This year, Thomas Jefferson High School rolled out a new senior talent show that allowed all seniors to participate and show off their skills.
The Senior Showcase is a new tradition which is a revamped version of what was historically called Mr. TJ, a talent show only for senior boys. The adjusted talent show was created to offer an inclusive experience for all seniors, allowing for anyone to participate.
This year, the showcase was a 55-minute long video with different sections including a Q & A, an individual interview, a costume change, favorite moments from this year, and a talent show. There were two students in charge of the production piece, while the rest of the seniors who participated were contestants in the showcase. The Q & A was the section of the showcase where students were asked a few questions they could answer individually or in groups of two. This section consisted of John Trujillo asking the participants brief questions regarding their high school experience. Afterwards, the seniors wore Halloween costumes and other silly outfits for the individual interview section. This was a more in depth, individual interview where participants were in their costumes. After the interview, the seniors came out in their formal wear. The final portion of the showcase was the talent portion, where seniors submitted their individual gifts. This section of the showcase was where the seniors were given their moment to shine and showcase their unique skills through a video.
The two students in charge of the production and behind the scenes were Elena Adams and Adelaide McLain. The seniors worked on the production piece because they wanted to help decide how it would be presented to the audience. Adams explained, “It was really nice to see kids in our class after a great year of online school. The showcase is a great way to encompass everyone’s hard work and personal experiences throughout high school, and many students should be looking forward to it!” The viewing of the show occurred on April 23rd; the production was shown to Senior students on the TJ softball field, and it was live streamed to everyone else at the same time. After the showing, Lauren Reid commented, “The senior showcase was very well put together. It was funny to see all of our classmates doing random talents. Also, the interviews were really cool to understand different parts of the people we go to school with, I loved how there was a plethora of different things within the video.”
After a tough year for seniors, this was one of the few events that made the year seem more normal. The Showcase was very cautious about COVID-19 protocols, allowing for a fun and safe experience for all members involved. “Production of the senior showcase provided a unique and fun way for our senior class to spend time together and create memories,” McClain added. Creating memories during this time was a challenging task in itself; however, the effort from all students and parents involved truly created something to be remembered, and hopefully a new tradition for all seniors moving forward. The production was a way to connect students who had not seen each other for many months due to the ongoing pandemic.
Cora Allen, another senior who participated in the showcase, explained, “It was really fun to see some of my classmates who I have not seen since March.” Since the lockdown, senior students have had to go without monumental high school experiences such as the Senior Sleepout and sporting events. This production would not have been possible without the help of all of those involved in the experience, especially the parents who helped put the physical video together. Deren Abram (father of Ben Abram) was the mastermind behind the video and filming portion of the show, and John Trujillo (father of Alex Trujillo) was the main organizer behind the event. The Spartan parents were a valuable resource in creating a show that will be remembered. Colley Moe, (mother of Ryan Moe) also helped out; she elaborated, “It was truly inspiring to watch how talented each part of the student body was with the whole process. From answering questions to dancing around they put themselves out there and made this a fun experience for all involved.” The Senior Showcase was an event created to allow seniors to become involved in a difficult year while having fun and showing who they truly are. This event was a great experience for everyone involved and will hopefully be open to next year’s seniors when the time comes.