Classmates have fun during talent show fundraiser

Photo by Shawn Nowlin Matt Rousey performing comedy on stage for the first time.

Twelve performers displayed their abilities at the 2019 Salem High School talent show on April 17.

The event was a fundraiser for Delphi, the school’s award-winning literary art magazine. The four judges – faculty members Mike Gibson and Paola Brinkley and students Alex Purdue and Alex Warme – based their criteria on quality and enthusiasm.

Jamie Pennix, a high school junior, performed a cover of the popular Childish Gambino song “Sweatpants.” Fellow junior Alyssa Ingerson played the piano. While Riley Spitnale performed an original dance, classmate Rhiannon Bayless played the ukulele and sang an English ballad.

“I think the best stage performers are people who are committed to their craft no matter what,” said 2018 Salem High grad Trent Overstreet who ran sound for the entire production. “I think that there is also some ‘God Given’ talent involved, but with few exceptions, if you put your mind to it, anything is possible.”

Alyssa Ingerson playing the piano.

Adalynn Eller sang a song from the Broadway musical Waitress. Matt Rousey did stand-up comedy. Joshua Kennedy performed magic tricks. Maya Makked sang an original composition. Friends Carson Pugh, Ethan Carrol, Nick Poff and Zack Davidson performed under their band name, 4 for 4.

“The best performances all portray the passion and poise that seem to come naturally with the individual’s talent and the desire to perform,” said Fred Campbell, a Salem High English Teacher and advisor to Delphi. “Many of these students display their gifts only at the talent show, while others regularly perform in school and community productions. Either way, they show courage in presenting their talents to their parents, peers, and community all while overcoming stage fright and nerves.”

Jamie Pennix doing a cover of the popular Childish Gambino song “Sweatpants.”

The first meeting for the talent show took place in mid-February. Everyone involved met again on April 8, and the dress rehearsals occurred the night before the talent show in the school auditorium.

When Rousey got on stage to do his comedy skit, he says it was the first time he ever performed in front of a live audience. “Whenever I introduce myself to people, they ask me if I want to be called Matt or Matthew. I usually say I don’t really care because the truth is, they are going to call me whatever they want anyway,” he said. “I think it’s pretty obvious that this is my first ever show, partly because I don’t get any of the proceeds.”

Attendees were asked to limit their applauses and not disrupt any part of the show. When it was all said and done, Campbell says he met his intended goal.

“I advise the students on the Delphi staff as they make decisions about the design and content of the magazine, which is published annually near the end of May,” he said. “Not only did the talent show allow students to show off their abilities, but it also raised money for a worthy cause.”


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