Local bands, poets, dancers and other live acts will have a chance to show off their skills and charisma at the First Annual UCSB’s Got Talent show tonight in The Hub.

Kicking off at 8 p.m., the show will include a beer garden and feature 11 acts, including everyone from the Isla Vista bands Yancellor Chang and Sun Daes to the campus a capella group Naked Voices, as well as a number of spoken word performers, comedians and other acts. Organized by the Associated Students Office of the Internal Vice President and A.S. Program Board, the event is free and the first of its kind at UCSB. Each act will be scored by a panel of judges, and the top three performances will be awarded for first, second and third place prizes, which include UCSB Bookstore gift cards and other prizes that will be announced the night of the show.

A.S. IVP Kyley Scarlet, a fourth-year theater major, said the idea behind UCSB’s Got Talent came into being during Fall Quarter. The event was intended to help current students engage with alumni, according to Scarlet, who said alumni could then come back to campus and watch student performances in a completely new type of event.

“We wanted to bring back alumni, show off what our students are doing and bring the positives to light with our students,” Scarlet said.

As a theater major, Scarlet said she noticed the university has never held an event like UCSB’s Got Talent before. While the campus hosts the annual UCSB Battle of The Bands as well as other singer-songwriter shows, this event will invite a wider range of talents to share the stage. By giving UCSB students a platform to showcase their talents, Scarlet said the event could provide a creative outlet to individuals who may not otherwise have such an opportunity.

“I want it to be something that allows our art students and people involved in those sorts of things to have an outlet, especially since we are such a research institution,” Scarlet said. “Allowing them to have some way to perform their art and maybe get recognized by someone would be a big deal.”

Nadia Kulenovic, first-year biopsychology major and fellow in the Office of the IVP, worked alongside Scarlet to organize the show. According to Kulenovic, the 11 acts were selected from a pool of 14 video submissions, and these submissions were part of a UCSB’s Got Talent Audition period, which took place in early April.

While saying she has “never worked on something like this,” Kulenovic said she is eager to see the talent show finally come to fruition after months of planning.

“I’m just excited to see it actually become a reality,” Kulenovic said. “It started from literally an idea — there was nothing; there was zero.”

One of the performers, first-year economics major Roya Salehi, will be singing at the event. Salehi said she was encouraged by Kulenovic to try out for UCSB’s Got Talent during an open mic performance at the Santa Rosa Residence Hall.

“I’ve been singing since I was little, and I was in choir for three years in high school so I’ve been singing for a while,” Salehi said.


A version of this story appeared on page 6 of Wednesday, April 30, 2014’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.