The Gay-Straight Alliance has opened auditions for its third annual Talent Show, taking place this February. Tickets are five dollars, and all proceeds go to charity.
“It’s not as competitive as, for instance, the choir Pop Show [which] is extremely competitive and extremely well produced,” GSA sponsor Beth Billnitzer said. “This is more down home. This is much more like an amateur show, but it’s also a lot of fun.”
Talent Show provides an opportunity for students not in fine arts organizations to perform in front of their peers.
“I think there are a lot of people who want to perform, who want to have that experience as a confidence builder as possibly a step towards a career,” Billnitzer said. “I think standing on stage and performing can really only do you some good and this gives you another venue to do that.”
The show features twenty acts and auditions are open to any student.
“It has such a supportive vibe, like I remember the first year someone got nervous and messed up a little bit, but everyone cheered for him anyways,” GSA sponsor Ashley Watson-Fears said. “If there’s something that goes a little bit wrong everyone just kind of gets behind them and that’s really cool to me to see.”
The Gay-Straight Alliance selects beneficiaries that are San Antonio based. Last year’s proceeds went to victims of an apartment fire.
“We like to keep it local, and we don’t want it to be a drop in a giant sea,” Gay Straight Alliance president Hanna Sigmund said. “We want to make an impact.”
Talent Show was started as GSA’s response to the Quest Challenge, a competition between clubs to raise the most money for a local cause.
“People in the GSA are in general compassionate students and so they feel like raising money a lot,” Billnitzer said. “There hadn’t been a talent show at Reagan before, and they thought it would be a fun way to raise some money and it worked.”
The GSA was founded three years ago and membership is open to any student.
“Especially with kids who might not have support at home, having an adult that they can trust is so important,” Watson-Fears said. “Having a teacher, someone safe at school, a safe place to go is really important, no matter what your orientation is.”
Gay Straight Alliance members recite an oath before every meeting, promising to work to make Reagan an accepting place for all.
“It’s definitely given me a sense of belonging,” junior Isaac Rodriguez said. “[Orientation is] not really talked about or open in any of my other classes, so GSA is like a safe space for the LGBT population at Reagan.”