Organizers hope district’s ‘Got Talent’ raises money for ASB


Charis Lee

Senior Charis Lee sings “Paper Hearts” by Tori Kelly during the April 10 video recording session for the district-wide talent show at the La Habra High School’s Performing Arts Theater. Lee’s performance will go up against others from throughout the Fullerton Join Union High School District when it’s broadcast on YouTube Live Friday, April 23.

Henry Lee, Web Editor-in-Chief

Two Sunny Hills video performances will compete tonight against 15 acts from campuses throughout the Fullerton Joint Union High School District [FJUHSD] as part of a fund-raising/talent show virtual event to benefit the schools’ Associated Student Body [ASB] programs.

Dubbed “Got Talent,” the traditional 7-8:30 p.m. talent show is usually performed live, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers had to video record several of the acts in the La Habra Performing Arts Theater.

To raise money for each campus’ ASB, anyone wishing to view the performances will have to pay $10, which would allow them access to the YouTube Live event, broadcast from Troy High School, Rotary Club district governor nominee Dan Ouweleen said. To pay $10, viewers should go to the Rotary Club’s website and pay by credit card.

That “admission fee” will automatically give viewers five votes that they can cast as their favorite performers, and viewers will be able to put all five of their votes on one act. The paid audience can also purchase additional five votes in $10 increments, Ouweleen said.

To know how to vote, viewers will see options for each video-recorded act on the website after they pay, and all they would need to do is click on it using such viewing devices as a smartphone or a Chromebook.

Once the program is over, organizers will tally up the votes, and two prizes will be given: Judges Choice for best talent – a $750 prize for that talent’s ASB – and the top online-voted competitor, which will give a performer’s school ASB a $750 prize or 50% of the total cost of votes cast for that contestant.

Representing Sunny Hills tonight will be senior Charis Lee, whose recording of her singing, “Paper Hearts” will be broadcast along with a video performance from Dance Production [DP] titled, “Forever Changed” – both entries had received the most votes in their respective categories from last month’s virtual Conservatory of the Fine Arts Quadshow to qualify to compete in this event.

“I felt nervous before going into the show, but I had the mindset to have fun and do my best,” Lee said. “I didn’t want it to become an unenjoyable experience from stressing too much.”

Lee plans to watch the show to see how the professional photography and audio will turn out.

“I think chances of winning are extremely low, but I had fun and that’s all that matters to me,” Lee said.

Sunny Hills DP co-captain junior Jessica Choi thanks the Rotary Club of Fullerton for the opportunity to be a part of the talent show.

“I am sad we don’t get to perform live, but I’m glad that we were still able to record our performances,” Choi said. “We’ve worked really hard, and I’m happy that we still get to showcase our abilities, even if it’s not the most conventional way.” 

Despite being unable to perform in person, Choi looks forward to the talent show and the results.

“I’ve never seen a digital district talent show before, so I think it will be an interesting experience,” she said. “If this happens again next year, I’m looking forward to being able to compete and show what our team is able to do physically.”

The idea to tie in a fundraiser with the district talent show stems from Fullerton’s Rotary Club members working with FJUHSD superintendent Scott Scambray. Rotary traditionally sponsors a “Jog-a-Thon” to help campus clubs or other organizations raise money for their programs.

“There are so many uncertainties, and it takes a lot to plan and pull together the Jog-a-Thon,” Ouweleen said. “It requires a pretty big team, and we decided that it was too big an effort to suddenly have it all scrapped at the last minute, so we decided that we should just pause on it for right now.”

Although the performances were pre-recorded and will be showcased online, Ouweleen said he chose the $10 price point to compensate for production costs. 

“$10 is a pretty small fee to watch 15 fantastic acts. Most people would pay $55 to $65 to go see a live performance,” Ouweleen said. “It’s a relatively small cost for people to pay for something that actually costs quite a bit to put together.”

Even though the Jog-a-Thon’s cancellation disappoints Ouweleen — considering how this school year would have been its 10th year — he said “Got Talent” will provide a fun viewing experience.

“We are hoping that if this is successful, that in future years when it can be live, we will have many more performances,” Ouweleen said. “It should be a fun night.”