By Arielle Suggs, Melissa Boyd, Grace Massara (Whetstone staff writers)
The Variety Show, which capped Homecoming events at Wesley College, can be a scary prospect for performers.
Take Brittney Anthony, who performed Homecoming night but who got the jitters just before she went on stage at the Schwartz Center in front of hundreds of people.
“It’s anxiety at its highest,” she said. “My biggest fear is always that I’m going to mess the words up. Once I’m on stage, though, I let my emotions just overrule the song and take over me.”
More than $2,000 was raised between sales in the College Center and at-the-door tickets for Alpha Phi Omega (APO) and the Black Student Union (BSU), sponsors of the event.
Anthony said the first few seconds are the worst.
“You have to feel the audience,” she said. “Those beginning seconds are terrifying. But once you hear someone call out your name, it makes all that fear go away.”
Performers also interacted with the crowd, walking up and down the aisles while performing, encouraging audience members to sing or dance along and clapping the hands of several audience members while walking by.
“I loved all the energy from the crowd,” said senior Erica Martin, one of the hosts for the show. “I had fun and I like the performers. They kept me going.”
Students got rowdier as the night went on, particularly during the Marvin Bond dancers and the Whitney Houston tribute.
“My favorite part was the Marvin dancers because it was really cute,” said sophomore Anastasia Hannah. “The whole show was better than I expected and I’ll definitely go again next year because this year was so good.”
Tiera Wilson, a non-Wesley student, said she loved the show.
“I especially enjoyed the Whitney Houston tribute,” she said. “My friend goes here and she got me to come out. I’m happy she did because I loved it. I really loved the singing.”
Senior Kiana Long, a member on the dance team, said that she felt the audience appreciated their performance.
“I think the crowd enjoyed it,” she said. “Before us, there wasn’t a dance or step team. It’s not a talent show. It’s a variety of different things and it gives students an opportunity to showoff their talents and I think Wesley really looks forward to it.”
Prior to the show, Drs. Jessica James, Cynthia Newton and Jeffrey Gibson helped with auditioning. James and Newton said they enjoyed the event and the turnout.
“It was fantastic,” James said. “We have so many talented students. I’m proud to be the BSU advisor. They represented us well.”
Newton said she agreed and that she loved all of the student performers.
“I loved the whole show,” she said. “I think Marvin [planner of the event] did an amazing job.”
APO member Jessica DeChamplain said she was excited she got to see the show from a different angle – working the curtains.
“I thought it went really well and I got to see everything up close,” she said. “Seeing it go from practice to this was just amazing. I’d have to say the step team was my favorite part because of their costumes and how they were all so synchronized. They were amazing.”