The first annual “Mills Got Talent” show featured fire breathing, movie scene reenactments and specially choreographed lip-synching to the Spice Girls. Brainchild of Recreation Coordinator and soccer coach Colette Bowler, the Jan. 29 event held in Mills’ Lisser Hall featured 20 acts by Mills’ students, both graduate and undergraduate.
Lisser Hall was packed andwas described as “standing room only,” by Joanna Iwata Dean of Students, who showed off her talent by playing the guitar and singing.
Led by masters of ceremonies Lokemele Davis and Jenny Safreno, both student athletes, the two-hour event included poetry readings, singing and even the retelling of one performer’s life story.
Bowler mentioned past lip-synch nights at Mills, but nothing like that occured recently.
The coach’s idea had been in the works since fall, when she began advertising with flyers around the campus.
“I worked hard on advertising it,” Bowler said, hoping that the event would have enough participants. Bowler admitted that until a few weeks ago, there were only eight people signed up to perform.
“I had an idea that most Mills women were procrastinators, so I wasn’t worried,” Bowler said, adding that the number of performers rose dramatically in the last week, and two acts joined on the last day.
Described as “Rebecca and gang” in the show’s program, the group of Spice Girls lip-synchers began with freshwoman Rebecca Waterhouse who entered the event just last week.
The group enlisted another freshwoman, Amber Williams, to choreograph their act, and each one chose to dress up as their favorite Spice Girl. Waterhouse thought the talent show was a great idea, saying, “It is a good way for people to show off their talent who wouldn’t normally do it.”
Amidst the current students in the audience, there were many prospective students who had spent the day touring the campus and signed up to stay the night with a student host.
Helen Cameron, 17, a prospective student from Long Beach, said “It was really impressive to me how nice everyone was to each other,” citing the camaraderie between Mills students.
One performer, Txhuj Ci Xiong, who was dancing and singing, had some technical difficulties with her music. However, students in the audience cheered her on, applauding and cheering. After the intermission, Xiong was able to perform her entire act.
The event’s impressive turnout has convinced Bowler to create a new Mills tradition.
“We’ll definitely do it annually,” she said. “I’d love to showcase as much talent as possible.”