Reclaiming the Entertainment Industry, One Talent Show at a Time

Want to bring together people of all ages to have their hearts opened by the message of Transition? Host a Community Resilience Talent Show!

We held our first ever “Transition’s Got Talent! Community Resilience Variety Show & Fundraiser" in Sebastopol last week, and it exceeded our hopes by far. People laughed, cried, were inspired to take action and to financially support Transition US. The audience included children, parents, elders, activists and organizers, local business owners and community members, and folks who had never heard of Transition but came out to support their friends and family.

The acts were diverse and memorable: a brave six year old singing a call to action, political satire by “Uncle Sam,” a poem written by a Transitioner in the National Hub in Spain that was recited in Spanish & English by local Transitioners, and more. The show was held on Veteran’s Day, and opened with a powerful performance by Shepherd Bliss, a local farmer, Transitioner, and veteran, titled “Honoring Veterans, Not War.”

It truly felt like a community event. Thanks to one of our Board members, a local theater donated use of their space, and a local organic winery donated wine. A local restaurant and market donated food. And we were fortunate enough to have a member of our local Transition Initiative who was a professional playwright with plenty of theater experience who stepped up as stage manager and kept everything flowing smoothly.

The evening was celebratory and moving - a tribute to the role of art and music in social change, an honoring of the incredible talent and activism in our community, and an invitation to open our hearts to the more beautiful world we know is possible. In an era of distraction and disconnection, reality TV and celebrity worshipping, a community talent show can be a revolutionary act.

Later that night, I lied in bed, too excited to sleep. I was surprised that what I had envisioned as a simple and sweet community event had such an impact on me and everyone else I spoke with following the show. I tried to identify a highlight of the night, but there were too many.

Then I realized that what made the night so special was the amazing participation and support from the audience. As an initially apprehensive amateur MC, I was encouraged by the consistent attentiveness and the heartfelt applause which erupted at all the right moments. It says a lot about Transition culture and how we show up for each other, making it easier to be brave and rise to the challenges of the extraordinary times in which we live.

So, the next time you’re looking for a way to bring the community together, inspire, and celebrate (a key ingredient of Transition!), why not give a talent show a try? You might be surprised by what unfolds.











By Marissa Mommaerts, Director of Programs, Transition US

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