Cayman’s got loads of talent to show off

Mark Sunday, 30 June well, friends, for that is when a bumper crop of Caymanian talent hits the stage.

Yes, it’s the annual “Talent Xposition of the Arts” at the Harquail Theatre from 5.30pm and if we listed all the people performing during the evening this issue of Weekender would run to 256 pages and that would probably not be entirely a good thing.

Anyhoo, main man J.C. Connor of The New Self-Help Community Foundation tells us it’s going to be a cracker.

“It is a milestone year because almost 99 per cent of performers are still in school, which is what makes it so great,” he tells us. “About 19 of the performers are new, for the first time. We did some auditions at John Gray High School and there is a lot of talent out there.”

The exposition is organised by the foundation to help teens discover and develop a sense of self and a sense of purpose, he says.

“It’s part of the foundation’s youth empowerment programme. This is not an event at which you win prizes, but we expose talent by involving them in the show. It’s unlocking the potential of our youth through the transformative power of the performing arts.

“We give them a format to explore and to express themselves. The teaching of arts is fundamental, critical to the development of a healthy society. That is the reason I am so passionate. It prepares you in every area.”

At the event there will be poetry, spoken word, music, drama, dance, a display of art by Al Ebanks and a lot more, he notes.


Showcasing talent

Melissa McField has been working with John Gray Extended After School Dancers at the show. Melissa has performed at previous events and is now happy to showcase the upcoming dancers.

“I say to the youngsters that most of all you must have discipline and passion. That can get you far; those are the most important factors and you can go from there.

“Before going on stage I am always nervous, no matter how many performances I’ve done because I believe you are only as good as your last performance and can only get better. So give it your all and try and do better than the last time. It is a personal challenge and ultimately very rewarding when you discover what you are capable of,” she says.

Andy Blake is a singer-songwriter who’s also scheduled to perform on the night. He tells Weekender that this event is vital in showcasing talent and giving people the opportunity to get out there and show what they can do. J.C. calls him an “experienced role model for the youths”. (Andy is 33, apparently, but we don’t believe a word of it cause he looks about 22.)

“Sometimes you see these kids and they are a little timid and nervous but I tell them they can do a good job. They get more comfortable when I tell them they can be there too with hard work and dedication.

“When these kids do something really good it is an encouragement; when the crowd cheers and claps it is brilliant. It’s all about exposure and the more you can get the better, specially when you are young and making your way. You can grow and people can see you grow as you get more experience because there is lots of talent here in Cayman.”

The “Talent Xposition of the Arts” is on Sunday, 30 June at the Harquail Theatre. Gates open at 5.30pm.

Tickets are $10 in advance from Funky Tangs, Reflections and Dollar Plus, or $15 on the door.

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