What did you do over winter break?
Junior Ahmya Ash, a double major in Performing Arts and Mass Communication, created and hosted a talent show in her hometown of Huntsville, Ala.
Ash and her high school friend Devin Davis worked together to make the event a reality.
Although separated for a few years while Davis worked as a full time performer in New York and Ash went away to Grambling, the two kept in contact following their high school graduation and one day Ash received a random phone call from Davis.
“He called me one day with this big idea to throw a concert in our hometown over winter break,” Ash said. “I instantly knew it was a great idea.”
A few days later Ash created a promotional video asking for video auditions on social media.
“There were just tons and tons of submissions,” Ash said. “So many amazing, talented people wanted to be a part of our show. I was astonished by the amount of people interested.”
The two went through a extended planning period reviewing all of the audition videos.
“We had to decide who we wanted to be in it, essentially what talents we wanted to allow,” Ash said. “We wanted the show to be well diversed.”
Even though Davis and Ash were miles away, they both were “committed” throughout the planning process.
“We wanted to give people a platform to showcase their amazing arts,” Davis said. “We were both committed to making the showcase great. We didn’t pick the people who were most popular or had the most followers.”
The concert cost approximately $3,000 and took a lot of preparation.
“There were a lot of late night phone calls, we started planning five months in advance,” Ash said. “Once we got to Alabama during Christmas break together that’s when we did rehearsals. I enjoyed collaborating on this project with Devin.”
The showcase’s online ticket sales sold out. On the day of the performance there were only a few seats left to purchase at the door.
The diverse showcase consisted of modeling, poetry, rap artists, acting, singing and several types of dancing.
The show had a purpose to shed awareness on issues youths face in today’s society.
Ash believed the showcase was a success not only because of the talented artists but also due to the overall purpose.
“Each person that had a meaningful piece, whether it was spoken word or a rap, it all had a purpose,” Ash said. “We hit topics like suicide prevention, drug abuse, STDs and the LGBTQ community. We broke barriers and made the audience think deeply.”
Davis said the show had a major turn out.
“There were so many people there it was amazing,” Davis said. “We wanted to give back to our community in a creative way.”
We even sold V.I.P tickets and those ticket holders had the opportunity to speak during our panel after the show about various topics.”
Ash booked the showcase with one of the most popular venues in Huntsville. Many radio stations and newspapers covered the event.
“It was an amazing experience to bring to the community, it was so something different,” Ash said. “We decided we are going to host one each year.”
“Living in different states made me adapt to each situation,” Ash said. “I would have never expected to end up at GSU. In the midwest I never had even heard of a HBCU. I currently run a radio show in The Lab. When I graduate I want to focus on television and performing.”
The talent show was held on Jan. 4 in Huntsville, Ala.