Courage IS a Talent

I had the privilege to co-judge tonight’s “KROC’s Got Talent” show with Vallejo-based Hip Hop group Red Letter (thanks to Justin and Vince); the show was organized by Major Randy Hartt and his awesome team at The Salvation Army KROC Center in Suisun City. It’s my third time participating as a judge and I think I’m getting better at it.  Of course the event isn’t about me or how I’m handling my judging duties: this show is about the fearlessness and wide ranging talents people of all ages display when they get up in front of an audience and perform. It was a challenge for me at first to figure out what my role as a judge was…should I really be “judging” these performers, many who had never challenged themselves to sing or dance in public before?  Or should I be recognizing one of the talents all the singers, dancers, comedians, musicians and poets all showed the audience: COURAGE.  It became clear to me very quickly into that first show that my role needed to be that of “encourager” rather than “judge.” Many of the performers at this year’s talent show will go on to perform other places; some may eventually have careers in entertainment and the arts.  Many will not…in fact many will simply be (rightfully) satisfied and proud that they were able to set a goal, practice for it, and deliver the goods.  The take-away for me was THAT is as important as anything.

John Young

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