Celebrating homecoming with open mic night

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Luther students took to the Marty’s Stage to showcase their talents at the Student Activities Council’s Homecoming Open Mic Night on Wed., Oct. 2. The event was hosted by members of SAC, who entertained the crowd between the acts with Luther trivia, jokes, and skits. The program consisted of 17 acts and featured over 30 performers, who were given five minutes apiece to impress the crowd and judges. At the end of the night, a prize of $50 was awarded to the best act.

“It’s mostly singing, but there are some people that do poetry, some people that do lip-syncing, some dancing, and some people play instruments, so it’s pretty open,” SAC Homecoming Co-Chair, Viola Niyizigama (‘20) said. “It is a way to showcase the students and their talents. We want those in the Luther community to see the talent that is in the community. What is performed is left up to the imagination of the people that are performing.”

With no set expectations for performances, participants were able to explore an array of different hobbies and gifts. As long as acts were kept family friendly, there was no limit to what the competitors were allowed to prepare.

“Some of the acts were really weird, but also really funny,” Esther Choo (‘22) said. “Everyone was really putting everything they had into their act, and some of the things that people did required a lot of dedication and commitment.”

Collin Kern (‘20), performed a dance and lip sync to the Meat Loaf song “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That),” where he alluded to having a relationship with a puppet. After stripping from a black trench coat down to a neon green tank top, spandex, and shorts combo, Kern took to dancing and lip syncing in the crowd. He finished the song by singing a duet with the puppet and giving it a kiss.

“As far as inspiration goes, I’m mostly interested in making people laugh and smile.” Kern said. “I get a kick out of performing these ridiculous pieces, even more so when I know other people are having a good time. In the past I’ve typically done songs by female artists, such as “It’s Raining Men,” and used the suggestive sexual elements for humorous effect. However, this time I felt like changing it up and Barry Goodtimes [the puppet] was interested in coming on stage with me.”

Sam Schillinger (’22) performed a comedic song from the point of view of a stalker, detailing the dark and absurd actions the stalker takes, from camping outside the victim’s home to calling them dozens of times a day. The song drew both laughter and silence from the crowd.

The judges, Director of Campus Programming Kristen Underwood, Box Office Manager Bradley Phillips, and Ylvisaker Hall Director Maren Phalen (‘19) ultimately chose Katherine Hoffman (‘20), as the night’s winner for her improvised Jazz/Contemporary dance to Au/Ra’s song “Panic Room.”

Hoffman was excited to have the chance to perform.

“I wasn’t expecting [to win] at all,” Hoffman said, “I had just really missed performing.”

Up until this year Hoffman had been on dance teams from elementary school all throughout high school. At Luther she has worked with improv dance groups and was one of the choreographers for the dance production “What Would Love Do” in May, 2019.

“It was all improv,” Hoffman said “I didn’t come up with a performance beforehand, and I didn’t decide what music I wanted until two hours before. I was a little nervous about it, because  I thought a lot [of the performances] were really good. I thought [Kern’s] performance was hilarious; I laughed so hard. [Schillinger’s] was great too. I thought it was also hilarious, and also kind of chilling. I thought everybody did a great job.”

The judges were equally impressed by the caliber of the performances this year, and struggled to come to a decison as to who was the best.

“I just want you to know that you were all wonderful performers, and that made it really hard to choose.” SAC Co-Chair Elise Carlson (‘21) said.

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