FUSION & Appreciation of Performance Arts
Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 17:09
Performing in front of a live audience is scary. There’s a big difference between singing in the shower and belting out on an open stage. I for one remain a shower-singer, but I am all too familiar with stagefright before dance performances. To be honest, I’m quite familiar with audition-fright, too.
I have great admiration and respect for anyone who puts his or herself out there in a performance. These things are always a gamble for the artist. How will the audience respond? Did I rehearse enough? What if I mess up? All of these fears stem from the fact that performance art makes the artist vulnerable, something I believe we humans have become very skilled at hiding.
A performance only happens once, and even if a play has six separate shows or a musician’s tour has 25 stops, each performance is its own entity. There is a personal connection between the performer and every individual member of his audience. As viewers, listeners and spectators, performances can stick with us for life.
I vividly remember attending my first concert. I saw John Mayer at Madison Square Garden with my family in the winter of 2006. The Garden seats roughly 20,000 fans per concert, yet at times I felt like I was the only one in the room. John played a solo acoustic version of “Why Georgia” (a throwback even then) standing on an extended piece of the mainstage in the middle of the orchestra seating area. The lights were dimmed, and it was just a man and his guitar. Can you imagine his nerves?
These fears and nerves can be restricting, sometimes restricting enough to prevent artists from seeking performance opportunities. FUSION & Appreciation of Performance Arts president and sophomore Rebecca Gasperetti says she believes everyone is born with a special talent. This talent shouldn’t be kept a secret, and she encourages students to build confidence in their talents through involvement in FUSION.
FUSION is an RSO focused on showcasing campus talent, and is an all-inclusive performing arts organization. Performance talents range from singing, acting and dancing to juggling oranges, performing magic tricks and entertaining through stand-up comedy. Gasperetti says she is amazed by the sheer number of artistically-inclined students on campus, and she says FUSION gives students the freedom to share these talents.
FUSION was founded last fall by former president and current senior Madison Helmick. I am FUSION’s former treasurer, and I worked closely with Maddie on the executive board. Maddie and I wanted to create a stress-free environment for students to share their performance talents, meet fellow artists and engage in artistic collaboration. I’m so excited Rebecca is continuing the RSO’s mission to bring performance opportunities to all genres of the performing arts. Last November’s inaugural Performance Night featured spoken word artists, a yo-yo trick master, musicians and more. Though I am no longer directly involved in FUSION, I can’t wait to see what hidden talents this semester’s performances will uncover.
Rebecca says she hopes to have monthly showcases featuring both registered performances for FUSION members and open mic nights to engage FUSION’s audience members. She also says she wants to host an art exhibition and to get her group more involved in on and off campus community service initiatives.
“SPOTLIGHT: A FUSION Preview” is FUSION’s first event of the semester, and will be held this Saturday in Perkins Rodney Room from 5-6:30 p.m free of charge, Rebecca says. Admission is free. She also shared with me that two members of the university’s Ballroom Dance Team and Vocal Point a capella group are among those signed up to perform. Any student is welcome to become involved in FUSION and can do so by emailing Rebecca Gasperetti at email@example.com.