By DeVol Tyson
Lights… Camera… Action!
Every performer knows these three words. To some people, entertainment is simply entertainment; to others, it is a way of life. The Delta Epsilon Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated is no stranger to the life of performing. On Saturday, February 16, 2013, the sorority hosted Zeta Apollo at Willkie Auditorium on the Indiana University campus. The event, which consisted of roughly eight acts, showcased the talents of performance organizations and artistic individuals on campus and the surrounding Bloomington community.
There was a cash prize of $300 for the winner of the competition.
Zeta Apollo is an event held by the Delta Epsilon chapter to give students and members of the surrounding Bloomington community a chance to show off their talents. This year’s event was the first in two years. “Zeta Apollo was annual, put on by the Delta Epsilon Chapter,” Jasmine Murphy said. Murphy is a member of the Delta Epsilon Chapter and co-facilitator of the night’s event. She said that the Zeta Apollo event was used to mimic the actual Apollo Theater acts held in Harlem, New York City, New York. This year, there was a text poll audiences could use in the case of a tie-breaker; this was the first time the chapter used a texting poll in Zeta Apollo. All proceeds and donations from the event went to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.
“Zeta Apollo is expected from past Delta Epsilon members. It’s something we can call our own,” Murphy said. When asked what she wanted to see from the event, Murphy said that she wanted to see a sizeable crowd. She also wanted to see the talents received well by the audiences. The event is “Something other than a lecture or party,” said Murphy.
Murphy said the ideal crowd participation would be simply interacting with the acts. She also noted the fact that this year’s event consisted of a comedian, which prompted her to say that she wanted the crowd to “EMBRACE” the acts. “It’s hard getting up in front of people to display your talent.” Murphy also said that she wanted the audience to adopt Zeta Apollo as a campus favorite and at it to anticipated campus events.
Chyandria Jones, a junior at Indiana University and captain of IU Essence, said she was drawn to do Zeta Apollo because of the promised cash prize. She said it was important to “support other Black organizations and their functions.”
When asked what the most exciting aspect of Zeta Apollo, Jones said that becoming captain and preparing for the event in such a short amount of time with a fairly new group was most exciting for her. She also expressed that due to the group’s new members and their struggle of getting into the swing of performing hip hop styled dances, preparing for Zeta Apollo also became very challenging.
Jones wished everyone good luck. She ended by stating, “If you keep God first in your craft, you can never go wrong.” IU Essence placed second in the competition.
Sydney-Paige Patterson, senior and President of Voices of Hope at Indiana University gospel choir, said that being a performer and also being behind the scenes was exhilarating. She said that Alexis Williams, the 2nd Vice-President of Voices and President of the Delta Epsilon Chapter invited the choir to sing in the competition. Patterson wanted to “minister the Word of God. She said that ministering in different places and settings “brings the choir together.”
Patterson claimed that getting the right notes and being cohesive was the most stressful part of preparing for Zeta Apollo. She also stated that when a big body of people come together, it can become difficult to put on a performance in such a small amount of time.
Patterson was very excited to see the different acts. She said that she had seen some before such as IU Essence. She noted that all the talent that IU has was “inspiring.” Her inspiration for the choir and other acts was, “Go for it fully and wholeheartedly. Be confident!”
Junior Ronald Gilbert, who won the competition said that he like that he had the opportunity to show his talent. He said that the cash prize was just bonus of performing.
When asked how he felt about the performance, Gilbert said he could always do better. He said the most exciting part of the performance for him was actually seeing everyone else. He was excited to see new things the Zetas were doing. Gilbert went on to say that being on stage gave him a “stressful high,” stating that the thrill of being on stage is both intimidating and fulfilling.
Gilbert said winning felt great. Though he performed in support for the Zetas, he said “I have a talent, why not perform?” He also appreciated the fact that the Zetas brought something new and different to the table, while also holding onto tradition.
Zeta Apollo was the finale of the Delta Epsilon’s “So Sweet” Week of Events. The chapter celebrated its 40th Charter Day on February 14, 2013.