Solberg
Curtain up! Light the lights!
You got nothing to hit but the heights …
This evening, close to 30 SCATS campers will perform in 23 different acts at the annual talent show. Last night, the participants gathered in the auditorium of the Downing Student Union with head counselors Gabe Smith and Tori Edwardson to run through their routines involving such skills as singing, dancing, juggling, and kazoo-playing.
Some campers are already show veterans, having performed last year. These include several singers, such as Neva Cline of Pearland, TX, who will sing “Defying Gravity” from Wicked. Although she gets nervous when she performs, Neva sees the show as a great way to practice so she won’t be as nervous next time. Caroline Moots of Kirksville, MO, will also sing, but her song is a comedic one — “Taylor the Latte Boy“ — fitting in well with her love of theater. Lillie Green of Bowling Green is singing “Rewrite the Stars” from The Greatest Showman. She likes to sing for fun and is taking Singing 101 this year. Emily Holland of Louisville is also singing a song from The Greatest Showman, “Tight Rope.” She enjoys “making people smile with my singing.” Last year, she performed Irish step dancing.
Other returning performers have a more unusual act: Mac Bettersworth and Harrison Hudson, both of Bowling Green, will be jump-roping to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and then will take turns freestyling. Mac also jump-roped last year — she has been jumping since third grade when she began attending Natcher Elementary, home of the Jumpin’ Jaguars.
Some campers will take the stage at a SCATS talent show for the first time, though many are already seasoned performers. Among them are Kareena Pansuria of Bowling Green will play “Für Elise” on the piano. She has been playing for seven years and enjoys it because she “likes people’s reactions.” Although a second-year camper, 2018 is her first as a residential student. Kathleen Bauer of Lexington is a first-year camper who will perform a lyrical dance to “Stone” by Alessia Cara; she has danced since she was five years old. Kayla Hanvey from Paris is also experiencing her first year at SCATS. She is going to sing “Don’t Stop Believing” while Megan Batson of Cookeville, TN, plays the ukulele.
First-year camper Izzy Sanchez of Leitchfield will perform “The Schuyler Sisters” from Hamilton using American Sign Language (ASL). She has learned some ASL by taking lessons online and created her translation of the song on her own. Although she usually performs the piece with a friend, she is prepared for a solo routine, including a fake mustache and sunglasses to transform herself into Aaron Burr.
Tuesday evening’s rehearsal lacked the bigger audience that will fill the seats this evening, but the campers still had fun rooting each other on. Molly Norris of Memphis, TN, who has been singing for most of her life, clearly enjoyed herself as she tapped her foot and belted out the country song “Mama’s Broken Heart.”
When Micah Patrick of Lexington dropped one of his three scarves while juggling to electronic music, his fellow campers encouraged him to keep going. Micah taught himself to juggle by watching videos and is taking Clowning this year — he is unlikely to let a misstep stop him.
Matthew Feragola of Smyrna, TN, received a lot of compliments from the other campers after he sang Rise Against’s “Everchanging” while accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. He says performing “gives me bad anxiety, but it’s fun afterwards.”
The other scheduled performers are David Abel of Owensboro, Logan Abel of Owensboro, Hannah Baker of Crestwood, Calloway Bills of Russellville, Jamie Campbell of Goshen, Garrett Fried of Louisville, Lily Jackson of Franklin, Henry Martin of Louisville, Kendall Pullam of Henderson, and Parker Price of Berea.
All the acts in tonight’s show will have the best possible audience watching them: a community that embraces SCATS’s culture of care, where every student is valued and individuality is embraced. With that kind of spirit present, everything will most definitely be coming up roses.