By Kathryn Flippin, Life Editor
For most college students, any activity outside of schoolwork is a difficult commitment, but when Student Activity Council’s Variety Show rolls around each spring, many devote time and energy to producing an intricate performance.
Chi Omega won most creative and best overall large group performance.
Lambda Chi Alpha won best overall small group performance.
Zeta Tau Alpha won best choreography, and Kappa Delta won best costumes.
Hours of practice and rigorous training go into intense interpretations of fairy tale stories, Dr. Seuss rhymes, Disney classics and original story lines.
All practices lead to one full day at the Carl Perkins Civic Center. The show is not just about the performances but everything building up to it as well, said Matthew Parker, senior business administration major and SAC’s Variety Show chairman.
“On this day, SAC coordinates the (whole) of our staff to make sure the event is ready and to make sure all participants, as well as spectators, have all they need for a successful show,” Parker said.
Performers arrive at the Civic Center by 11:30 a.m. for a 7 p.m. call time. Many start the morning even earlier, meeting at 8 a.m. to prepare stage makeup and to produce eccentric hairstyles.
“We woke up really early and went to someone’s house,” said Joanna Hull, senior biology major and leader of the independent large group “Once Upon A Time.”
“Hairspray was everywhere,” she said. “We teased hair and put on loads of makeup, which can be crazy, but it was all for the show.”
Ranging from numbers of six to more than 60, performers spend several hours preparing for the show. SAC also puts in months of work to make sure the event runs smoothly.
“The entire seven months leading up to Variety Show, I have been leading the committee to help plan and make sure we have the different areas of the show all mapped out,” Parker said.
Parker also said he is proud of how far SAC has come in the last three years, with moving to the Civic Center and making the event a full-blown production.
Ryan Linkous, junior biblical languages major and SAC representative for “Once Upon A Time,” agreed.
“I have seen Variety Show progress so much over the past three years, especially since we have been at the Civic Center,” Linkous said. “The quality of the show just gets better and better, and the process by which we facilitate the show is better as well. Sitting in dress rehearsal, I was excited because all the acts were good.”
Group leaders also commented on how they enjoyed seeing the creativity of each group.
Many said they were thankful for a full day of dress rehearsal that not only allowed each group to see the others’ performances but also allowed them to understand how the show would run.
Joey Davis, sophomore business administration major and leader of this year’s small group winner Lambda Chi Alpha, said he thought the day was beneficial because he said it helped calm the nerves of many of the participants.
He also said how much his group enjoyed being a part of the show.
“We are just 15 to 20 fraternity guys who cannot do a whole lot of crazy dance moves, but we wanted to bring something to the table,” Davis said. “It was fun to see how we could add a little lightheartedness to the show.”
The weeks leading up to the performance are still the most intense. Claudia Velasco, junior accounting major and leader of the large group Zeta Tau Alpha, said even injuries could not keep their spirits down.
“Three months of work put into one night is insane, but we love it,” Velasco said.
“Whether we were dancing, learning or falling, it has been kind of rough; we’ve had a few injuries this season, which is not good, but everyone had such positive attitudes and were willing to work despite what went wrong,” she said.
Shea Wingate, sophomore political science major and leader of this year’s large group winner Chi Omega, said the hard work contributed by the performers made the work worth it in the end.
“This is the finale we had been building up to all semester — the peak, the climax of the year for us,” Wingate said. “The best part was bonding with my (Chi Omega) sisters and showing everyone what we had been working on since February.”