TruTalent takes over The Quad

After weeks of practice and bonding, brothers Jacob and Tyler Bichsel took the stage of the Student Activity Board’s event, TruTalent, bringing laughs and a lifelong love of acting to the Truman State University community. The two are only one example of the many talents featured at the show. 

TruTalent took place from 7-9 p.m. and was free to attend. Students interested in performing had to sign up prior to the event through an online application where they described their talent, the equipment needed for their performance and how long it would be. This open application gave Jacob and Tyler the opportunity to share their appreciation for the art of acting.

Jacob said the duo has treasured acting since they were five years old, and the two have engrossed themselves so much in art that it has become a part of their personalities. 

“Being on stage and the dynamic it brings is fun and interesting,” Jacob said. “It is different than anything else you can get. We both like stories, reading and writing, so acting is just another way of expressing that.”

The brothers have been talking about the talent show with one another for months determining whether or not they should sign up. Once part of a theater troupe in high school, Jacob and Tyler decided on bringing one of their past performances to the spotlight of The Quad, a sketch produced by Abbott Costello’s “Who’s On First?”

Jacob said the event was a good idea since it garnered a lot of attention and was fun, however, he said the advertising could have been done differently in order to involve the entire campus. He said it had the capability of being much larger than what it was if word of it had gotten out more, but it was still a great event to participate in. 

 While practicing the sketch and being able to perform was a great reward, it also allowed Jacob and Tyler to spend more time with one another. TruTalent gave them a reason to meet every evening for a few weeks. Tyler said they saw TruTalent and knew it would be an excellent opportunity to refine and share their old material with the rest of the community. 

Tyler said sharing their unique talent was great, but being able to see other talents was even better.

“That’s the other aspect of theater, being able to see all the things other people can do,” Tyler said. “There are so many things. Comedy, magic tricks, music. There’s just so much.”

The brothers’ passion for acting and performance only contributed to the rest of the night’s performances. Each personality added on to the next as the hours went on. TruTalent Event Chair Ashley Atkinson said she was excited after seeing the amount of names that signed up and the large number of talents they wanted to share with everyone.

Since it was a free event, the show gave students the chance to relax in the middle of the week when stress could be found at the drop of a pencil. 

“It’s always fun to watch your friends perform,” Atkinson said. “Even if you don’t know anyone, it is a free show. It’s just such a good time.”

Atkinson said she remembered acts from last year like an impressive hula hoop performance that glowed in the dark, and this year’s list of talents seemed just as incredible. Special Events Committee Chair Zhuoqun Gao said she remembered a dance group that was so massive they had to jump off the stage and perform on The Quad. 

Gao said now was the best time to hold the talent show to introduce freshmen to the many organizations available on campus. It gave new students the chance to find out more about groups with shared interests. TruTalent also featured a whole new level of interaction with students not found in many past events.

“We have had a lot of events with artists or professional performers, but we don’t really have interactivity when it comes to students performing,” Gao said. “Here it isn’t only stand-up and singing. We have all sorts of stuff from students.”