The seating may be limited, but the talent sure isn’t


Jacks Got Talent is making its way to the stage as one of the few live events during the week of Hobo Day.

Last year, Emily Kallem stood on the stage of the Larson Memorial Concert Hall and won second place for the Hobo Day Jacks Got Talent show.

Now, the music education major takes the stage once more to perform “Vienna” by Billy Joel. For Kallem, performing for Jacks Got Talent is a way for her to have a more creative outlet aside from her traditional music classes.

“I usually don’t get to sing fun, popular music or get to do anything fun that I would do in my free time,” Kallem said. “So it’s kind of fun because I could do literally whatever I want.”

South Dakota State University students can showcase their unique talents and compete for cash prizes. First place winners win $300, second place gets $200 and third place, plus one crowd favorite, receive $100.

The Jacks Got Talent show, or Cahorts, put on by the Universities Program Council (UPC), is one of the major events during the week of Hobo Day that students and Brookings community members can attend. The event, happening at 7 p.m., Friday Oct. 30, will have in-house seating for the first 120 guests and live-streamed via Zoom for others interested in the event.

“There are a variety of acts including singing, dancing, comedy and even a color guard routine,” Saloni Singh, UPC showcase coordinator, said. “Many of our performers are returning participants from last year,  as well as some who have never competed before.”

One of these acts is Cyrus Taheri, an international data science graduate student from Iran. Taheri will be performing a stand-up comedy skit about dating and his life so far in America.

“When I moved to the U.S., I got homesick and got into standup comedy as a way to chill down and relax myself,” Taheri said. “I started telling jokes to some of my friends and getting good feedback, so why not give it a try.”

Jacks Got Talent has been happening for years during the week of Hobo Day. According to Abby Mikel, president of UPC, Jacks Got Talent is a way to bring Brookings together.

“It’s a way to build a community and make everyone on campus feel more like family,” Mikel said. “When we all come together for this one special event or special week, it just makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger.”

Although seating is limited, Jacks Got Talent will have a packed show with 12 contestants performing various acts. Even during a pandemic, SDSU is still able to continue their traditions during the week of Hobo Day.

“You get to see a lot of people on campus that you would have probably never seen before do some really cool stuff,” Kallem said. “It’s just a fun night to get away for a couple hours and watch some people, then decide who you think is best and see some really good talents. We have a lot of really good talent at SDSU.”

To RSVP, visit the UPC page on Jacks Club Hub.