Manhattan’s Got Talent: Students Show Out for the MC Talent Show

MC student shines during their performance at the talent show. SAGE CLARKE / COURTESY

By Barbara Vasquez, Staff Writer

The Manhattan College talent show hosted by Resident Life and the Communication Club proved to be a place to allow Jaspers to show off their talents. With a sizable turnout, eight amazing performances and an impressive art show, it was a must-see event. 

The winner of the art show was able to have their art displayed on the 5th floor of Thomas Hall, while the grand prize for the 8 performers was a flat screen T.V. Among the performers was a rapper, multiple singers and piano players, all bringing something unique to the show for the audience to enjoy. 

Laura Mojica, residential success coordinator here at MC, wanted to put the show together for students to have the opportunity to create something for themselves- something for students, by students. 

“I was really happy to see the turnout and glad to see it was something that students wanted.” Mojica expressed. “I was happy to give them an opportunity to show everyone what they got.”

Colin Ratner, president of the Communication Club and judge at the show, also spoke about the show’s purpose, explaining that he wanted the show to give students a creative outlet and bring the MC community together for the night.

“So many kids here in Manhattan get swept under the rug with their talents and skills and what they can bring to the table… God knows we don’t do enough shows for the artists, or the [MC] Players, or whoever it may be, so being able to tap in on that and give them a chance to really show off their talents is something I’m always trying to do,” said Ratner. 

Ratner and Mojica’s hopes for the show’s impact were successful, as testified by audience member Prudence.

“There was a big sense of community… I felt like I was a part of something.”

The Comm club has hosted the talent show in the past, but this year’s collaboration with Res Life really made the show a spectacle. 

There was a performance for everyone with the 8 acts, though winner Layla Luciano was a unanimous choice among judges and audience members alike. 

Prior to the talent show, however, Luciano fell ill and wasn’t sure if she would be able to pull through. 

“I had a different song at first, ‘Speechless,’ from the live-action Aladdin, and then the day before the dress rehearsal I sang it and I was just like ‘oh my god.’” Luciano said. “My voice was so raspy, and my nerves always get the best of me so I was shaking, and it was shaking my vocal chords. I knew I had to change it.”

Luciano landed on “She Used to Be Mine,” from the musical “Waitress,” instead, and left everybody enamored with her voice.

“Layla just blew my socks off, to say the least. She really embodied what it means to have a talent and show it off.” Ratner noted. “Knowing what she went through, being sick that week and switching up her song, and still killing it. I just knew she had to be the winner.” 

When the acts were called onto stage at the end of the show for the announcement of the winner, the whole audience began chanting Luciano’s name. When asked about her reaction to the support, Luciano shared her thoughts.

“I tried to be humble but at the same time, sometimes you just have to own it. I was like okay, this is my time.” 

Though the majority of the show was a success, there were some qualms to be had about the advertisement. Many who participated felt that there was barely any time to spread the word before auditions and the actual show.

“All the advertising kind of got delayed. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, we just weren’t ready until that week I guess. It snuck up on us.” Ratner said. “We can always do a better job of marketing and getting the word out there. But I was still very happy with the turnout.”

Cornelia Eboh, an LCA at Res Life agreed and said she hopes to help improve the marketing done for events such as these. 

 “I feel like not that many people even knew it was going on, but that [marketing] is something that we can work on internally and we’re actually actively working on at Res Life,” Eboh expressed. 

Despite these slight mishaps on the marketing front, the talent show was incredibly successful, and there are hopes of it returning during the spring semester.

“I’ve had a few students ask ‘are you going to do it again?’ and I’m like ‘if you want me too!’” Mojica says. “As long as Comm club is willing to do it again in the spring I see no issue with doing that.”

Luciano had her own fears about being in the show but she hopes people who want to show off their talents join the next talent show

“The T.V. [prize] was definitely a happy part, but I think overall it helped me realize that I can do anything I put my mind to. Even if I’m scared, I just have to do it because I don’t want to have any regrets later.” she said. “I always say ‘just do it’ because you never know what’s going to happen.”